Yaala Ballin is the 2002 winner of the America-Israel Scholarship Foundation. Immediately following her mandatory service in the Israeli army, she made her dream of moving to New York City a reality. Born and raised in Israel, jazz singer Yaala Ballin attended the Thelma Yellin High School for Fine Arts in Givataim, where she studied with some of the finest jazz teachers in Israel: Amit Golan - Pianist; Yuval Cohen - Soprano Sax; Shai Zelman - Drummer; Erez Bar-Noi - Tenor Sax, and others. She also participated in several ensembles as a flutist, and studied with well known teachers, such as Avichai Or-Noi and Ilan Salem. During her high school studies, Yaala also studied privately with the great opera singer, Mordechai Ben- Shachar, and with Israel's most accomplished pianist /jazz singer and former Barry Harris student, Atalia Pniel. Experienced in leading her own groups, she performed regularly in several Israeli venues, where she organized and arranged all her own material and instructed student jazz band in the Musical Youth Camp, Noar Musicali. She also recorded her own live performance at Tel Aviv's art's center, The Open Studio.