IDF musicians give to the community

IDF (Zahal) soldiers play for senior citizens as part of a new IDF (Zahal) program

Date: 31/07/2011, 10:54 PM     Author: Rotem Eliav

A violinist, a saxophone player and a guitarist performed in both ensemble and solo arrangements at a senior citizen home in central Israel. The seniors enjoyed selections ranging from classical to popular music, and thus took part in the inception of a new IDF (Zahal) program.

As part of a new program for ‘distinguished musicians’ created by IDF (Zahal) soldiers and Culture Division Officer Lt. Noam Gershler, soldiers with exceptional musical talent and capabilities perform at schools, senior citizen homes, centers for the blind and more.

Staff Sgt. Ori Wissner-Levy, one of the first musicians in the program, says that “the program enables us to continue advancing professionally while also giving to the community.” He continues to explain that the IDF (Zahal) takes into consideration distiniguished musicians and commonly gives them less demanding positions to accommodate the importance of maintaining their profession. These include secretarial positions or in some cases performances at army events. Staff Sgt. Levy says that “this program makes our service a lot more meaningful and fulfilling since we continue to play as well as make a difference in society.”

The ensembles mostly play classical music, which enables them to rehearse as well as enrich the Israeli community: “These selections are more relevant to our profession, and we are also able to expose people to classical music,” explains Staff Sgt. Levy “in recent years, the once prevalent appreciation for classical music has been increasingly declining, and we hope to improve this and preserve the culture.”