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.
Mar 21, 2013

Massa-Masar The Journey New Direction 2013-4


This Massa–Masar program focuses on developing leadership among Jewish and Arab young adults aged 18 and older. It will include up to 20 young adults from Neve Shalom-Wahat al Salam and more from outside the NSWAS community.

The goal of the program is help these young people become conscientious and creative leaders who will be able to develop and implement new programs that will promote equality, freedom and human rights for all citizens of Israel.
Massa–Masar The Journey New Direction 2013-4 will give participants the tools and confidence to work with others and will focus on building transformational leadership, helping a new generation build a different future.

Once they have a knowledge base on the Arab-Jewish conflict, participants will then be empowered to gain practical experience — first by facilitating a group that encourages personal growth and development.

Massa-Masar will be a six-month program structured around six intensive seminars featuring experts from different disciplines. Each month, there will be a day-long seminar on the following subjects: techniques of group facilitation; how to tell a story and how to listen to someone else’s story; the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict; interpersonal communication skills; the study of different ethnic groups; skills for changing personal perspectives for leaders of the future.

Between these day-long seminars, the participants will meet with a group leader who will invite them to share their thoughts, questions, stories of personal growth, and reflections on the group process they are experiencing. They will develop ideas for projects promoting peace and human rights, and when they return to their homes, they will be able to create and implement these projects with the children and young adults of their communities.

We look forward to witnessing the emergence of new initiatives by and involving young people throughout the county. The communication skills and creative techniques fostered by Massa–Masar will, we believe, form the foundation of such initiatives. 

Mar 20, 2013

Youth Encounters; Dialogue and Hope

School for Peace Youth Encounters

            It is a source of pride for those Jewish and Arab high schools in Israel that make a commitment to preparing for a four day residential encounter with “the other side” held at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam.  This winter, two groups of 55 students each worked with the issues of ignorance, stereotyping, histories and fears.  Recent (December 2012) violence between Israel and Gaza had resulted in postponement of one of the workshops.

            Two months later than planned, the Arab and Jewish students shared personal stories, experiences of discrimination, minority status, power relations, national identity, national/ civil rights and service and army service. With the guidance and support of eight Jewish and Arab facilitators, the encounter focused then on four areas: the nature of the state, education, symbols and ceremonies and historical justice and reconciliation.

            Students from  Makif Givat Brenner, Galilee School Nazareth, El Hitma School- Sakhnin don’t expect to change their world just yet, but they left the encounter with the skills to broaden their relationships and expand their vision of what’s possible. At the end, students wrote to one another; the following quote from one expresses the sentiments of many: "The meeting gave me the feeling that I want to know you more, I want to meet on a regular basis and I wanted us to act together.“ 

That sounds like a plan for the future that we can all support!

Mar 20, 2013

BinNational Schooling across the generations

third generation studying
third generation studying

Tomer’s Grandma

Tomer’s grandmother was last seen at the Primary School 15 years ago. “It was amazing, when my daughter went to school at Neve Shalom-Wahat al Salam, there were a few wooden cabins that were classrooms and today it is a beautiful campus with a gym, nursery school and playgrounds”. 

“I was born on Kibbutz Be’eri but grew up in many different places in Israel. Twenty years ago when my daughter was starting school, I wanted her to learn at NSWAS. I believed then, as I do now that if all the towns and villages in Israel were like NSWAS, and all the schools had Arabs and Jews, the conflict in the country wouldn’t exist.”

“It was important for me that (my grandson) Tomer go to school at NSWAS. A place like NSWAS which is open to thinking differently and has such deep humanistic roots will naturally produce a more humanistic education and a healthy environment. When I went to the school last month, it was so warm and welcoming to me and the students. I’m very happy Tomer learns there.  He comes home from school and reads and sings to me in Arabic and shows me all his work; for him, being together with Jews and Arab in natural.   

Next year, Tomer’s brother will start the first grade and we are waiting anxiously to hear if he will get into the school.” 

Grandma Tirza Yalon Kolton lives in Tel Aviv and a ceramicist and artist.

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