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.
May 11, 2015

Expanding Horizons of the Primary School Pupils

Primary School Kids
Primary School Kids

The Primary School encourages students to work with the community and reach out to others through their artistic skills. The Primary School has displayed their pieces in various art events through the years. In mid-February, the school kids, teachers and families came together to work on adding a part of themselves to the school. This was done with the help of artist Benjamin Swatez and his two colleagues Robert Markey and Shira Shvadron, who were guests at the village for a week. Everyone collaborated by preparing a mural for the school, creating a beautiful mosaic with fish and birds at the entrance of the school building and working on individual drawings. As part of the program, our pupils also selected their favorite drawings and painted it onto canvases which will be exhibited at the United Nations in New York City

Last fall, a group of German pupils and teachers visited the Primary School from a primary school in Dusseldorf called Freiherr-vom-Stein-Realschule. Both schools have been working together on class projects and communicate with each other on a regular basis. In an effort to continue expanding the children’s horizons and cross cultural relationships, the 6th grade class, accompanied by English teacher Raida, and Carmella, the principal took a trip to Germany to see how the German students spend their days learning. This exciting educational trip was a memorable experience for the 6th grade class. The trip nurtured the relationships between the two classes as well as both schools; there are already talks of expanding this class exchange to a family exchange.

Soon to be published, Dr. Alon Fragman and Dr. Aura Mor-sommerfeld have recently completed their first round of research on the Primary School bilingual educational model. The research set out to test the Arabic language proficiency of Hebrew-speakers in the Primary School, grades 2-4. The results show that the Primary School students scored as much as 50 points higher (on a scale of 100) than Israeli high school students studying Arabic. “The exposure to both Arabic and Hebrew already begins in kindergarten through elementary school, in a well-organized systematic bilingual program conducted by teachers who are familiar with second language pedagogy. This unique concept of the bilingual Arabic-Hebrew school of Neve Shalom seems to have a major effect on the acquisition process”, say Fragman and Mor-Sommerfeld.

Apr 24, 2015

Brings Creativity and the Arts into Peace-Making

In the ongoing conflict-transformation work that is led by members of NSWAS, the Pluralistic Spiritual Center sup-ports the connections between spirituality —whether introspective or expressive— and the work we can do as part of healing the conflict. The Spiritual Center has de-veloped a Museum, Gallery and Archive so that the inte-gration of the arts and the spirit will have a permanent home.
On March 10, 2015, the Wahat al-Salam/ Neve Shalom Museum, Gallery and Archive extended an open invita-tion to its inaugural event: “Remembering the Righteous: For the sake of humanity and in memory of the righteous who acted to save lives in different places of genocide.” At-tended by many of all faiths and from many cities and towns in Israel, the program offered presentations and discus-sions honoring the memory of Palestinians and other Arabs who saved the lives of Jews, honoring the memory of Jews who saved lives of Palestinians and other Arabs and an introduction to the movement "Gariwo: Gardens of the Righteous Worldwide." A variety of works designed for this focus will be on long-term display.
The Museum and Gallery is the home for a new program, "Artists Creating Peace,” where 20 Palestinian and 20 Jewish artists will spend several days and a long weekend together at the Museum and Spiritual Center, building networks for ongoing connections among Jewish and Palestinian artists, and jointly creating a piece of public art which will then be on exhibit. Museum Director Dyana Shaloufi-Rizek is currently cre-ating opportunities for engaging younger and older participants in the Museum and archive work.

Feb 20, 2015

Voices for Change

Yasmine
Yasmine

Voices for Change

Holding their voter registration cards, the pupils of the Primary School eagerly stood in line as they awaited their turn to cast their vote for the new chairs of the student committee. The student election process introduces the importance and impact of letting their voices be heard about what they believe in. This year, the winning candidates ran on platforms of increasing extracurricular activities like swimming lessons, time for activity breaks, implementing a ‘student teaching teachers’ week, and of course something all the pupils agree on, longer recess times.

Another avenue for letting students’ voices be heard is a visual communications class taught by Roy Etinger, a new addition to the NSWAS family. Roy joined the school with the goal of teaching the Primary School pupils a new way to express themselves. Calling his class, “Creative thinking with your mobile phone,” he believes that teaching kids to use their phones as something more than a selfie or gaming instrument will open up limitless possibilities. Kids can use the, “language of moving images as a bridge” to get their messages across. By the end of the year, the kids will have produced a one minute short film about themselves and their home, all while learning about framing, storytelling and editing.

Every student has a story to tell and it is our duty to give them the skills and tools to act on their ideas.  As a result, the Primary School aims to create programs that develop civically minded students who recognize the importance and responsibility of finding common ground and using that space to become role models and leaders for other students outside of the NSWAS Primary School. Close communication with our families and attention to ongoing research helps ensure we stay focused on cutting-edge educational practices and that are part of an inclusive plan. Because of your own commitment, NSWAS Primary School students learn to take part in shaping their world and become ambassadors of peace, one year at a time

 
   

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