About the project
The Louis & Tillie Alpert Youth Music Center of Jerusalem is located in the Wolfson Garden in the Hinnom Valley. The Jerusalem Foundation created the center by reconstructing houses that were part of the former Sha’arei Zion (Gates of Zion) neighborhood that was abandoned in 1948 and lay in no-man’s land between 1948 and 1967. The center was established to make music education available to all children who had an interest or inclination. Initially, it served as home to the Jerusalem Municipal Youth Orchestra, which previously met in temporary, insufficient quarters in the City Center. Since then, the center has grown to serve as home to music ensembles of children from all over Jerusalem, including the Arab Youth Band, which enabled beginner students to study traditional instruments in their mother tongue, and the Ensemble for Jewish & Arab Youth, initiated in 1986 to enable Arab and Jewish youth to make music together. In 1994, the amphitheatre was renovated to enhance outdoor performances. The Jerusalem Foundation continues to support the Jewish-Arab Youth Orchestra, an outgrowth of the ensemble, in which students study instruments as varied as the piano, accordian, guitar, mandolin, darbukka, oud, kanoun and bouzouki, perform a varied repertoire of western and middle eastern music, and attend subsidized camp and concert programs. The Jewish-Arab Youth Orchestra is the only such orchestra of its kind in Israel.