We organised and held a celebratory concert for the Jewish community in Irkutsk for Rosh Ha Shana. This was an important event for all those who gathered. Despite the extremely bad weather, the hall quickly filled up with people. Many families that we'd got to know this year were the first to come along. The concert opened with the provocative sound of the shofar and an eponymous solo dance.
Throughout the whole programme we brought a serious message. We shared with the Jewish families who came along from the Scriptures, giving the Biblical meaning of Rosh Ha Shana. We also shared about the tradition that in the days before Yom Kippur the Jewish people think about their lives and about the report that each person will give his Creator.
A puppet show about the prodigal son told the audience about the destructive power of sin in our lives and the power of repentance.
The sounds of the violin awakened our souls to be thankful to our Creator. A violinist took part in our concert - a virtuoso who played Jewish melodies.
The Jewish children's group had prepared a new dance-game to play with the audience. The children had made new costumes. They brought a lot of joy to the audience with their performance.
The dance group performed several wonderful dances.
When the prayer song 'have mercy' was sung, many of the people in the hall couldn't hold back their tears. Many people sang along with the words of the prayer, wiping the tears that were falling.
We told our audience of how in the summer in Israel we celebrated Shabbat in a family where the husband was a Jew from Morocco and the wife from Lebanon. They heard how we sang 'Shalom Alechem' in a café and invited them to be our guests. In answer to our question "what unites you, especially as you've come from different countries and grown up with different traditions", they answered: "Here in Israel everything unites us: one God, our land Eretz Israel, our traditions and we sing the same songs. And we're very surprised that you come from distant Siberia and that you know and sing these songs too!"
During the concert people were shouting out "Bravo!", "Thank you for the concert!"
At the end of the concert the elders of the Community congratulated everyone for Rosh Ha Shana and gave the members of the ensemble some gifts of sweets.
They thanked our Fund for the many years of cooperation and said that we have always been and are still kind friends of the Jewish community and that it's very pleasant for them that there is a continuation of our ensemble in the faces of the Jewish children that we are training, saying: "Our friends are real masters of the Arts. They have raised a third generation of Jewish children during the time of our friendship. We are delighted with their performances. Thank you to all the artists, children, dancers and singers. Thank you for the pleasure you give!!"
During the concert there were many sweet moments and warm responses. All were happy and wished each other "A Sweet New Year."