Earlier this spring, two Jerusalem artists, Efrat Ben Yehuda Levin and Dafna Nave, approached JACC about holding a slam poetry event on behalf of the Center. Everyone quickly got on board, and the gathering took place at Abraham Hostel, in central Jerusalem, on a Thursday evening at the end of May. The goal was to raise money for JACC's programming and to feature a mix of Israeli and African artists.
In the end, the event featured more than a dozen performers, from the Jerusalem African community and from all over Israel. They sang, played music, performed monologues, and spoke powerfully about personal experiences. The MCs were Sernay Dori, an Eritrean woman and a member of the Jerusalem community, and Yair Lehman, an Israeli who is a supporter of our community. Kids sat on cushions in the front. Organizers posted poems on pillars throughout the room.
Events like this are fun chances for the community to gather, and they help support JACC's critical work. But they also help to spotlight Jerusalem at its best--as a rich cultural melting pot, with poetry and with song. More 100 people ended up showing up for the event, crowding around the small stage. The event title said it clearest: "ואהבת" -- "thou shalt love."