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The School for Peace

by American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace
The School for Peace

Environmental Change Agents

Despite mandated closures and the impossibility of meeting in person, 18 Jewish and Arab professional
environmentalists, part of the 2019-2020 School for Peace Change Agents Course, used technology to learn from about “A Century of Energy: The Generation of Electricity between Two National Movements” and the impact of age, nationality, gender and social status in the current crisis.

The issue of language was raised. When you have lectures or dialogues intended for all participants, which language should be spoken? Should a translator be present? Where Jews and Arabs are planning or working together, it is an essential question for creating the future.

Recent SFP Change Agents projects have included connecting a Palestinian town to the national
electric grid, planning ‘wetlands’ waste treatment projects in towns that lack sewage systems in the
Palestinian Territories, developing organic seed exchanges for Palestinian and Israeli farmers.

Change Agent’s Program for Lawyers

The second cohort of Jewish and Arab Lawyers, focused on Human Rights, held its 2nd meeting at the end of February. Coming up next: a meeting with Ayman Odeh, head of the Arab Joint Political List, exploring a proposal to establish a new Jewish-Arab political party. Political journalist Meron Rapoport
spoke about the developing cooperation between Jewish and Arab national politicians and what he sees
as the fading Israeli identity, and the role of society and government.

Ongoing

The Change Agent program for leaders in mixed cities begins April 17, 2020. April 10th saw the
second meeting of the graduate Change Agents mental health professionals program. Change Agents
graduate planners, architects and engineers’ graduates are meeting with the Arab Center for Alternative
Planning. All are focused on real-time changes on the ground.

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The School for Peace in its fifth year of partnership with the Arab Center for Alternative
Planning provided "Shared Cities", a course for Architects, Civil Engineers, and City
Planners. The program's meeting in late December for all Shared Cities graduates is
building a network focused on changing the face of urban planning throughout the
country.

The SFP has collaborated with four universities to deliver graduate-level courses
designed to foster dispute resolution skills and deepen participants' understanding of
conflict. Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Haifa University, and
Ruppin College all hold these classes during the academic year as part of existing
degree programs.

As an increasing number of people participate in SFP courses, SFP graduates make
their mark more widely in the nation. Peace Now director Shaqued Morag, who graduated from the 2016 Up-and-Coming Politicians Course, spoke recently at a conference of Israeli peace organizations in Ramullah. The speech was attended by over three hundred activists, many of whom have engaged with the SFP either through
taking a course or through partnership with their own organizations.

The School for Peace's impact and influence continue to grow. As more graduates use
the skills they have learned through the School for Peace, it is crucial that we
provide the SFP the necessary our support to do its work.

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The School for Peace has recently implemented several programs within and outside of the village. Shared Cities, a course for Architects, Civil Engineers, and City Planners, entered its fifth year in partnership with the Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP). The program will hold a meeting in late December for all Shared Cities graduates with the intent to build a network for those dedicated to changing the face of urban planning throughout the country.
The SFP has collaborated with four universities to deliver graduate-level courses designed to foster dispute resolution skills and deepen participants' understanding of conflict. Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Haifa University, and Ruppin College will all hold these classes during the academic year as part of existing degree programs.
While an increasing number of people become interested in SFP courses, SFP graduates continue to make their mark on the world. Peace Now director Shaqued Morag, who graduated from the 2016 Up-and-Coming Politicians Course, spoke recently at a conference of Israeli peace organizations in Ramullah. The speech was attended by over three hundred activists, many of whom have engaged with the SFP either through taking a course or through partnership with their own organizations. The School for Peace's impact and influence continue to grow. As more graduates enter use the skills they have learned through the School for Peace to change the world, it is more crucial than ever to give the SFP our support and attention.

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Congratulations to the graduating class of Building Peace and Resilience! The diploma award ceremony held on June 22 celebrated a group of 40 mental health professionals who had dedicated their time and effort towards advancing a Jewish-Arab society that can have a shared future. This Change Agents group, which included Palestinian and Israeli professionals, trained for 18 months to become facilitators for groups in conflict.

It has been a long and difficult journey for the group of 40 mental health professionals. Previous funding for this program, a $1,000,000 grant from USAID, was terminated on January 31st of 2019— along with all USAID funding throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Friends Associations from around the world, including AFNSWAS, stepped up to fill the gap with generous donations and pledges of support.

Because of our efforts, Building Peace and Resilience students and instructors were able to continue their incredibly important work. The tenacity and compassion of these change agents cannot be overstated. Help us support these SFP graduates and current students in their quest to create a better future.

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Work is underway for two Change Agents courses focusing on city planning and development! The Planners Course, which focuses on architecture and civil engineering as a means of social change, recently toured Wadi Ara and spoke with local officials about the challenges facing the communities in the valley. The valley suffers from housing discrimination against its Arab communities, which are frequently denied land and building materials. Planners Course participants learned from architects, committee chairs, and graduates of previous Planners Courses that have begun to work in the area. 
Meanwhile, the Mixed Cities Course met and shared the initiatives that they have been working on to strengthen mixed communities and increase civic involvement. The group, which is the fourth cohort to take part in the program, has designed a fascinating array of initiatives designed to bring multicultural communities together. Among those highlighted in the meeting were a database for cultural bilingual activities, an Arabic-Jewish photography Course, and a creative space in Jaffa that harnesses the power of narratives and help people from all walks of life tell their stories. 
The accomplishments of these Change Agents create a ripple effect, promoting justice and reconciliation in ways both expected and unforeseeable. Their ingenuity and dedication is only a small part of the work that the School for Peace does to create a better and more equitable future. 

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Project Leader:
Abir Elzowidi
Associate Director
Glendale, California United States

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