I first discovered the power of dialogue at Seeds of Peace in 2004. The more I immersed myself in the world of conflict and coexistence as experienced at Seeds, the more I discovered that music could, and indeed did, play a critical role in creating and solidifying community and common identity at Camp.
In the summer of 2010, I undertook research in Jerusalem to see if the same dynamics as observed at Camp could be applied on the ground. This fieldwork became my senior thesis on how to create a successful music-for-peace project in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Youth Chorus was born out of this journey.
How have you impacted your community?
I am the founder and director of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus, a choral and dialogue program for Israeli and Palestinian high school students in Jerusalem. The mission of the Chorus is to provide a space for young people from East and West Jerusalem to grow together in song and dialogue. Through the co-creation of music and the sharing of stories, the chorus seeks to empower the youth of Jerusalem to become leaders for equality, love, respect for difference, and mutual understanding in their communities and inspire singers and listeners around the world to work for peace. The chorus, an official project of the Jerusalem International YMCA, began singing together in October 2012 and meets weekly in Jerusalem for musical rehearsals and facilitated dialogue. This provides a safe space for singers to meet one another at eye-level even through the war and violence of the summer of 2014. As the Chorus creates a home for all, it seeks to show what Jerusalem could become.
As part of our work, we have given countless performances in and outside Jerusalem—from Tokyo to London to New York. We released a music video, “Home,” created with Sam Tsui (which currently has more than 300,000 views). The Choir has been featured in The Washington Post,Huffington Post, The New York Times and many other media sources, as well as on both of Israeli artist and activist David Broza’s recent albums. In fall 2015, we were honored to perform in New York during an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
• BA Yale University 2012, Music and International Studies
“I’ve spent many years pursuing the connection between music and conflict resolution. I first discovered the power of dialogue at Seeds of Peace in 2004. The more I immersed myself in the world of conflict and coexistence as experienced at Seeds, the more I discovered that music could, and indeed did, play a critical role in creating and solidifying community and common identity at Camp.”