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Each week, we will be profiling a Hand in Hand ~ Yad b’Yed organizer or speaker. This week, you will meet Hand in Hand ~ Yad b’Yed organizer Shoshana Gottesman. Here is her personal narrative.

Shalom, Salam!

My name is Shoshana Gottesman and I am a senior at the University of Miami. I study music, international studies, and public relations. In case you are wondering, I am a violist.

Music is my life and I believe it can change the world…

This past summer, I participated in the Cultures in Harmony project, “Tunisia: Finding Our Voice Together” in Hammamet, Tunisia. Cultures in Harmony (http://www.culturesinharmony.org/index.php) believes in the goodness of people and music. Of course, this combination leads to greatness. My purpose as a musician in partnership with seven other wonderful musicians from around the world was to run a weeklong music festival for young Tunisian musicians with the hope of learning from each other musically and culturally.

Looking back now, I remember an uneasy feeling before leaving America. Would I be accepted as a Jew with roots in Eastern Europe and the State of Israel? My doubts dispersed quickly within the first day of the festival as I noticed how the Tunisian students reminded me of my past students at the Jerusalem Music Center’s Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s summer festival. I could only wonder, maybe these young Tunisian musicians and my past young Israeli musicians won’t be so different after all.

Upon mention of the young Israeli musicians and my wish that they and the young Tunisian musicians could meet some day, there was an undoubted sincere desire on the part of the young Tunisian musicians to do so. Each group of students would learn and teach differing aspects of musicianship that could only create a more fulfilled, experienced, and well-rounded musician. The young Tunisian and young Israeli musicians were in truth, not so different after all. I hope that maybe some day, we can all bring our instruments along with us into the big sandbox and let the shadow of the wind spread our wavelengths across all nations.

Music is my life and I know it can change the world.

Shannah Tova v’Metuka (A Good & Sweet New Year) & Eid ul-Fitr,

Shoshi Gottesman

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