Hearing Jewish history through music

Hearing Jewish history through music

Jerusalem’s Hebrew Music Museum is filled with instruments from across the historic Jewish diaspora, from Europe and Morocco to Central Asia. “The museum allows people to experience the whole Jewish diaspora, through musical experiences,” says Nechama Housmann, a tour guide at the museum, which opened in 2016 as part of the Kikar HaMusica complex in the Nahalat Shiva neighborhood, which also includes restaurants and daily musical performances.  “It’s really very interactive.” Guided tours, which require reservations,  take groups through a series of rooms, each built in the style of the region whose music they represent.  The room dedicated to Central Asia has a colorful domes ceiling and bright blue and green tiles on the wall.  Here, Housmann blows the kornai, a large trumpet-like instrument still used today in weddings in the Bukharian Jewish community, which has roots in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Participants on the guided tours also have a chance to try out the instruments themselves.  Those visiting independently can play some independent games, and are guided virtually through the museum via a tour on an iPad. After learning about Jewish music around the world, the grand ending of the tour is in a room displaying a model of the Second Temple, and various instruments that Jewish tradition says were used in the first and second temples.  Visitors can also put on virtual reality glasses and headphones, and feel like they are entering the temple and hearing harps, flutes and other instruments played there.   The museum is located at 10 Nahalat Shiva Street.  To schedule a guided tour or independent visit, send an email to contact@hebrewmusicmuseum.com or call 02-540-6505.