The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus is a choral and dialogue program for Israeli and Palestinian youth in Jerusalem. Our mission is to provide a space for these 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 youth in Jerusalem to become leaders in their communities and inspire singers and listeners around the world to work for peace.
The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus is unique in its combination of music and dialogue programming, providing a transformative experience for our singers that yields both friendship and understanding on an individual and collective level across lines of religion, nationality, language, and culture. We go beyond simply singing together, delving deeper into one another’s identities, life experiences, communal narratives, religious traditions, and national histories through dialogue, all within the safe space of the musical ensemble and the strong personal bonds and community it creates.
Musically, the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus seeks to reflect the values of equality and inclusiveness upon which we are based, truly making manifest the concept of beauty in diversity. As our members come often from vastly different musical traditions, we draw heavy influences from both East and West in our repertoire and musical style. As such, we seek to innovate and challenge boundaries musically as we do in the non-musical elements of our program.
The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus is an official program of the Jerusalem International YMCA. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, the YMCA is one of the few places in Jerusalem, a city divided along religious, cultural, political and linguistic lines, that people of all walks of life can and do feel comfortable, and has been so for more than 80 years.