Exploring Emotions: Vermont/New Hampshire Spring Retreat

by Nancy Stone

Our Spring over-night retreat took place April 16-17 at sisters Lola and Zelda’s spacious home in New Hampshire with 15 alumni and adults attending.  Our first activity was lessons in Arabic. Then, divided into two groups, we were told to create skits using only Arabic, adding new vocabulary as needed.  One teen remarked, “That wasn’t super hard!”  Someone else commented, “It felt good to be a little part of your culture.”  Shukran, Abeer and Lana.

The unusually warm evening found us walking through a covered bridge leading to a pizza place.  After supper on the deck beside the Contoocook River, we returned home for popcorn and the animated movie “Inside Out”, which is a fun but richly layered exploration of personality, memory and emotions. Our follow-up discussions asked: Which emotions do you feel most often?  What are your core memories?  Which emotions do you think our society values over others?  The adult staff participated by drawing a map of their own “islands of personality.”

After breakfast the next day, we lined up single-file for a silent meditation walk down the quiet street, with a focus on our breath and steps rather than the environment.  This led to sharing time about how to use this skill to calm and focus in daily life.

Art teachers Jill and Nancy then taught everyone how to make their own musical flutes called, ocarina, from kits ordered on-line.  The pre-cut wooden sections were like a puzzle needing to be carefully pieced and glued together; cooperation was often sought from a neighboring crafter.  Once the four-hole instruments were completed, everyone gathered outside to practice songs.  The activity became a metaphor for the peace-making process that leads to making beautiful music together.

May Marathons4Peace



Peacebuilding is a marathon. Our brave young peacebuilders in Jerusalem and the United States spend six years in Kids4Peace, building the skills and community they need to help heal our divided societies. This May, two Kids4Peace staff members will be running literal marathons to raise money for this summer’s programs that will bring together our Muslim, Jewish, and Christian youth — Palestinian, Israeli, and North American — as they take step after step after step in their journey toward peace.

Jeff (Northern New England Regional Director) will be running the Middlebury Maple Run (half-marathon) on Sunday, May 1. On the other side of the continent, on the same day, Jordan (Northwest Regional Director) will be running the Vancouver Marathon.

Our goal is to raise $5200, which represents 50 youth getting one day of Kids4Peace programming this summer. Will you help us to meet this goal? Help provide one day of life-changing programming that allows our youth to meet the other, to learn about each other’s religion and culture, and to develop precious skills in peacebuilding dialogue. Help provide one day of programming to heal the rifts in Jerusalem and to combat the rising tide of religious intolerance in the United States. Help us move #ForwardTogether.

Kids4Peace NH/VT Reunite

by Nancy Stone, K4P NH/VY 
Vermont and New Hampshire kids and parents of recent Kids4Peace local and national camps met Saturday November 21st for a much anticipated reunion.  Though some of us keep in touch via social media, it’s so much better to meet in person as we play outdoor games, listen to guitar music, and gobble snacks.  Meeting in the lovely Dartmouth College chapel, we ended our reunion by reflecting on how the Kids4Peace experience has affected us personally.  Zelda Will GaemHere are a few of the shared comments:
       *  K4P gave me a new sense of the world and now my best friends are people on the other side of Earth.  It was an amazing experience.
      *  K4P has transformed my view of the world.  It has given me an outlet to share love, understanding and empathy with people from many different cultures and backgrounds.  K4P is also a vehicle for us all together to join in the effort to expand mutual respect, human dignity and with them, to build a peaceful world.
     *K4P opened a new world for me.  It showed pain, suffering, and hatred.  I have learned that no truth is the same truth but it is the truth of your heart. I’ve learned that if you don’t go into a difficult topic with an open mind, nothing is possible.  K4P shows peace is possible, even with kids.
     *  K4P helped me to understand how people are connected to each other and what different religions are about.
     *  Kids4Peace changed my life because it made me realize that I am not the only one who matters and that I should put others before me.reunion group photo


We can do it better, we can live together…Kids 4 Peace!

Interfaith Service 8/15We were so fortunate to have campers from all three levels of K4P VT/NH: Will was from this summer, Shoshana and Aaron were from the continuation 2nd year camp and Lana was from Leadership camp.  The campers read teachings from their faiths while Nancy and Areej led other parts of the service.  Then, Jeff and each of the kids spoke about the rich experiences they had through Kids4Peace.  A member of the congregation played the concertina to teach “Peace Salaam Shalom” that we’d learned from Chelsea at camp.  The benediction was composed from phrases taken from the Prayer Flags made at camp, now divided between Jerusalem, New Hampshire and Vermont.  The congregation was most appreciative and we adults were so very proud of our young ambassadors!

May 3: Fundraiser with the Tall Granite Big Band

Kids4Peace NH Fundraiser Featuring the Tall Granite Big Band

TGBB Pitmans2-2015Sunday, May 3, 3pm

South Congregational Church, Concord
(27 Pleasant St / Concord, NH 03301)

$15 suggested donation

On Sunday, May 3 at 3 pm, at Concord’s South Congregational Church, the 18-member Tall Granite Big Band will perform a fundraiser Swing jazz concert benefiting Kids4Peace New Hampshire. We will be accepting $ 15 donations at the door.

Contact either the Rev. Dick Dutton (rdutton@tds.net, 603/526-4541) or Rabbi Robin Nafshi for more details.

April 26: Gershon Baskin speaks in Portsmouth on “The Chances for Israeli/Palestinian Peace”

The Chances for Israeli/Palestinian Peace Post Israeli Election

Sunday, April 26, 5pm at 319 Vaughan St, Portsmouth, NH
Admission: Free, however, please register if you plan to attend.

Register here: http://www.3sarts.org/performances/performance/Israeli-Palestinian-Peace-Discussion-w–Dr.-Gershon-Baskin?performanceid=960


On Sunday, April 26 at 5 p.m., Dr. Gershon Baskin, renowned peace activist, journalist and author, will be speaking at an event co-presented by 3S Artspaces, The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire, and Kids4Peace, an organization that brings together youth from Israel/Palestine and the United States with the goal of building bridges among Muslims, Jews and Christians.

Dr Baskin has been actively involved in the peace movement for many years and is currently a member of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum. He has written widely on the peace process and has won a number of international awards for his efforts. Dr Baskin has been a columnist for the The Jerusalem Post since 2005 and continues to travel tirelessly to promote peace in the region. He was personally responsible for the successful negotiations with Hamas that led to the release of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit.

In his talk at 3S, Dr Baskin will explore the question of whether a lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis is still possible in light of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent re-election. He will also discuss Palestinian international diplomatic strategy and international pressures facing Israel. In addition, he will address US/Israeli relations and the role of American Jewry both in US and Israeli politics.       Dr. Baskin’s speech will be followed by a Q& session.

Arrive at 4:30 and meet representatives of Kids4Peace.