I have had many years to think about the meaningful ways in which I would spend my time after retirement. It is by design that the creation of the Shikler Foundation comes on the heels of my retirement. Through my 49 years of work as a Cantor where I trained students for Bar & Bat Mitzvah, I listened carefully and gained a tremendous knowledge about what speaks to young people. Coming from a family that lost most of its members to the Holocaust, I have a deep commitment to the preservation of Jewish culture. Growing up in Israel instilled in me great pride about being Jewish. I want to, and know that I can, use music to instill in young people and people of all ages an appreciation of Jewish culture. I am fully committed to the success of this project.
One of the main tools I plan to use is music. This is one of the most powerful mediums to share the beauty, wisdom and joy of our heritage. Working with others ie. human interaction comes naturally to me and is something I thrive on. Combining this with the love of music and the endless possibilities that it brings, is exciting and inspiring. I can’t wait!
Barely two years have passed since Arie Shikler retired after serving as a Cantor for 49 years, and retirement hasn’t slowed him down one bit! He’s created a foundation with the focus of sharing, advancing, and fostering Jewish culture through music. I had the chance to speak with Arie and learn more about his latest passion project, the Shikler Foundation.
What inspired you to create this Foundation?
"The next generation is disconnecting. I saw it firsthand, they complete their bar/bat mitzvah, and then that’s it. You never see them again. At the same time, they are seeking meaning and conversation and I want to show them that the Jewish culture is positive and friendly, full of advice and good sense for life. Many of us don’t know it’s there. It’s a gift you may not open, but once you do, it keeps on giving. Why do you think young Jews have been disconnecting?"