On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 6th and 7th graders (Pathways to Peace program) had the opportunity to explore Akko/Akka for the day with tour-guides and educators, Tamer and Carmiel.
Our first stop was Napoleon’s Hill, a place to see the city from above and an interesting active archaeological digging site. They learned about the city’s history and talked about what they were digging for at the site. They also began thinking about why, as a group from Jerusalem, they were going to be exploring Akko/Akka all day.
From there, the group continued to the Crusader’s Fortress, where they split into groups and explored the ancient site, acting out scenes with their groups of what the Knights would have been doing in the different rooms.
Next, we went to the beautiful and famous el-Jazzar Mosque (built in 1781), where we were able to go in and see the inside of the Mosque, and then sit in the courtyard to talk about the history of the Mosque and learn more about Islam. The youth engaged in interesting discussions about the different traditions of dress and head-coverings in the different religions, and the Muslim youth took turns explaining what some of the different things we had seen inside of the Mosque were.
Afterwards, we visited the Ramchal synagogue (built in the 16th century) and learned about the Rabbi of the synagogue for which it was named, as well as more about Judaism. The group spoke a lot about culture vs. religion, and how often they are closely intertwined. We also discussed what it means to build a community and how to be a part of different communities, how to become a person that can allow their different worlds to meet. They were also asked about holy things meeting, like visiting a mosque and a synagogue in the same day, and were asked to think about how to build a community that can bring such holy places together. When we asked the youth what kind of values the Kids4Peace community has, they said: friendship, tolerance, honesty, kindness, and inclusiveness.
The tour of Akko/Akka was educational, fun, inspiring, challenging and thought-provoking. The youth finished the day with many questions and new ideas, talking with their friends about what they had seen and done. Thank you to Tamer and Carmiel for leading the youth on this journey of questions, thought and self-reflection and growth.
For pictures, go to our Facebook page. More photos will be uploaded each day: Camp 2017 Photo Album