THE YMCA CHOIR, 2 TO 13 JULY
This project is close to our hearts because the YMCA chorale brings together in equal proportions young Jews and Palestinians, girls and boys, aged 15 to 18 from East and West Jerusalem, in a single community who sing and dialogue. Thanks to the dialogue, the chorale facilitates an in-depth exploration of identities, life experiences, narratives, religious traditions and national stories, in the secure space of the musical ensemble and individual friendships. Their artistic choices reflect the values of equality and inclusion evoking the notion of beauty in diversity. From very different musical traditions, the chorale integrates into its repertoire and musical style innovating Eastern and Western influences, thus pushing back the frontiers of music and dialogue. Ever since its foundation in 2013, this chorale has made frequent tours (United States, Japan) and for the first time is coming do dialogue work in Europe here in Switzerland.
The dialogue programme for this coming year will be dominated by the fact that 2017 will mark 50 years since East Jerusalem passed from Arab control to Israeli control, and this may well be a year marked by violent incidents. That is why the programme intends to provide the participants with tools allowing them to «steer» emotionally and relationally at this sensitive time, and participate in local and global discussions on and around Jerusalem.
The stay in Switzerland will give the chorale the opportunity to become familiar with direct democracy, and pursue their training in conflict resolution and the group decision process. A collaboration is envisaged with one of the ensembles led by the choirmaster from Lausanne, Dominique Tille. A public concert will punctuate the chorale’s visit.
> In the listening time of 4’55 you can meet their founder and choirmaster, Micah Hendler who talks about the principles of this ensemble and listen to an echo their music.
Two projects in collaboration with Beit HaGefen, Haïfa multicultural centre
HER VOICE / KOLE’H / SAOUTEK, 20 TO 29 AUGUST
For the third consecutive year, we will open our doors to Her Voice. Under this name, 16 Arab and Jewish Israelis aged 16 to 17 dialogue together, supervised by two facilitators, Ulfat Haider and Sarki Golan. The aim of this dialogue work is to enable them to be autonomous in a multicultural society, to reinforce their self-esteem, to develop a self-awareness and a clear identity in their respective social environments. The group is of course renewed each year. The visit to Switzerland comes after ten 3-hour meetings twice a month in Israel. When they return, the dialogue work continues, enriched by the experience of the trip to Switzerland.
BREAKING THE ICE, 5 TO 19 SEPTEMBER
Another project which has been renewed successfully for eight years running, Breaking The Ice, brings together Arab and Jewish students between 23 to 30 from Haifa University. Ulfat Haider and Asaf Ron, director of BeitHaGefen are responsible for the recruitment and supervision of the group. The process stretches over a year: recruitment and selection from January to March. The young people must be in good physical form, equal numbers of men and women and Jew /Arabs with a good capacity for group interaction. From April to June, preparation in Israel, a number of evenings and 4 weekends in nature. One evening is planned for the participants and their families.
In Switzerland, they set out together on the alpine hike where they walk 6 hours a day and sleep under tents, whatever the weather, led by a mountain guide. Every day, time is reserved for dialogue. Down in the plain, they are hosted by young people of their age.
Once they are back in Israel, they have the opportunity to meet up and exchange their experience, to reunite with their families and promote the project to students at Haifa University.