Tuesday, April 30, 2013
A Life Under Terror
This year's Beit Shemesh Jane's Walk, to be held on Friday, May 3, will feature the city's cultural story, past, present, and future, with the view that the correlation between women's civil rights violations and neglect of our cultural institutions isn't coincidental. Beit Shemesh's cultural richness and history is reflected by these institutions, some of which thrive and give us hope, while others characterize our pain and loss. Our Jane's Walk will present both sides of our cultural story: the beauty together with setbacks.
Most of the city's residents aren't even aware that Beit Shemesh once had a cinema, or that we have a reputable Andalusian orchestra, or that there are several active theater companies in town. Our walk will include a visit to the Beit Shemesh Conservatory, a neglected, underfunded institution that nonetheless produces outstanding, award-winning graduates every year. We'll pass by the concert hall that hosts our classical chamber concert series bringing internationally renowned ensembles such as the Equinox Trio and Yuval Quartet to town.
We'll also visit "The Pit," our cultural center whose construction has been delayed for years due to opposition by extremists who want the land for their own purposes, aptly mirroring the clash of values in Beit Shemesh. This morass has cost our city tens of millions of shekels, funds that should be promoting and nurturing artistic expression but are instead squandered by our dysfunctional city hall.