IN THE PRESS
"As missiles and airstrikes, rage and tragedy fill this summer’s news out of Israel and Gaza, a group of 35 middle-school-age children have gathered south of Mount Vernon at Camp Brotherhood."
"I hope to create a new …language for peace, more fitting to the society of which I am a part. We need a language we can not only speak, but live by. Kids4Peace, now in its tenth year, has become a cultural movement, an educational tool, and an interfaith strategy for peace that is practiced in the very midst of violence."
The thread that has gone through my life is helping kids reach their potential and understand the potential of everyone around them. To train them to be leaders, and as an educator, to train them to be good thinkers.
"Those kids...have built a bridge of hope into my heart." The aim of this multi-faith program is to begin building relationships based on trust and respect.Facilitated discussions, exercises and games help the campers to learn skills in listening, empathy and conflict resolution
"When we have families of our own, we'll have the peace already built inside us, it's already running through our veins, it will be much easier."
“After about three weeks of tension where people withdrew into their homes and their own communities, we started little by little gathering again. Folks from across the lines of conflict started realizing they do have a partner on the other side.”
"My family and neighbors, they didn’t approve. They didn’t understand why I was working with “the enemy”, like a betrayer. I was super isolated from my community, personally affected by the war, my cousin passed away. But I continued."
"The kids spend time at a summer camp in New Hampshire, and also explore Boston together. But this is just the beginning: the kids continue to meet in their respective cities each month, learning about conflict resolution and nurturing friendships across religious and cultural lines."
"Does the peace-building process end after one camp? What happens after the kids leave the camp, leave the United States, and go back to their highly segregated neighborhoods? Rouach pointed out that, in Jerusalem, the kids are "scared to go into each other's neighborhoods."
"For the first time since that last cursed summer of violence, the scars on my heart stopped their screaming. I understood that now I am on my way home, back to Jerusalem, to struggle there for a true and holy change."
“To put yourself out there and talk about really personal beliefs; to tell your story, often not in their native languages, to your peers, is so brave,” said Sindy Wayne, incoming executive director of Kids4Peace Boston.
"Most people say … 'death to all Arabs.' It's very hard for me because now I have Arab friends and Muslim friends and a lot of friends that are different from me that I can't share with people because they don't have the same points of view."
Teaching your kids to “respect” someone else’s religion and culture from a distance is not the same as breaking bread and trying on their shoes and walking around for a bit.
“The concept of peace is really important to me,” said Omar, one of the Muslim campers from Jerusalem. “Solving [the Arab-Israeli] conflict is one of my greatest ambitions.”
We’re counting down the days!
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