Original Song A Different Way out now

Written by our singers after October 7th, this powerful song has resounded widely, reaching hundreds of thousands: at the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Memorial Day Ceremony, on the TED stage, and in the ears of powerful policymakers in Washington, DC. Listen and join us in choosing a different way.

Our Leadership Team

Founder and Artistic Director: Micah Hendler

Micah Hendler (Forbes 30 Under 30 for Music) founded the Jerusalem Youth Chorus in 2012 as a synthesis of years of work in musical community-building and Israeli-Palestinian conflict transformation (including a Yale degree in music and international studies). He has founded, directed, sung with, or played with dozens of musical ensembles of varying global styles, including the Whiffenpoofs and Duke’s Men of Yale. A CARA-nominated vocal arranger, he has studied Community Singing with Ysaye Barnwell and CircleSinging with Roger Treece, and uses these two methodologies and others to open up the concept of what a chorus can do and who should be in it. He has been involved in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue work for more than 15 years and has written and presented in many local and global forums about his work with the chorus, including sharing the keynote presentation of the East-West Philosophers’ Conference with leading Palestinian intellectual and peacemaker Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, as they explored together how sound can be used as a tool to create shared spaces in Jerusalem. Micah has never been more in love with any ensemble than he is with the Jerusalem Youth Chorus, and is grateful to them for their dedication to the chorus and for their love of one another.


Executive Director: Amer Abu Arqub

Amer Abu Arqub is a Palestinian graduate of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus whom you may recognize as the rapper in many of our music videos. But in addition to his musical talents and eight years of JYC experience as a chorus participant, alumni coordinator, workshop facilitator, trilingual translator, songwriting leader, and video producer, Amer is a lawyer with an MBA focused on international organizational management. He is a facilitator at David Yellin College and a member of the Jerusalem Model, a network of young social entrepreneurs from East and West Jerusalem working together to address the city’s diverse challenges. He is deeply passionate about bringing his chorus and professional experiences together to lead the Jerusalem Youth Chorus into its second decade—one in which he aims to embed the chorus further in the fabric of life in Jerusalem and equip our singers to be even bolder voices to bring about a more just reality for all who live in our city and our world.

Director of Education and Dialogue: Gabrielle Richards

Gabrielle Richards is a community builder, educator, and activist who works to bridge divides and support community well-being. Gabrielle grew up in the hills of Vermont and moved to Canada where she studied anthropology and sociology and engaged in social justice work. She has experience working with First Nations communities in Canada, interfaith youth movements, and shared society activism. Gabrielle has developed and facilitated multiple educational and volunteer-based programs internationally and locally, including social justice programming for teens, English educational programming, and volunteer days. Gabrielle is deeply inspired by youth and their ability to approach the world with an open mind and heart. Gabrielle currently lives in Jerusalem and enjoys immersing in both the ancient and contemporary aspects of the city.

Conductor: Matan Serry

Matan Serry is a composer, pianist, singer, and choral conductor who is well-versed in both Eastern and Western musical styles, in addition to being a teacher of Arabic language. He holds a degree in composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and coaches singers at the Academy. Matan is a first-prize winner in the Gertrud music composition competition for dance. He has composed music for the Incubator Theater and created arrangements for the Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva, the Jerusalem Chamber Choir, and The Bertini Choir. He teaches music and piano at IASA boarding school for gifted children. Since August 2023, Matan has been the conductor of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus, and is bringing powerful energy and expertise to our Palestinian and Israeli singers in these difficult times.

Director of Development: Jackie Dentino

Jackie Dentino is a US-based arts administrator and flute teacher. She holds a B.A. in Music Performance, Flute from the joint music program at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, OH; she also has an M.S. in Arts Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Fundraising Management from Boston University. Jackie is committed to increasing access to and equity in the arts, and for using arts and culture to promote social justice. She has two dogs, rides horses, and loves to read.

For more information please contact JYC at info@jerusalemyouthchorus.org.

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