Studying music, society in new BA program in southern Israel

New BA program in Sapir College opens in Yerucham in southern Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Music (illustration)
Music (illustration)

Twenty-five students from across Israel, including from Ra’anana, Kfar Saba, Jerusalem and Rehovot, will begin their studies in Yeruham next week, as part of a unique academic initiative. One of the students is Yehoshua Mark, the son of Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark, who was murdered in a terrorist attack in the South Hevron Hills in July 2016.

The “Kulna Sapir” (“We Are All Sapir”) program offers three-year bachelor’s degrees, the first two of which are spent in Yeruham, and combine residential and social activities. The students will spend the third year at Sapir Academic College, near Sderot.

The curriculum offers two tracks. The first track is Music and Culture, with emphasis on music from the East, ethnic instruments and piyyutim (Jewish liturgical poems). The second track studies Society and Culture, with emphasis on social activism, social entrepreneurship and more. Both tracks have been recognized by the Council for Higher Education.

Participants will receive grants of NIS 16,000 ($4,410) and housing assistance. A festive inaugural ceremony will be held next Wednesday (October 17), in the presence of the mayor and the president of Sapir Academic College.

Yehoshua Mark married on Thursday; he and his wife have decided to build their home in Yeruham. He will study in the Music and Culture track.

In a moving post he posted on Facebook ahead of the move to Yeruham, Mark wrote: “How much happiness, true and love: we are ready for love, ready to celebrate, to work, to fix the transient, to go out of Egypt, to shed the watermelon rinds and zucchinis of loneliness, to journey in the wilderness of faith.”

Yaniv Yitshak, the director of Kulna Sapir, said, “The goal of the program is to make the knowledge available in the periphery accessible to those in the center of the country, and vice versa, by providing students in Yeruham with a good experience that will leave them understanding that the town is important and worthy of respect.”

The program is made possible by the ongoing support of JNF UK. This year, the Jewish-British philanthropic organization financed the renovation of the conservatory building where the academic studies will take place.

Samuel Hayek, the chairman of JNF UK, said, “We are now completing the advancement of educational programs for all age groups in Yeruham, from early childhood education through investment in primary schools to high school and now also in tertiary education. Our goal is to enable every child and student in the Negev to realize his maximum potential and to turn the Negev into a magnet for talented people from all over the country.”