Knowledge

Welcome to the knowledge base

The New Jerusalem Orchestra’s mission extends beyond musical performance to include educational programming and outreach that enrich what the NJO does. In our knowledge base you will find a collection of articles that expand on the NJO’s mission and activities, offer depth to the genres that influence its music, and discuss important happenings in the world of contemporary Middle Eastern music, jazz and the arts. This section will also soon include information about educational programming and additional work samples documenting the NJO’s vision and cultural impact. We invite you to peruse this growing archive of Jewish cultural history and contemporary Israeli arts.

Latest Articles

No Greater Love

By Aryeh Tepper

Two of the most interesting developments in the Israeli music scene over the past fifteen years have been the rise of world-class Israeli jazz and the turn to classic Sephardic piyyut (liturgical music). The remarkable New Jerusalem Orchestra (NJO) has spent the last four years bringing a serious jazz sensibility to the performance of Andalusian piyyut, and it…

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Jazz, Piyyut, and Jewish Identity

By Aryeh Tepper

The Israeli-born, New York-based Omer Avital is both a world-class jazz musician and a master of classical Arabic music.  He recently visited the Tikvah Fund, oud in hand, for an evening of music and free-flowing discussion about jazz, piyyut [liturgical verse], and Jewish identity.  He was interviewed by Aryeh Tepper, who has written about these subjects for Jewish Ideas Daily—including a…

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The Mood of the Oud

By Aryeh Tepper

Originally published on Jewish Ideas Daily Politically speaking, the state of Israel remains largely cut off from the surrounding Arab world. On a cultural level, however, Arab elements continue to animate many forms of Jewish expression that, originally rooted in Arab countries, have been transplanted into Israeli society. The most conspicuous example is music. The…

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All That (Israeli) Jazz

By Aryeh Tepper

Originally published on Jewish Ideas Daily Add jazz to the growing list of fields in which Israelis are taking their place among the international elite. As the American magazine JazzTimes gushed in May 2008, “When it comes to jazz, Israel is the source of an almost miraculous outpouring of talent.” Before they contributed to the…

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Come Swing With Me

By Aryeh Tepper

Originally published on Jewish Ideas Daily On May 25, a new sound was heard in Jerusalem. Combining the soulfulness and optimism of Moroccan Jewish liturgical music (piyyut) with the syncretistic and improvisational spirit of American jazz, the New Jerusalem Orchestra (NJO) made its triumphant debut at the 2010 Israel Festival. Arrayed onstage in a crescent,…

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