|Rabbis: Shay Zarchi, Bini Talmi
and Chen Ben-Or Tsfoni
Shlomo Weinish, Treas.
Dorit Einav, Coordinator
Nigun Halev was founded over ten years ago by a dedicated group of visionaries, Jewish educators and residents of the Jezreel Valley who sought to create a framework for a meaningful expression of Jewish spirituality, aimed at addressing the needs of non-affiliated Jewish Israelis. They named the community: Nigun Halev = Melodies of the Heart.
Drawing on Jewish sources throughout the ages – from traditional prayers to songs of the Zionist pioneers, the community has crafted its own “siddur” (prayer book) and began to meet for regular Kabbalat Shabbat services. A core group of volunteers was formed to lead the services and organize the community and its activities.
Nigun Halev was the first community of its kind – an unaffiliated, spiritual “start-up”, pioneering the waters of ritual, prayer and spiritual expression in an Israeli community-setting. As the veteran community of this growing phenomenon in Israel, Nigun Halev serves as a model for emerging communities. Nigun HaLev is unique in that it is the only unaffiliated regional congregation of its type in Israel, serving the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee.
Over the years, Nigun Halev has grown in both numbers and in the diversity of activities. Today over 200 people ages 4 months to 80 yearsold regularly attend Kabbalat Shabbat services and more than 30 dedicated volunteers serve on Nigun HaLev’s committees.
• Celebration of Shabbat and holidays
• Bar/Bat Mitzvahs in the spirit of Jewish renaissance & renewal
• Intensive Study sessions of Jewish Holidays and traditions
• “Tikun Olam” – Volunteering in a local soup kitchen
• Active Bar/Bat Mitzvah group
• “Gmillut Hasidim” – Assisting children from troubled homes
• “Tzedek Hevrati” – Stepping in to ensure social action
• Dynamic Youth Group
• Annual retreat for members
As Nigun Halev continues to flourish and grow, we are faced with many exciting challenges and numerous questions and dilemmas. How do we integrate holiness into our daily life? How do we deal with sacred texts and prayers unfamiliar to so many Israelis? How can we enable members to express and develop their Jewish-Israeli identity and spirituality? We invite you to join us in this exciting endeavor. You can become an overseas member of Nigun Halev and maintain a direct connection to us while helping us grow. A monthly e-newsletter in English is included in the membership.
Activities and News
Jezreel Valley Mayor Eyal Betzer in his address to the congregation,
“Nigun HaLev’s consistent and continuous achievements bring another dimension, a spiritual one, to our daily life here. Your Kabbalat Shabbat services are a small but important celebration, connected to Judaism’s spiritual and cultural treasures. They are meaningful for all, even for those who don’t keep the Torah’s 613 Mitzvot. In Israel the Pioneering generation left behind their Jewish education aiming to create a new kind of Jew. They sought to create one that was raised in the Land of our forefathers speaking the language of the Bible but disconnected to the traditions of our fathers in the Diaspora. Our parents’ generation built and formed the State of Israel but they were disconnected from Jewish traditions. We too were raised similarly and now we feel the pull toward our Jewish roots which you in Nigun HaLev are trying to renew. The main achievement of Zionism was establishing the Hebrew language spoken daily in the Land of Israel, the land of our fathers. When we succeed in reconnecting to our Jewish roots their triumph will be complete.”