One of the highlights of the school year, the annual Music and Arts show at the Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy of Fine Arts (LBJA) in Silver Spring, Maryland, was full of energy, individuality, and charm.
On the way in to the auditorium, visitors passed through hallways adorned with student art, each piece with its own unique take on shared themes. This set the mood for the show itself, a colorful explosion of movement, music, and song.
LBJA offers many afterschool clubs, including dance club, and a range of students from kindergarten through 5th grade shared their talents in a variety of inspired dances. LBJA’s music teacher Nakisa Karimian, a professional symphony violinist, wowed the audience with her dynamic performance.
The evening concluded with all of the students singing four songs. The final song, Yaakov Shweky’s “We Are a Miracle,” was particularly moving.
The song’s lyrics tell the history of the Jewish people and vividly describe the persecutions they have faced. That we are still around, thriving and blossoming, was poignantly brought to life in an accompanying music video. Portraying the story of a child in the Holocaust who miraculously survives the terror and death, the video depicts his immigration to Israel. As a young man, he joins the Israeli army and in the crucial battle finds himself alone, facing a wave of enemy tanks. He raises his hand to his eyes to say Shema. The song concludes with this elderly man, visiting his grandson who is putting on tefillin.
The moving video played in the background while the students earnestly sang; voices filled with life, hope, and dreams.
By Ariel Levy