Teenage girls in Israel who are religiously observant and love the performing arts will now have a summer program tailored to nurture their talent.
Robin Garbose, the artistic director of the California-based summer performing arts conservatory for girls, Kol Neshama, will be opening a program in Safed this summer, in the Machon Alte Seminary in Safed’s Old City.
“It’s been my dream for years to start this program in Israel,” says Garbose in a recent interview in Jerusalem.
The program will have places for about 40 girls, ages 12-18, who will study singing, acting and dancing and will put on a show. The girls will be taught by professional theater performers.
It will run from July 13 to August 18.
The participants will also spend a week touring the country and will study religious subjects.
Kol Neshama, which is celebrating its 15th year this summer, is dedicated to providing artistic training and performance opportunities for religious girls, and to helping them develop their artistry through the creation of distinctly Jewish film and stage productions.
Besides running Kol Neshama, Garbose has directed two films geared for Orthodox women and girls, and which are shown only to all-female audiences. These musicals are The Heart That Sings, which was screened at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, about a young Holocaust survivor who brings spirit to a summer camp for privileged girls; and A Light For Greytowers, about a girls’ boarding school.
She is currently working on a new feature, Operation: Candlelight, an action-adventure movie for girls that is being financed partly by a Kickstarter campaign.
“Through Kol Neshama’s 14 years of summer intensive programs, nearly 500 girls from all over the world have experienced the joy and benefit of creative expression, while developing their gifts with a Torah perspective,” says Garbose.
To date, Kol Neshama has produced 10 original plays, a DVD series, as well as Garbose’s two films.