Peace, Music, Jerusalem: WUJS Program Offers Life Experience and Helps Realize Career Goals

May 9, 2011

A Houstonian is spending the next half-year in Israel promoting Israeli-Palestinian coexistence through the medium of music.
Shoshana Gottesman arrived in Jerusalem in early March, as a participant in the WUJS Israel Hadassah program for young adults. For the next five months, she’ll be interning some 30 hours a week with the nonprofit Heartbeat Jerusalem, as part of the WUJS Arts specialty track.
 
“I’ve found that I have two loves: One is music, and the other is conflict resolution. The question is, how do I combine the two?” said Gottesman, a violist who graduated from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music this past December.
 
Gottesman will try her hand at combining her two loves at Heartbeat Jerusalem.
 
Founded in 2007, the nonprofit brings together an international community of musicians, educators and students who use music to build mutual understanding and transform conflict. Heartbeat Jerusalem programs seek to empower Israelis and Palestinians by creating opportunities for young musicians from opposing sides to work together and foster peaceful coexistence.
 
“I’m interested in using music as a tool for social activism between Jews, Muslims and Christians,” said Gottesman. “Through music, trust can be created, I believe, and from there, you can have conversations.”
 
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