For twenty-six years, Torah scribe, artist and educator, Jamie Shear has been creating hand-written, Hebrew scrolls on parchment to the highest standards of Jewish law, tradition and aesthetics. He has completed ten Torah scrolls for Synagogues in Canada, US, Israel and Hong Kong.
Jamie also fuses the ancient craft of the quill with a unique perspective to create art that adorns, signifies and commemorates. He adds beauty to classic texts like the Ketubah, illuminating them using an array of mediums and artistic techniques. Jamie has a special affinity with the Hebrew calligraphy technique known as micrography, the art of creating elaborate designs using the quill to form images comprised of select texts. When Jamie is not creating, he is teaching about his craft and shares the Torah ideas behind his art to people coming into his workshop / gallery in the Cardo of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Originally from Montreal, Canada, since 2006, Jamie has been living in Jerusalem with his family.
Avichai Koch lived and worked in the world of Hi Tech in Tel Aviv, until 2003. At that time, he and his wife decided to follow their Zionistic dreams and move to Moshav Tkuma in the northern Negev where they could be an active part in building the country and taking a stronger part in Israel’s developing history and agriculture.
Avichai started out by working for Kibutz Sa’ad in the farming business, where he worked from sunrise to sunset mainly on the carrots harvester, earning a third of his previous income. Nonetheless, he felt like the happiest person on earth. In his words, “God created us land workers and anything else is not natural…”
As Avichai’s farm is situated only 4 miles from the Gaza strip, it has suffered missile damage to his warehouses in the past. In spite of the difficulties he faces, he continues to farm and work the land. Avichai is also one of the few Jewish farmers in Isael that have decided to keep the mitzvah of Shmitta in full and not work the land for the entire year.
Today, Avichai has an organic farm where he grows organic vegetables in greenhouses for the local market. Avichai incorporates modern agricultural technology with organic farming methods to grow healthy produce without chemical and pesticide intervention.
Avichai lectures to groups around the world, and has presented to groups of all ages.
Suggested Talks and Discussion Topics:
Farming in Israel – Israeli Agri-Tech in the Real World
The Challenge and Blessing of Observing the Laws of Shemittah
Living, Working and Farming at the Edge of the Gaza Strip
Ariel Lazarus is a unique voice among Israeli composers today. Brought up in a family with Jewish musical roots (Hazannut) both in Gibraltar and Westphalia, he began composing and playing the guitar in his teens, and has been committed to developing his own compositional language ever since, always maintaining an open dialogue with his traditions.
Ariel’s symphonic works where premiered by the Israeli Ra’anana Symphony Orchestra , and his chamber works by various performers in Germany, USA, France, Luxemburg, Hungary Gibraltar and Israel.
Ariel’s recordings where released by the German based label “SmoothFactor” and received critical acclaim by various News Papers, TV and Radio shows (Haaretz, IBA, KAN Tarbut, 88 FM, Neue Westfalishe etc)
Ariel recently was awarded a PhD from Bar Ilan University, where he studied composition with Prof. Gideon Lewensohn and Prof. Betty Olivero and conducted research under the supervision of Prof. Edwin Seroussi from the Hebrew University. Ariel has received diplomas in classical guitar performance and composition from the Oklahoma City University where he studied with American composer Dr. Edward Knight.
Ariel currently holds a position as music lecturer at the Academic College for Music Education “Givat Washington”, and the “Rimon School of Music” . Ariel is the musical director of the Israeli Ladino Orchestra. He performs concerts worldwide and gives master classes.
Ariel is married to Yamit and father to Uri, Emily and Agam.
In 2018, Ariel visited Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Malmo on behalf of Amiel BaKehila. In 2019, he will participate in his second ABK delegation to San Antonio, TX, Santa Fe, NM and Long Branch, NJ.