A Jaffa youth choir that combines the voices of Jewish and Arabs girls isn’t just sharing its message of coexistence, it’s practicing it out loud.
A group of pre-teen and teenage girls in Jaffa is proving to their societies, their families and themselves that peace is attainable. Singing together in the Voices of Peace Choir, these young Arabs and Jews are bringing a new tune to the neighborhood.
Founded in 2002 by Shlomo Gronich an eminent Israeli musician, and the Arab Jewish Community Center in Jaffa, the Voices of Peace Choir has performed in a wide variety of venues throughout Israel and abroad, conveying its message of peace and friendship through its songs and through the very fact of its existence.
Founder Shlomo Gronich with some of the children from the Voices of Peace Choir.
Since 2008, Iddan Toledano has been the musical director, with vocal direction supplied by Dorit Lubriani. The choir sings a program of songs in Hebrew, English and Arabic to open its members – and audiences – to the different languages and cultures.
Singing for school groups and at community centers the choir has also performed before some of the country’s most distinguished guests and leaders, including the Pope, the President of Israel and visiting diplomatic delegations.
Arab choir-member Iman says, “I always thought Jews hated Arabs and Arabs hated Jews and if it was possible they would fight from here to Eilat, but it’s not true because we are a choir that is half-Arab and half-Jewish and we always fit together.”