To our dear friends, supporters, and partners,
The Polyphony Foundation was created in 2011 after Deborah and Craig Cogut met Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar in Spain. Nabeel had already established the first-ever classical music conservatory in the Arab-Israeli city of Nazareth. Inspired by his vision of bringing classical music to a neglected part of Israeli society, the Coguts and Nabeel created the Polyphony Foundation in the United States to support Polyphony Education and the goal of using music to break down cultural barriers between Arabs and Jews in Israel.
With your generosity, we have been able to significantly grow programs and activities in the U.S. and Israel, impacting the lives of many young Israelis and people worldwide. The Alhan music appreciation curriculum has been implemented in Arab and Jewish kindergartens and elementary schools throughout the country and receives funding from the Ministry of Education. The Nazareth Conservatory has produced graduates who have gone on to study at the world’s finest institutions. The Scholar-in-Residence program has brought Jews and Arabs together in intensive and immersive retreats held several times each year. And finally, the Galilee Chamber Orchestra – the only professional orchestra in Israel composed of Arabs and Jews – has become a sought-after ensemble throughout Europe and, until COVID-19 struck, had plans to perform in Carnegie Hall in December.
The journey has been rewarding for everyone involved, and we are so proud of the work done by Nabeel and his team. Our lives have been enriched by the students in the programs, many of whom we got to know well during their trips to perform in the U.S.
The Polyphony Foundation board recently met to discuss the current environment for organizations such as ours. With travel restrictions resulting in the cancellation of tours and the virus continuing to impact large parts of the world, the fundraising and operating environment is far more challenging. At the same time, Polyphony Education’s programs and profile have grown in significance and influence in Israel, the U.S., and Europe.
Ever mindful of being as efficient as possible with our donors’ contributions, we’ve concluded that the best course of action is to dissolve the U.S.-based Polyphony Foundation. Donors will be able to contribute directly to Polyphony Education in Israel through its fiscal sponsor, the PEF Israel Endowment Fund (information is included below).
We are so grateful for all the support that you have given us. We are honored to have been part of this organization and look forward to continuing to support the work and mission of Polyphony Education in Israel. We hope you will join us.
With sincere gratitude,
The Polyphony Foundation Board of Directors: