Jewish Atlanta has no shortage of musically talented teens but does lack in-school Jewish music programs and ensembles.
Nick Edelstein saw an opportunity.
Last summer Edelstein spearheaded Atlanta’s first dedicated Jewish songwriting and recording summer camp. Judaic Mosaic is entering its second year and welcomes Jewish teens of all affiliations to come together to create, learn and record music.
“I wanted to contribute to the community,” said Edelstein, the camp’s director. “My two strengths are teaching music and recording music, so I figured what if I taught kids how to write and record music? The program is designed so that every student can contribute to each process of the songwriting and the recording.”
Judaic Mosaic will run three five-day camp sessions for rising eighth- to 12th-graders between June 1 and July 17. Three days of each session will be spent writing and rehearsing music, and the last two days will consist of recording in professional studios.
Jewish teens from across metro Atlanta are invited to audition for a spot.
In 2014, Judaic Mosaic’s first summer, expenses were crowdsourced and sponsored by Atlanta organizations including Barefoot Pedals, the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, Wizkid Sound and the Tabernacle. For 2015 the cost is $252 per teen.
For Edelstein, who grew up in Atlanta and attended Congregation B’nai Torah in Sandy Springs, music has been a way of life. He is a classically trained musician who teaches guitar lessons and leads his own band, Nick and the Grooves. Growing up, he went to services every Saturday and was set on a path of Jewish musical discovery from an early age.
“Jewish music doesn’t necessarily have to be about a prayer,” Edelstein said. “It can be about a whole world of things. Part of our job at Judaic Mosaic is to expose our students to all the Jewish music that is out there. By the time the camp is over, they will have a totally different understanding of what Jewish music is really about.”
Judaic Mosaic is unique. It provides a forum for Jewish teens who otherwise might not meet to learn about Jewish music and interact musically and socially. From Jewish private schools with limited musical offerings to public schools with limited religious offerings, the camp meets a need in Atlanta.
What: Judaic Mosaic summer camp
When: June 1-5, June 15-19 and July 13-17
Ages: Eighth- to 12th-graders
Auditions: Schedule through firstname.lastname@example.org