We made a quick stop to the local community center in Afula, where Daniel, a leader in the Bnei HaMoshavim Youth Movement, took us on a tour of the music studio in the basement. In Israel, youth movements play a large role in Israeli society, and the kids gather together by age groups, led by older teens, to plan activities that include leadership training, community service, hiking and just having some fun. At this particular community center, however, something a bit different is happening. Daniel leads a group of teenagers who are focused on creating music. They meet after school and on weekends to do everything from building stages and learning the sound system to composing and recording music. In fact, they have become such a talented force in Afula, the municipality uses them for local ceremonies. Currently, Daniel leads 40 students, who make up 8 bands, and he helps them to express themselves through music.
“I can tell you for sure, this place is very important for young kids,“ he explained. “There is something special about the opportunity to make music in an informal environment and to be able to express yourself freely. The whole vibe here is very non-judgmental.”
Clearly, our community agrees with Daniel. Outside the recording studio, a sign hangs thanking our Federation for their help to purchase the equipment inside.