Dear JYC Global Family,

As the political situation continues to unravel around us, our Israeli-Palestinian community continues to prove resilient—centering music, mutual care, and the courage to speak and sing our truths in the face of increased pressure to give up on what we know is possible. 

In many ways, thanks to our Executive Director Amer Abu Arqub’s extraordinary leadership, we’ve actually never been stronger.  We have spent the summer building a new curriculum, a new team, a new community of young singers who are passionate about the journey ahead and will be embarking on our first-ever fall retreat tomorrow, and an alumni tour that will gather support for this work in Jerusalem while uplifting, inspiring, and equipping audiences to build bridges in their own communities.  We are ready.

Some recent highlights:

We have brought on an energetic new staff—all musicians and youth leaders in their 20s and 30s—which will reshape their abilities to engage authentically with our singers and serve as role models within our new leadership curriculum.  Our new conductor Matan is reinvigorating our repertoire with his extensive knowledge of both Eastern and Western music; our new translators Mayar and Lama—students at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance studying opera and classical Arabic singing—will give voice lessons to each singer in each of those styles throughout the year; and our facilitators are bringing a new, integrated approach to our singers’ experience in JYC.  Our first-ever staff retreat (above) gave this team a strong foundation to kick off our twelfth season!

Gospel singer Roderick Giles came all the way from Washington, DC to work with our new high schoolers!  His powerful energy helped catalyze immediate connection between our singers, many of whom were meeting for the first time and by the end of day 2 couldn’t stop laughing, smiling, and singing.  We’re building on this energy this weekend on our first-ever fall retreat—a dream since year 1—where our singers will get to truly bond right at the beginning of their JYC experience and be better able to support each other through the challenges that often confront them as they start their JYC journey.Tickets are live for our fall tour!Don’t miss our alumni ensemble in Chicago and Washington, DC!  We gathered an all-star group together to prepare—both musically and politically—for this tour, and they are perhaps even more stunning in navigating conflict than they are in concert (a true testament to our dialogue work over many years).  And they sound really good. 🤩

In Chicago, we’ll be collaborating with the incredible Uniting Voices Chicago, and in DC we’ll be featuring a full-length concert of songs and stories of our singers.  In DC, we’ll also be live streaming, so save the date even if you’re not local! (streaming info coming soon). 
Much more to come.  See you on tour!

In song,
Micah, Amer, and the Jerusalem Youth Chorus