Creativity has to be the guiding principle when the mission is to bring young Palestinian and Jewish Israelis together for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks! What’s going on at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam?
Iftar during Ramadan brings Palestinian and Jewish families together to share breaking the fast- the young people encounter each other during a scared time, sharing food and their daily lives,
while Jewish and Palestinian mothers do the same!
Longer-term youth encounters happen when Palestinian and Jewish youth from Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam join others from Israel, the West Bank and the US at the Artsbridge Institute for three weeks in the summer. These encounters are often the first time American youth realize that Jewish and Palestinian youth share common dreams for their lives. The encounters do more than build leadership and empathy through the arts; they build hope among the parents and extended families of all of these remarkable pioneers.
At the School for Peace, Jewish and Palestinian young professionals are encountering one another in the real world of the Hebron hills, through the SFP’s Change Agents course for Environmentalists. Working together to find answers to the challenges of water and energy in a conflict zone, the work of these young environmentalists gives encouragement to the many others who watch them and wonder if they, too, can dare to encounter the “other.”
And if Palestinian and Jewish Primary School children are too young to participate in a high school Youth Encounter, they are an example of a daily, year-long, living encounter. Recently, they shared their message through the arts with two elementary schools in Italy encouraging them to dream and work together for a future across the divisions of culture, language and religion.
Stay tuned- The School for Peace High School Youth Encounters will resume this Fall!