The Breaking Down Borders program is an interfaith learning and peace-building program targeting 30 young Christian, Jewish and Muslim Israelis, from the ages of 15 to 17, boys and girls, from all over Israel.
Most young Jews and Arabs in Israel live in separate communities and attend different schools; they don't know about each other but believe in stereotypes and ignore the commonalities that exist between them. This program provides young people with an opportunity to meet and develop trusting relationships. It promotes values of respect for differences and builds a sense of justice. With these new skills, young people are more employable and less likely to want war in their country/communities.
After a preparation phase, the participants travel together for 6 days to different symbolic places. Activities address identity, diversity, recognizing each other's humanity and empowering the young participants both in formal and informal ways. They become more tolerant and understanding of one another, as they build a peaceful society.
The program creates a network of young people who will know the other side of the story and be aware of the shared heritage of the different cultures that exist in the region. Participants will take from the program a will to advance dialogue and peace in their communities and in their shared society/country.