Who We Are

After a long history of working together to advance coexistence in Jerusalem, Arab and Jewish friends from East and West Jerusalem founded Kulna Yerushalayim in the summer of 2016. In 2011, the founders launched “Simply Sing,” a series of sing-along events in Hebrew and Arabic designed to bring Jews and Arabs together around a shared love of Middle Eastern music.

As “Simply Sing” gained more traction, its founders realized that in order to lead significant change on the ground – particularly in East Jerusalem – they needed to start a new organization, one jointly run by Arabs and Jews and independent of established organizations and agendas. Shortly thereafter, the young friends began working to institutionalize and expand, transforming “Simply Sing” into “Kulna Yerushalayim.”

Our Goals

  1. Create and facilitate non-political encounters between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem through cultural platforms and activities2. Improve the quality of life in East Jerusalem by evangelizing municipal stakeholders.
Our two goals are complementary in promoting a broader strategy for significant social and material change in Jerusalem. Enjoyable interactions between Arabs and Jews are a crucial goal, as encounters in this city – especially productive and positive ones – between those of different backgrounds are rare. Kulna’s cultural events (“Jerusalem Double,” “Simply Sing,” “Goals and Gates”) attract thousands of Jerusalemites, accruing extensive media coverage and enabling Kulna to better connect with Jerusalemites of all sides. This broad appeal helps Kulna engage new municipal stakeholders and decision makers.
On the other side of the equation, Kulna’s initiative to improve the quality of life in East Jerusalem signals to the local population that the organization means business. It lends Kulna the legitimacy it needs to facilitate encounters between Jews and Arabs in a complex political landscape, where any form of interaction is labeled as “normalization”.

The Team

The Kulna Jerusalem team is diverse and unique – it is the organization’s strongest asset.
The team is based on friendship, acquaintance and long-standing partnerships. Members of the organization, either together or separately, work in a myriad of fields in the city: education, welfare, social and business entrepreneurship, and religion and culture.
The team’s members not only live and work in Jerusalem. They are integrated with its residents, well acquainted with its complexities and challenges, and committed to the success of all its communities – East and West, Jewish, Muslim and Christian.