About Us

The Jerusalem Orchestra East & West is a multicultural orchestra, consisting of musicians from all three religions, from all over the country and from all sectors that make up the Israeli society. The orchestra is a unique body in the global music scene, combining musical artistic quality and entertainment as an agenda.

 

The orchestral arrangements, written by its musical director, are based on the musical language developed in it over the years that combines and "melts" musical methods from East and West into a unified, coherent and organic language. This language for example brings together makams and rhythms from the Arab and Islamic countries with the aesthetics and harmony of the western music

Tom Cohen • Photography: Daniel Kaminsky

Tom Cohen - Artistic Director and Chief Conductor

The orchestra's artistic director and lead conductor is maestro Tom Cohen (38) a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music.

Cohen established the orchestra in 2009 – along with the orchestra's former CEO, Mr. Ofer Amsalem – as well as writing all of its musical arrangements.

Cohen is considered to have a unique ability to transfer the music of Arab and North African countries to musicians from a Western classical background – and vice versa. This ability led him to conduct over different and varied ensembles – from the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra to the Algerian Shaabi Orchestra "El Gusto" – and establish more orchestras in the format of his Jerusalem Orchestra around the World, including:

  • L'Orchester Symphonique Andalou De Montreal (Canada)
  • The Med Orchestra (Belgium)
  • Symphonyate (Morocco)
Dr. Albert Ben Shloosh

Dr. Albert Ben Shloosh - CEO

The CEO of The Jerusalem Orchestra East & West, Dr. Albert Ben Shloosh, lives and breathes culture. He was born in Morocco 68 years ago. At the age of three, he immigrated to Israel with his parents.
His professional career spanned over four decades in the city of Acre, where he began as the director of the procurer department and moved on to serve as cultural director for 31 years, a position he held successfully until 2015.
In March 2022, he completed a six-year tenure as CEO of the Acre Economic Company. Through his various roles, Albert established the organizational and logistical infrastructure for a slew of events in the city, the most notable of which is, undoubtedly, the Akko Festival, which he led as General Director and Producer-in-Chief until 2,000. In parallel, he directed Festival Theatronetto with the late Yaakov Agmon, and if that is not enough, he also served as the CEO of the Arabesque music festival, which showcases classical and Andalusian music.

Instruments

Orchestra's range of instruments

Classical oriental instruments

Darbuka, qanun, oud, ney flute – joined by guest musicians according to musical program (ex: kamancheh, flamenco guitar, etc.) 

String section

Highly flexible in terms of their ability to transition between oriental and Western musical styles

Woodwinds section

This section includes a Broadway style brass section and soloists: trumpet, saxophone, trombone

Eclectic rhythm section

Bass guitar, drums, and special percussion instruments: darbuka, bendir, frame drum, riq, cajón, bongos. A mixture of western, arabic, african and latin percussion

 

All of the above instruments allow the Orchestra to perform oriental works in a Western arrangement and vice versa. This interchangeability is only achieved through an intimate knowledge of the authentic musical traditions. As a result we are able to both honor cultural authenticity and also seek to enrich the original composition. This solid grounding enables us to make modern interpretations and new compositions that reach and pluck the heartstrings of new audiences. Thus we fulfill our mission of exposing and joining together the multiple cultures of Jerusalem for the broadest audience possible

On Stage

Orchestra musicians

Behind the Scenes

Officials

Marketing and Sales Manager – Limor Amsalem

Director of Production department – Orly Yaakobi
Representation Tom Cohen – Ori Malin

Director of Communications and Digital – Saar Gamzo

Musicians Coordinator – Sivan Abikzer
Digital and Production Coordinator – Michal Neeman

Administrator – Ilana Turgeman

Accountant – Meirav Oranim

Stage manager – Neta Gofen

Stage manager assistant – Guy Shoshan

Librarian – Jonathan Bar-On

Customer service and subscribers coordinator – Yochi Bar

Tickets and subscribers customer service – Yaffa Atias, Anat Cohen

Tickets distributors coordinator – Itzik Alon

Concert hostess – Yaffa Peretz

Amplification and Lighting – Or Shir | Soundman: Miki Medina

Members of the General Assembly

Chairman of the Assembly and Board of Directors – Yuval Rakavy

Member of the Board of Directors – Yaffa Israeli

Member of the Board of Directors – Michal Rakavy

Member of the Board of Directors – Yoram Cohen

Member of the Board of Directors – David Galenos

Friend – Arie Nachmias

Friend – Itamar Barhom

Friend – Amir Ephraim

Friend – Avital Frenkel

Friend – Raphael Doc

Friend – Drori Hacham

Friend – Amos Goldstein

Friend – Rosemary Ezer

Friend – Paul Dahan

Friend – Yuval Saar Heiman

Friend – Adv. David Golan

Friend – Hemi Sal