Jewish-Arab Program

The Jewish-Arab program consists of two ensembles that aim to bring together children from East & West Jerusalem, led by Jewish and Arab teachers. Through this joint program, the children explore the rich musical traditions shared by Jews, Muslims, and Christians, playing various instruments such as kanun, percussion, nai (flute), and violin.

The program seeks to foster a natural setting for Jewish and Arab children to pursue a common goal of playing well and playing together. By providing shared experiences and learning opportunities, the program aims to bridge the divide between different communities in Jerusalem and foster trust and tolerance.

Despite the social and linguistic distance between the eastern and western parts of the city, the program recognizes the significant cultural and musical content shared by both populations. By utilizing the universal language of music, the program aims to facilitate communication and cooperation among the children, paving the way for genuine understanding and harmony.


The Jewish-Arab String Orchestra

The Jewish-Arab Orchestra, under the musical direction and leadership of Robert Canetti, is a string orchestra currently operating at the East Jerusalem branch of the Conservatory.

Comprised of a diverse group of 20 Arab and Jewish students, the orchestra participates annually in the Jerusalem Seasons Festival, as well as in festivals hosted by the YMCA, Christmas concerts and performances in churches and halls throughout Jerusalem. Every summer, a music camp is held at Abraham House on the Mount of Olives, where orchestra members come together to advance their musical skills and foster social connections through diverse activities. The experience culminates in a joyous final concert.

Jewish-Arab Andalusian Ensemble

In the heart of Jerusalem, amidst a divided reality, the Conservatory established a groundbreaking Jewish-Arab ensemble that seeks to revive a shared cultural heritage of oriental music.

Guided by both Jewish and Arab teachers, the ensemble aims to bridge the gap between Jewish and Arab students, families, and communities who, although geographically close, have remained disconnected. Through separate group work, joint rehearsals, and festive performances, the program fosters meaningful connections and cultural exchange.

This initiative not only focuses on providing excellent musical education but also recognizes the cultural, political, and social context in which it operates, fostering an authentic encounter and cultivating a shared cultural legacy rooted in a common tradition.

Jewish-Arab Program Director


Gilad Vaknin
Jewish-Arab Andalusian Ensemble

Gilad is an active musician, performer, creator and teacher. He began to study and delve into Andalusian music with Nino Biton. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in composition at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and a graduate of the Mendel Program for Leadership in Jewish Culture. Together with his wife and mother of his three children, the singer Inbal Jamshid, he founded the ensemble “Acut” which performs contemporary original compositions, on the border between East and West, to songs by contemporary poets.

Jewish-Arab Program Staff

Robert Canetti

Jewish-Arab String Orchestra


Jewish Arab Orchestra:
Robert Canetti

Robert Canetti- violinist, international conductor, professor
Honorary Master of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow
Professor of the Academy of Music in Astana, Kazakhstan
Emeritus Professor of the University of Indianapolis, formerly Athens Campus,

Teaches violin, chamber music, conducts an orchestra at the Conservatory of the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem and its branches.

Robert Canetti received his musical training first from the teachers Zvi Rotenberg and Rami Shevlov.

At the age of 18 he led the pro-music ensemble conducted by Dalia Atlas. At the age of 20 he was one of the leaders and soloist of the Israeli Chamber Orchestra conducted by Gary Bertini.

He received the continuation of his musical education in the USA, at the Golliard Summer School in New York, where he studied with Ivan Glamian and Sally Thomas, Golliard quartet. Played at the New York Opera and was principal violinist at various festivals in the USA, founded the New York. Hebrew Art School the fourth

In 1978, Robert Canetti was invited as principal violinist, conductor and soloist in the Haifa Orchestra.
In 1996, he established and managed an international music festival and an international violin competition named after him, the festival was unique in that it was once every year in a different country.
Maestro Canetti founded the “New Israeli Chamber Ensemble” which plays a diverse repertoire from baroque to modern music, and is considered the best of its kind in Israel.

Robert Canetti has performed as a violin, chamber music and conducting master at important academies around the world – Paris, Brussels, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Astana, Tokyo and more.

Orchestras that Canetti has played for include, among others, the Riga Philharmonic, the Sofia Philharmonic, the Novosibirsk Philharmonic – Russia, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Hermitage, the Astana Academy of Soloists, the Astana Philharmonic, and more

The original works for chamber orchestra by Robert Canetti- Schubert’s Quartet “The Maiden and Death” and Brahms’ Opus 18 Sextet, were performed for the first time in the “Bolshoi” Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.

Noga Bar Oz

Jewish-Arab Andalusian Ensemble


Noga Bar Oz
Jewish-Arab Andalusian Ensemble


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