On Saturday, January 26, 1,500 students gathered for the 21st Yeshiva University Kedma Inter-Seminary Choir Competition, an annual event sponsored by Yeshiva University’s S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program in collaboration with the Israeli organization Kedma.

The event raised thousands of shekels for ATARA, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that at-risk young women who have aged out of the foster care system in Israel make the successful transition to adulthood.

The choirs, whose membership ranged from 10 to 50 singers each, performed a six-minute song-and-dance number related to the “Songs of Praise” theme while their friends and classmates cheered them on from the audience. Many of the choirs introduced original musical works about peace, Jerusalem, thankfulness, Diaspora Jewry, and Messianic times. In addition to singing, participants incorporated instruments, dancing, and multimedia presentations into their performances.

The winners of this year’s competition are Sharfmans in first place, Michlalah in second, and Tiferet in third place. Libby Lieber, one of the choir heads from first-place Sharfmans, explained that “the choir competition was such an integral experience of our seminary year. It gave us all an opportunity to channel our talent and energy toward something that inspired us and brought joy to all those who watched. It strengthened our bond and pride in ourselves and our seminary. We are so grateful to have been part of this event.”

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