Many of Samar’s members share an interest in art and culture. Some members paint, some write, some play music, while others find their own ways of expressing themselves creatively. Because we share common daily tasks, most people have leisure time to pursue hobbies and avocations, whatever their usual workday jobs. Samar is a friendly place. The kibbutz is small; everybody knows everybody else; social interactions of all kinds are easier and more common than in a big city.
Bryan Medwed (1957-2002)
Bryan was a composer, classically trained at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, who left his formal musical studies in order to immigrate to Israel and become a kibbutznik and farmer (living first on Kibbutz Grofit and then on Kibbutz Samar).
Later, he also became a designer and promoter of solar and wind energy systems, the “pioneer” in the Arava region of what was then a very new and challenging technology. In 2002 he was killed in a car accident on the way to delivering wind turbines to a Bedouin village in the Negev. Though Bryan spent much of his time concentrating on farming and ecology, he never gave up his musical efforts and over the years, continued to play the dulcimer (his primary instrument) and composed numerous songs, classical music pieces, and one symphony.: “Symphony in Three Movements.”
From October 28th until November 3rd the Lüdinghausen Youth Orchestra of Germany and the Red Sea Music Center of Eilat cooperated together on a music week. Hans Wolfgang Schneider, the director of the German youth orchestra, and Leonid Rozenberg, the director of the Red Sea Music Center worked together on a musical program that was performed in Eilat at the end of the week. The program include a partial rendition of Symphony in Three Movements.
One of Bryan’s folk songs:
Ofek was born into a close rural family with 11 children. Her family lived together in a small village in northern Ethiopia. They came to Israel in 1991, when Ofek was 9 years old. The move to Israel was a difficult experience for the family. Today, she tries to explore and share her identity as an Ethiopian Israeli in Israel. She participated in the Telem program, which gives Ethiopian young people an opportunity to live for a year on a kibbutz. The program’s goal is to help young Ethiopians integrate into Israeli society starting from their early days in Israel.
That’s how I came to Kibbutz Samar, and after that year I stayed … I am a kibbutz member, married with two children.