Jewish culture has progressed and been passed forward from generation to generation for thousands of years. Throughout the ages, Jews have survived persecutions, genocide, exiles and unspeakable atrocities. In spite of all attempts, the Jewish culture and its music have survived and advanced. Even during the darkest times, those that came before us used music and songs to persevere and stay strong.
Our cultural intelligence has a value without measure. Jewish contributions to societies have had long-lasting positive impacts and are widely recognized in the fields of science and medicine, finance and business, and the arts including music, film, comedy and many other forms of entertainment. Jewish expressions and food have become commonplace throughout the world.
The Shikler Foundation goal is to use music to share, advance and foster Jewish culture and by doing so to inspire and empower the next generation to embrace and preserve Jewish culture. Jewish heritage belongs to all of us and its wit and wisdom provides guidelines for good values and can be menus of great advice for a good life. We want to promote awareness of Jewish culture through music and to provide education about its history and significance to Jewish culture and show its relevance to the present.
Using music as a tool through various mediums including live performances, multimedia projects, awards and cultural collaborations, the Shikler Foundation will strive to create greater/deeper appreciation and understanding of the uniquely Jewish art form.
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!
The emphasis will be on Jewish youth and young families. We will build a continuum between the present and the past; advance the sense of belonging and pride in Jewish culture among youth; build cultural appreciation; and inspire passion for our inherited culture.
The Shikler Foundation will hold events where, through the use of music, stories and humor we will expose audiences of to the beauty and wit of our warm and wise culture.
We will engage and involve young people to serve as sounding boards, advisors and leaders to assist in this effort. Young people will be responsible for social media and other communications. Their involvement will give them experience in many areas of program management resulting in additional skills for them while advancing the cause of the Shikler Foundation.
The Shikler Foundation will hold concerts and get togethers throughout the year. The concerts will be the primary medium for sharing Jewish music with and exciting our audience about Jewish culture.
We will use broadcasting, podcasting, You Tube, Instagram and other social media to get the word out and to expand the audience beyond those who attend in person. In time we will add an app as well.
The Shikler Foundation will produce new music and convert traditional music to new formats appealing to young people. We will work with communities and other foundations supportive of our goals. When timely, we will expand outside our local area to include other community organizations such as the JCCs, Hillel and college campuses.
Arie Shikler, Founder
Beth Shikler, Co-Founder