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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:


Craig Cogut, Co-Founder and Chair
Deborah Cogut, Co-Founder and Vice Chair
Seth Novatt, Treasurer

Barbara Cohn, Director
Alisa Doctoroff, Director

Timothy Jessell, Director
Nancy Kasten, Director

How to Support Polyphony Education in Israel


Polyphony Education can continue to receive support from U.S.-based donors through its new fiscal sponsorship with the PEF Israel Endowment Fund, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity (EIN: 13-6104086).


You can make a contribution in U.S. dollars to Polyphony Education with a check payable to “PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc.” and note in the memo, or include in a separate note, your recommendation that PEF should make a contribution to Polyphony Education. Be sure to include Polyphony Education’s number in the memo or on your note (51-4712454) as well. The minimum contribution is $25. Please contact the Fund for information about making donations of stock or securities.

You can mail your gift to: 


PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc. 

630 Third Ave, Ste 1501 

New York, NY 10017

Questions about your gift?


Keep in touch with Polyphony Education:


Polyphony aims to help bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel through music and to serve as a worldwide model for cooperation through education, cultural exchange, and partnership.