Berklee today

OCT 2017

Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.

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24 Berklee today From the left: Berklee president Roger Brown and Yehuda Eder. "I consider Yehuda to be my BFAM, or brother from another mother," says Brown. "I've enjoyed working with him. We share a passion for music and helping young people grow as musicians." Israeli businessman and Rimon benefactor Udi Angel Dr. Tali Yariv-Mashal, director of the Beracha Foundation From the left: Rimon School of Music founders Amikam Kimelman '82, Guri Agmon '76, Yehuda Eder '79, Orlee Sela, Ilan Mochiach, Gil Dor '75, and Harry Lipschitz. Rimon's full-time students earn a diploma in three years, ful- filling part of Rimon's original vision to create opportunities for young Israelis to study in their country and in their own Hebrew language. "Some young Israeli students who begin studying at Rimon want to continue their studies at Berklee," Sinai says. "One way to Berklee is through Rimon's long-standing credit transfer agreement." "Affordability is an issue for students everywhere," Schejter says. "Berklee's admissions department offers Rimon as an op- tion for people who feel they can't afford Berklee. The rents here are less than in Boston and our tuition is lower." Students can complete two years at Rimon, transfer those credits to Berklee, and earn a music degree for less than the cost of spending four years at Berklee. The newer program, Pathways, is in its second year. The pro- gram has drawn interest from participants from several countries, though to date students in the pathways to Berklee program are predominantly from the United States. "We teach the pathway students in English and use Berklee textbooks," Schejter explains. "Everyone teaching in the Pathways Program has gone to Berklee. This provides consistency for those continuing on. We are ex- ploring the possibilities for them to take liberal arts courses that we don't offer online." Pathways has drawn students from Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Italy, and Colombia, in addition to American stu- dents wanting a study-abroad experience. Many Jewish- American families want their kids to experience living in Israel, and studying at Rimon has great appeal. Global Visions Schejter is working on nurturing entrepreneurial skills among Rimon's tech-oriented students. Key figures evolving partner- ship are Panos Panay, founder of Berklee's Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE), and Tali Yariv-Mashal of the Beracha foundation. "I brought Panos here to meet with peo- ple from the Beracha Foundation that supports Israeli culture and funds educational incubators," Schejter recalls. "Both par- ties recognized that there was a natural connection between the foundation and what BerkleeIce is doing. Rimon became the focal point in this." BerkleeICE and Rimon signed a memo- randum of understanding [MOU] in 2016 to develop innovation labs at Rimon's Accelerando Incubator and BerkleICE. The goal is to "broaden student entrepreneurial mindsets and career preparedness by creating environments that foster creativity, cross-discipline collaboration, and innovation with an emphasis on practical outcomes," the MOU states. It will build on the part- nerships Berklee has with Harvard, Brown University, and MIT and Rimon's relationships with leading universities and enterprises in Israel. Among the projects and collaborations between the two labs will be semester-long student exchanges. Eder dreams big and envisions Rimon becoming a global ed- ucational institution that will draw musicians from all over the world on its own merits. Key to reaching that goal is forging agreements that will enable Rimon issue a bachelor of music degree. To that end, Eder and his team are solidifying alliances between Rimon, Berklee, and Tel Aviv's Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts. "Rimon will teach music courses, Berklee will teach music and online courses, and Tel Aviv's Kibbutzim College will offer the re- quired liberal arts courses for a degree," Eder says. "David Mash [Berklee's former vice president for innovation, strategy, and tech- nology] made strides toward this goal before he retired. Camille Colatosti [Berklee's dean of institutional research and assess- ment/graduate studies] supports the program. We are waiting for the OK from the Israeli council of higher education. After we get that, things will begin in 2019. "The council of higher education is willing to grow with us because they have seen the change we have brought to Israeli culture," Eder continues. "It's major that the Israeli establish- ment is embracing Rimon, and Berklee and Roger Brown are a very important part of that. For Rimon to be able to grant a music degree in Israel will be revolutionary and very important for the future of the school." "Follow the Flag" When he founded Rimon, Eder was working outside of Israel's ed- ucation establishment. He finds it ironic that the establishment is now embracing Rimon's educational philosophy and not asking them to depart from their original vision. Rimon is also becoming connected to industries that have no connection to music. "We are seen as starting a new way of thinking and collabo- rating," Eder says. "As a musician from my generation, you might have been considered a good rock guitar player but not a serious person. Now, all these people want to be part of Rimon." A line from a Randy Newman's song "Follow the Flag" has become Rimon's unofficial motto. "If you believe in something bigger than yourself, you can follow the flag forever," Newman wrote. "The flag is there when you aren't thinking only about yourself, but about the needs of others," Eder contends. Back at Shablul Jazz Club, the house lights are up, the set is over, and the crowd has dispersed into the humid night air. Wearing headphones, Eder is listening to the live-to-two-track re- cording of the set. He later tells me that he hopes now to put re- newed focus on his guitar playing. "It's like going back to being 20 years old again," he says grinning. "That's something that you can only do after you've completed your mission. My mission was to start a music school." Like a rose that flourished in the Israeli desert, Rimon has become a well-established educational institu- tion. Mission accomplished. Rony Koral, director of marketing

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