American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam

The American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam encourages, supports and publicizes the projects of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the "Oasis of Peace." For more than thirty years, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam has been dedicated to dialogue, cooperation and a genuine and durable peace between Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis. Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel have chosen to live and work together as equals in this community to promote trust, understanding and mutual respect.
Oct 23, 2013

The Journey youth leadership program

Youth leadership
Youth leadership

The Pluralistic Community Spiritual Center began the year with a community “Iftar” Ramadan Break-fast holding two evening ‘pot-luck’ dinners. One was with music and a singer, and the second, Imad Jabareen who performed a one man show with the poems of Mahmoud Darwish. The event was attending by members of the village and others who came from throughout Israel.

 In October the PCSC hosted the first of three meetings between new and old residents of NSWAS  with an open discussion of the shared past, present and future together at NSWAS.  As the village begins building 34 new units coming together, learning from the past and looking towards the future becomes an important step in building community. .

 Massa –Masar (The Journey) youth leadership program of the PCSC will take on a new focus this year developing leadership among Jewish and Arab young adults, 18 years and over. It will include up to 20 young adults from Neve Shalom-Wahat al Salam and others from outside the NSWAS community. The youth will meetings will participate in seminars on subjects such as: techniques of group facilitation; how to tell a story and how to listen to someone else’s story; history of the Israeli-Arab conflict; interpersonal communication skills; etc., and with the help of PCSC staff will work  on projects with children and youth, promoting peace and human rights.   (complete article at http://wasns.org/spip.php?article1105)

 Women’s Dialogue through Religious Text will begin its second year at the PCSC with Jewish and Palestinian women from Ramla, Lod, Gezer, area meeting to explore different spiritual roots of the three religions and engaging in discussion and dialogue.   The project, which includes study of texts from the Koran, New Testament and Old Testament, was very successful last year and received a lot of positive feedback from the participants. 

The Pluralistic Spiritual Community Center is planning additional interfaith and intercultural dialogue projects that will run throughout the year and hosts weekly programs including dancing organized by Ety Adlend, Yoga to calm and balance the body and mind with Dorit Shippin,  

Sep 5, 2013

International Encounters

youth engaged in dual-dialogue.
youth engaged in dual-dialogue.

Following the most recent Youth Encounter Workshop at the School for Peace, Jewish and Palestinian high school students are now taking part in a 10-day mission to Italy to meet with Italian high school youth.

The encounter participants will be joined by Jewish and Arab young adults from Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, a Peace dialogue facilitator and an Arab teacher from Nazareth High School. Funded by Caritis, this additional session will give the encounter participants the ability to strengthen their relationships with each other and enable them to continue modeling what is possible during the coming year. The trip also focuses on developing a deeper understanding of Arab-Jewish relations along with their Italian counterparts.  

During the summer, the School for Peace also conducted an international encounter for young adults from the United States who had come to Israel to learn about Arab-Jewish relations and the roots of the conflict.

These three and four day youth encounters will continue during the upcoming school year, and often mark the first step in coming to know someone from “the other side”.  Through the encounters young people learn to honor their own identity while respecting the identity of others, and open a dialogue with and an understanding for the "other" which they carry with them well beyond the encounter.

Sep 3, 2013

A New Year Begins at the Primary School

A sixth grader welcomes a new first grader.
A sixth grader welcomes a new first grader.

The Primary School at Never Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, which first opened its doors in September 1984 as the first binational bilingual school in Israel, has just entered its 30th year. On the first day of school, children from many villages arrived by school bus and were greeted with a welcome ceremony led by Principal Anwar Daoud and attended by the enthusiastic (and worried) parents of the first graders, a representative from the Regional Council and the chairperson of the village association. 

The first day of school also marked a new chapter for the Primary School as it transitions into a partnership with the Ministry of Education. It has been both an exciting and challenging step for the school--while it is becoming a fully recognized school under the Ministry, it must continue to independently support and sustain its bilingual and binational approach, its innovative curriculum and the special projects that prepare the students to grow into bridge-builders and problem-solvers. 

Today, however, on this first day of their first year at the school, everyone’s focus was the arrival of the first graders! Sixth graders welcomed the first graders, escorting them to their places with the rest of the school. As each first grader introduced him/herself, each was greeted with applause from the whole school, and received a personal wish/blessing from a sixth grader:

"May you make many friends.”
“May all your courses be interesting”
“May you always have your homework ready on time."

Send a first grader your own wish along with your donation to the Primary School at NSWAS. Let them know their future matters to you!

First graders enter their new school.
First graders enter their new school.
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