The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus

The Jerusalem Youth Chorus is a music and dialogue program for Israeli and Palestinian youth. Through the co-creation of music and the sharing of stories, we empower youth in Jerusalem to become leaders in their communities and inspire singers and listeners around the world to work for peace.

Location: Jerusalem , Other
Year founded: 2012


The Jerusalem Youth Chorus has been featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, as well as in the New York Times, on the BBC and on PBS, in Haaretz, Alhurra and many other news sources. We have recorded with multi-platinum Israeli artist and peace activist David Broza in Jerusalem and in London with Duran Duran. Our music video, “Home,” with YouTube superstar Sam Tsui, has amassed over 400,000 views. We have toured to Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Switzerland, and have performed at venues as celebrated as the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the United Nations in Geneva, and as a featured ensemble at the Yale International Choral Festival.

In 2017, our Founder and Director Micah Hendler was selected as one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 for his chorus work.

The 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 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.

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