Yuval School of Music and Arts – Teaching the heart of worship

Yael Kalisher, left, and Irit Iffert, directors of Yuval Messianic School of Music and Arts

The Yuval Messianic School of Music and Arts (YMA) in Jerusalem is a worship center where students of any age or income can learn music and art with the aim of enhancing their skills to glorify Yeshua and grow closer to him.

Backed by the King of Kings Community and the Jerusalem Assembly in addition to other Messianic congregations and organizations, the school goes out of its way to raise scholarship funding for those who cannot pay tuition fees. Indeed, due to a firm “never say no” policy, and with the help of donors, Yuval’s fees themselves are set at half the actual cost of a lesson or course.

Founded in 2010 by Messianic musician Alex Atlas and by Yuval Director Irit Iffert, the school’s name itself witnesses to the vision its leaders have for it. Appearing at Genesis 4:21, Yuval is the name of the first musician mentioned in the Bible. The word yuval also appears at Jeremiah 17:7-8: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river (yuval).”

“People can come and develop the gifts that God gave them. They can put their roots into the living water of Yeshua, grow and bear fruit for the glory of God,” Iffert told KNI.

Music class at Yuval
Music class at Yuval

An exceptionally gifted and published Messianic musician herself, Israel-born Iffert explained that “in learning to play an instrument, sing, paint, draw or do drama, our students discover not only how to do so with excellence but also how to do so with the right heart.”

While a person may sing or play an instrument well, they may not actually be worshipping the Lord through their music.

“We place a lot of emphasis on developing the heart of worship that is focused on God alone,” Iffert said. “This starts with a small click inside that decides: ‘It’s all about Yeshua. It’s about loving Him, adoring Him. It’s not about me.’ This is true worship.”

In teaching the heart of worship Yuval also organizes seminars, conferences and special events for specific groups such as singles, “Golden Age” 60 years and older worshippers, teenagers and women. Iffert explained that the teaching staff is also instrumental in developing true worshippers.

“Our teachers are believers that come from all over Israel well as from local congregations,” she said. “They are skilled professionals – and they have the right heart for God.”

Renovated classroom at Yuval Messianic School of Music and Arts
Renovated classroom at Yuval Messianic School of Music and Arts

The school premises were recently renovated and expanded to include a lower floor in its building unit. There is now additional classroom space and a welcoming lobby area where students from diverse denominations, nationalities and congregations can gather to “hang out.”

Also highly gifted and published in Messianic worship music, Yuval co-director Jael Kalisher told KNI that the Yuval team helps with discipleship as well.

“Our younger students feel safe here,” she said.

“We are not their youth group, we are not their congregation and we are not their parents. We don’t have any formal authority over them,” Kalisher continued. “So they feel free to ask us a lot of questions, to share and to be transparent. We are transparent with them as well — and this is important as transparency can be difficult to find in our communities.”

“Through Yuval we can provide so much more than weekly classes,” Kalisher said. “It’s discipleship that happens very naturally and we love it.”

For more information on the school or for upcoming events, email Yuval at [email protected]

Upcoming Events at Yuval
Dec. 14: Golden Age worship evening
Dec. 18: Single Ladies worship
Jan. 11: Young Adults worship evening
Jan. 18: Kids’ worship
Jan. 24: Youth worship evening
Feb. 26: Purim Party (everyone invited)
March 8: Women of Worship

“His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who
play stringed instruments and pipes.”
Genesis 4:21

“Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.”
Psalm 150