Thank you! Thanks to you and other generous donors like you, the School for Peace has been able to organize five youth encounters this year. That means about 300 young Jews and Palestinians from all over Israel have been able to meet the "other" for the first time and to have meaningful dialogue. All have left with a changed vision of relations between Palestinians and Jews, many will continue to interact in the coming years. They are all building the foundations for a peaceful future between the two communities.
The School for Peace is now preparing for next school year, and with your support, is hoping to set up even more encounters starting this fall.
The School for Peace recently organized one youth encounter for 60 Palestinian and Jewish students from the Reali and Acre's Terra Sancta schools. As usual, the youth, meeting the "other side" often for the first time, met in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam where they stayed for 4 days.
During that time they discussed issues that relate to the conflict in uni-national and binational settings, in small and larger groups. They also participated in informal activities together during which they could strengthen their relationships.
The School for Peace will now start preparing for next school year's encounters with various high schools in Israel, based on how much funding will be available. We are very grateful for the support you provide to the Youth Encounters: you help create a peaceful future for the Jewish and Palestinian youth!
In the past three months, the School for Peace has been able - thanks to supporters like you - to organize two new youth encounters. Each brings about 60 Jewish and Palestinian high school students together for three days of discussions and activities.
One was organized between Nazareth and Ayelet Yarden schools on October 30 - November 2. The other one was between Sakhnin and Tel Aviv Municipal Aleph schools on January 23 - 25. A third one is planned between the Reali and Acre's Terra Sancta schools from February 13 - 15. A lot of schools in the country have shown interest in participating in such youth encounters, but the School for Peace can only organize a handful each year due to lack of funding.
Encounters are organized in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the only community in Israel where Jews and Palestinians choose to live, work and raise their children together as equals. This ensure a peaceful environment of mutual respect and cooperation. Hebrew and Arabic are equally used during the workshop, while the staff is also equally split between Jews and Arabs.
The 22 participants of the Youth Encounter Human Rights program continue to meet about once a month in the binational community of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam.
The young people are now observing how human rights are implemented in institutions and in their communities. They then report and discuss their findings with the group. Later on they will meet with leaders of these institutions and communities to present their recommendations.
This year 2009/2010, the School for Peace organized five binational youth encounters with schools around Israel.
310 Jews and Arabs from 8 high schools and from a youth club in Ramla have participated in these encounters.
Among the schools were: Nazareth and Hakfar Hayarok, Sakhneen and Ayanot Yarden, Naa'ora and Brener, Almokhales and Reali.
This year, the School for Peace also focused on uni-national encounters and two of them were organized: one for Kalansawa with 41 youth and another one for Ropin College with 32 students.
Last January, we also started a Human Rights youth program for 22 Jewish and Palestinian youth from different schools and from the village of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam. This is a year-long program including 130 hours of meetings and common activities.
If funding is available, next year's goal is to organize at least 5 youth encounters and 2 uni-national encounters. There is a lot of demand from schools but insufficient funding.
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