Apr 1, 2010

Discovering Music with Local Artists

Children listening to Michael Melzer
Children listening to Michael Melzer

In February, Yael and Michael Melzer, professors at the Jerusalem Academy of Dance and Music, came to Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam to meet the children at school. All the pupils, divided into three 45-minute-sessions by age, had the opportunity to participate in a fascinating musical and educational activity. The couple presented its collection of wind instruments, 13 historical flutes of different ages, shapes and sizes, most of them natural, made entirely of wood. The two musicians played a selection of short musical pieces from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. The artists used the unique multi-cultural setting of the school to emphasize the social role of music, beyond its cultural and aesthetic value: “We want the children to learn to listen, because we believe that the source of violence, especially nowadays, lies precisely in our inability to listen”, says Prof. Melzer. “In Hebrew the word 'ilem' (dumb) and the word 'alimut' (violence) are semantically connected: if you are 'ilem,' then you become 'alim.' On the contrary, if you are able to listen, you also become able to express yourself, and there is no need for you to become 'alim'.”

The artists performing for the children of NSWAS
The artists performing for the children of NSWAS

Links:

Feb 9, 2010

Two youth encounters organized

Youth Encounter
Youth Encounter

Recently, the School for Peace organized two types of youth encounters in the "Oasis of Peace:" Jewish/Arab and Palestinian/Palestinian students encounters. In October, 10 Palestinian students of Israeli citizenship met with 10 Palestinian students from Nablus in the West Bank. Together they discussed the future Palestinian State, religious matters - such as the future rights of non-Muslim citizens, the different lives that one can have on one side or the other of the border, or the status of the Palestinian minority in Israel. They also visited together the old city of Nablus. This encounter was a unique and powerful experience for both groups. In November, the School for Peace organized a binational youth workshop with 65 Jewish and Palestinian high school students. For most, this encounter was the first opportunity they had to meet with the "other." The youth spent three days together in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam where they could interact in formal and informal settings. Many important issues in regards to the conflict were discussed. The group was supervised by trained facilitators who could guide the diaolgue between the two groups. The School for Peace is working to organized another few encounters this year. We are very grateful for your support which made these two possible!

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Oct 8, 2009

Starting a new school year with more students

First day at school in the classroom
First day at school in the classroom

On September 1, 2009 the school opened its doors to 55 new children in the primary school and about 20 new children in the preschool. The first day of school is always a day in which there is both awareness of challenges ahead, and a strong determination to meet them and succeed. This enthusiasm is shared by students, teachers and parents alike. One source of optimism this year is the new syllabus that the staff shaped crafted during all the 2008-2009 school year and in the summer break. The syllabus (which still requires some fleshing-out) covers the key subjects of language instruction and civic and environmental studies.

Some of the difficulties from 2008 – 2009 will continue to haunt the school in the current school year. We do not yet know how severely the economic downturn will continue to affect the school, but so far the signs of recovery are not beginning to show.

Under the playground Rainbow
Under the playground Rainbow
Getting together again
Getting together again
 
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