According to Kids4Peace Jerusalem, the tour was meant to provide Jerusalem youths with a multi-narrative educational tour and to guide participants “toward overcoming collective fears."
Rabbi Keith Stern introduced the students, saying their advocacy gives him hope. “Every day I read the news and it breaks my heart,” he said. “I thought of the three main Western religions and how they have a prayer for peace. It’s a beautiful prayer, but peace takes will and commitment. It’s about love and respect.”
Twenty-eight Muslim, Christian and Jewish teenagers from Jerusalem and throughout the United States took to Capitol Hill in support of a bill to encourage peace between Israel and the Palestinians
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.”
"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."
“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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
“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.”
"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.
"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."
"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
|NPR: WBUR – Radio Boston||Muslim, Jewish And Christian Kids From Boston And Jerusalem Meet For PeaceLast week, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met for the first peace talks in five years. But there was a different kind of peace talk going on right here in Boston — among a group of 12-year-olds|
|Jerusalem Post||Letter from America: Obama’s peace assets in the Middle East Kids4Peace and countless other organizations … day in, day out build long-term bonds and dependence between Palestinians and Israelis.|
|Brattleboro Reformer||Kids4Peace bridges differences between religionsWatching the teens interact and listen to each other, it is clear that they have developed tremendous respect for one another as individuals.|
|Huffington Post||Overcoming Barriers to PeaceWhen 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.|
|CNN Belief Blog||My Take: An American Jew finds MLK – and a new understanding – on the West BankWe meet with a group of young men and women calling themselves Kids for Peace: Palestinians, Christians, Jews, Israelis, Muslims. They get together regularly and share stories; they bring their parents together across the enmity formed by walls and fences. I see my son in them.|
|US State Department Blog||Creating a More Peaceful World through Youth and Music ProgramsKids4Peace, 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 Living Church||Camp Teen Accords:Praying together in nature points to common ground“We try to help Palestinians and Israelis reclaim attitudes and behaviors about crossing boundaries,” Porter said. “We help them take risks that they can’t take on their own.”|