Confederation House: Songs of the Ushpizin

Osnat and Dudu Elkabir/Photo: Kobi Wolf

Poetry will be a guest at the virtual Sukkah, as the Confederation House presents Shirat HaUshpizin (Songs of the Ushpizin), a festival dedicated to Hebrew and world poetry. The festival, under the artistic direction of Benjamin Shvili, will take place online, during the Sukkot holiday, from October 4 – 6, 2020, and will be accessible to all, free of charge. Confederation House Director Effi Benaya noted that the new festival is the natural next step, following the many poetry events that the Confederation House produces throughout the year, culminating with the peak event of the Metula Poet’s Festival. Artistic Director Shvili said that the festival will focus on themes of pilgrimage, wandering, and leaving the comfort zone of the home.

Festival highlights:

Maureen Nehedar/Photo: Ilan Besor

Sunday, October 4th

The festival will begin at 17:00 with a session on Japanese Haiku, with musical accompaniment by Wisam Gibran. The 18:30 session will be a tribute to David Weinfeld, translator of Polish poetry, with musical accompaniment by Ronen Shapira. The poetry of Dalia Ravikovitch will be explored in the 20:00 session, with a musical performance by Maureen Nehedar. The evening will conclude with a session on Indian poetry, followed by a performance featuring the classical Dhrupad music of India, with vocals by Osnat Elkabir, and Dudu Elkabir on the Rudra Veena, an ancient Indian instrument, as well as Ido Gafni on the table, and Vered Yehezkeli on the tampura. The performance will be pre-recorded and broadcast on facebook live and the Confederation House YouTube channel.

Dalia Ravikovitch/Photo: Dina Goneh

Monday, October 5th

The evening will open at 17:00 with the poetry of Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, with musical accompaniment by Maureen Nehedar, followed by a look at the poetry of Sufi women at 18:30. There will be a musical performance by singer and Ney player Amir Shahsar, who will perform Sufi songs and the music of Derwish dances at 19:45. The poetry of Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau will be the theme of the session at 21:00. Closing the evening will be singer-songwriter Hadara Levine-Areddy with a tribute to Bob Dylan. The performance will be recorded in advance and broadcast on facebook live and the Confederation House YouTube channel at 22:15.

Naor Carmi/Photo: Ohad Romano

Tuesday, October 6th

There will be a tribute to the Syrian poet Adonis at 17:00, followed a musical performance at 18:15 with Wisam Gibran, a longtime friend of Adonis, who has researched his poetry and composed music for several of his poems over the years. The Confederation House has commissioned Gibran to compose music for three poems by Adonis for this performance at the festival. At 19:30 there will be a session on poetry in Jerusalem and the poetry of Pinhas Sadeh. The closing event of the festival will be a celebration of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov at 21:00, followed by a musical performance of his niggunim by the ensemble of singer and bass player Naor Carmi.

Links: Confederation House website, facebook