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.
Nov 27, 2013

The Primary School Passes Major Milestones

Primary School New Year
Primary School New Year

As of the 2013-14 school year, the Primary School at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam has full recognition from the Israeli Ministry of Education as an independent, public school.

 This is a status the school staff and supporters have long pursued, and it entitles the Primary School to funding from the Ministry.

 But despite this good news, there is still a tremendous and urgent need for support, in part because of the school’s unique structure: the Primary School is committed to a bilingual, bi-national curriculum — one of the school’s founding principles — but this requires two teachers in every classroom, one Arabic speaker and one Hebrew speaker. This makes the school unique in its region but, again, requires a level of funding beyond that offered by the Ministry of Education.

In the meantime, working with the Ministry of Education, the school began last year the process of becoming fully modernized. The school received 20 computer work stations for children, six workstations for teachers, and each teacher received a computer. Equipment was installed in each of the classrooms and teachers began an ongoing training program in the integration of technology into the classroom.

Nov 27, 2013

The Ongoing Impact of the Youth Encounter Program

SFP-Youth Encounter Youth Program
SFP-Youth Encounter Youth Program

The Ongoing Impact of the Youth Encounter Program 

 The School for Peace at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam continues to build on, and be inspired by, the work done in last February’s Youth Encounter workshops among high-school students from Arab and Jewish schools.

 Although the workshops had to be delayed due to a flare up of violence in Gaza, the students came into the experience that much more energized and curious. There were frank discussions about Jewish and Palestinian national identities, and no opinions were withheld when it came to, for instance, Israel’s compulsory military service.

 But it was because of discussions like these that the young participants were able to find plenty of common ground as they engaged in simulated peace negotiations. The atmosphere was euphoric as the students came up with creative and practical ways by which their two peoples could live and thrive together.

 “I wish we could meet each other more,” said one of the Jewish students. “I want to educate the children I work with in the youth movement to be pro-peace.”

 And an Arab student was similarly inspired: “I could understand you and I felt that you understood me. I hope you will be able to help us get out of the difficult situation we are in and that we will live in peace and equality.”

SFP Youth
SFP Youth
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,  

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