Invitation to Piyut – the Sound Track of Jewish Culture, Israel

"You have planted in me -my mother, my father, melodies, forgotten songs, seeds my heart has carried are now stirring and sprouting"
Fania Bergstien (Israel, 1944)

The Project aims to enrich the canon of songs that are taught and sung in Kindergartens in Israel.

We believe that Piyutim –Hebrew sacred songs, create unmediated connection to Jewish tradition, identity and community, reflecting the great wealth and variety of Jewish culture.

The melodies & lyrics learned from childhood accompany our children throughout life and have an important role in the creation of identity.

Yair Harel is a world-renowned Israeli performer, artistic director, and community organizer, active in the revival and contemporary interpretation of the ancient art of Piyut (liturgical Hebrew poetry) in Israel and abroad, that has revolutionized the face of Israeli culture in the last decade.

He is the founder and Editor in chief of the Invitation to Piyut website and the artistic director of The Jerusalem Piyut Festival, the New Jerusalem Orchestra, and the Ben Zvi Piyut Vocal Ensemble.

Harel was an artist in residence at UC Berkeley (2014) and has also taught at the Hebrew University, the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, and The Jerusalem Academy High School for Music and Dance.

He is the Hazan and Music Director of congregation ZION in Jerusalem.


Based on our vision, we will create a repertoire designed for kindergartens. We will produce 2 CDs' with various repertoire that will be arranged in a child-friendly way, and propose a layout of activities designed for kindergartens in Israel. The layout will be based on an online infrastructure that will provide kindergarten teachers access to additional relevant materials and tools. The project will include seminars that will enable teachers to experience the power of Piyutim, and emphasize the added values that are formed by this type of teaching. We will write music sheets and lesson plans for kindergarten teachers and musicians that combine Piyutim and songs in the daily life of the kindergarten.

The project is coordinated with the head supervisors of the kindergarten education in the ministry of education in Israel.

Activity reports