Tracey Shipley
Youth, family and addictions counselor/creative therapist

 A new exciting music project for youth

For those of you who don’t know me, I have a passion for projects.  Living in Jerusalem I find so many opportunities to fill in the blanks. I came back to Israel eleven years ago with a desire to work with Ethiopian Israeli youth and within three months began my journey starting with a five day cultural camp and leading to a comprehensive cultural program serving hundreds of Ethiopian Israeli teens and children utilizing artists from their community to teach them about their own culture from dance, music and theater to heritage.  They loved it as did the audiences who frequented their performances. You can read about the program on www.malkatshva.net.

From there I put together musical evenings for kids by kids at the Off the Wall Comedy Club where teens and young adults could watch their friends perform in an alcohol free setting.  Then I organized the “Sobar Band” in cooperation with Lenagen Be Kef, a wonderful music school in the center of town who led me to our amazing band teacher Ortal Tsoran.  Following months of preparation we performed all over Jerusalem and even at Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv spreading the word about our next endeavor: The Sobar, an alcohol free music club for youth.  Yes the Sobar opened but without the support needed it closed its doors six months later after hundreds of kids saw the benefit of enjoying themselves in an exciting yet mood altering free surrounding.

Now, two years later, with a lot more experience and contacts under my belt I have partnered with Yehi Zaken, owner of the only rock bar in Jerusalem Blaze Bar to embark on a new endeavor; Jerusalem’s School of Rock.  During the day when Blaze is empty and alcohol free we will gather teens and young adults together who share our love of rock music and assist them in forming bands.  After a few months when they are ready to perform we will organize “Sobar Sundays” at Blaze where kids of all ages can come and see their friends perform.  Once again we will be able to show our youth that enjoying music doesn’t equal needing the high of drugs and alcohol.

We are in the process of hearing back from various departments of the City of Jerusalem to see if we can count on their support.  We are also gathering sponsors who will support a band, matching the funds that the kids will be paying for their training

We would love your involvement if you would like.  This will be a wonderful opportunity for so many kids in Jerusalem and for all of us as their audience and supporters. Join us! Feel free to call me at 054-8108918

About the Author
Tracey Shipley is a youth and family counselor specializing in addictions and family communication. She was born in the US and moved to Israel in 1984 to continue her studies in Art Therapy. She moved back to the US in 1989 and began working in a drug rehab for teens where she was trained while she worked as a primary counselor. She moved back to Israel in 1996 and continued her work in addictions at the Jerusalem Methadone Clinic for a total of 9 years. She initiated projects for the children of the addicts at the Center, for Ethiopian Teens and a Sober Music Bar for teens and young adults: Sobar Jerusalem.
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