ICEJ Support is Music To The Ears of Israeli Druze School

By: ICEJ Staff Writers

An ICEJ delegation led by Nicole Yoder, Vice President for AID & Aliyah, recently visited the Druze village of Kfar Kisra in Northern Israel, where they saw how music can lift spirits.  

The ICEJ team was welcomed at the local grade school by teachers and Druze community leaders, alongside smiling children waving Israeli flags and offering their visitors flowers and balloons. A sense of excitement filled the school on this special day: its first-ever music room would officially be opened.

Once the ribbon on the new music room was cut, everyone sat down for the dedication speeches. Yasser Gadban, the regional council head, first thanked the Christian Embassy for sponsoring this and many other school projects in the Druze community over recent decades.

School principal Sakar Shakur then shared his vision for the music room: “Our hope is to help our children to develop good music, to believe in themselves, to become leaders and innovators, and to realize their dreams. Music helps us to deal with life’s challenges and express our emotions. Learning music will help our children develop new skills and interact socially.”

Mr. Shakur continued, “Thank you for your generosity and good heart. You’ve put a lot of light and love into your gift, which brings real change.”

The room, full of new instruments, sound systems, storage cabinets, tables, and chairs, was ready and waiting for students to show their creativity. The music teacher performed a wonderful piece on the piano accompanied by schoolgirls who played a love ballad in Arabic. Meanwhile, a shy little second-grader mustered up the courage to give an amazing performance on an electric keyboard while his teacher accompanied him in song. Watching his small fingers dance across the keys was a delight!

Nicole Yoder next introduced the ICEJ delegates, which included representatives from Denmark, the Philippines, South Africa, Slovakia, Honduras, and the United States.

“Just as the Druze seek to protect their country and seek her good, so also do we, and that includes all the people groups that make up Israeli society,” said Nicole. “This music room should be an enriching place for the children to develop their creativity and confidence, have fun, and learn to innovate. And may it be a place from which music and gifted musicians will come out to bless families, the Druze community, and Israel.”

The grade school sits on a hilltop overlooking a lush valley and has 351 students from diverse backgrounds. Some classrooms are for children with special needs. Many students come from low-income families and would only be able to learn music in such a school setting. A school tour showed how deeply the principal cares about the building, grounds, teachers, and students. From the scrupulously clean hallways right down to the children’s security needs and emotions, nothing escapes his sight.

“This music room is a place that will bring much light and joy to the school children, and in turn, this will overflow into our tight-knit community,” he said.

As we wrapped up our visit, the regional council head noted with a smile, “There is only one problem that I’m now presented with: what to do about the other two schools down the road who would also like to have a music room to help their children learn and grow!” Thanks to the generous support of our Christian donors, the ICEJ is making a difference in the lives of these children in Israel. They now have an opportunity for their hidden talents to shine as they learn and develop their musical skills. Perhaps we will be able to help with more music rooms

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