There is never a dull moment here at Kids4Peace Jerusalem! While our 6th graders were learning more about Orthodox Easter in the Old City, Roots was in the north of Israel participating in a weekend seminar about racism. Roots is the second year continuation program for returning 8th graders and it is during this year that they begin to focus on their personal identity and explore how it fits into the larger community. They gather monthly to visit each others’ neighborhoods and sacred places as well as to volunteer in the community. The seminar took place at Nes Ammim, a kibbutz located between Acco and Nahariya that was founded after the Holocaust by European Christians as a sign of solidarity and good faith with the Jewish people. What a great place for Kids4Peace to be and we’re so grateful to them for hosting us!
While a weekend focused on racism can be tough and difficult at times, the group started the seminar with a fun and enjoyable boat ride around the Old City walls of Acco. With a great start to the seminar behind them, they jumped straight into the depth of the weekend. On Saturday the youth participated in discussions and activities surrounding racism, stereotypes and discrimination. Each participant was given an ethnicity and based on that were given a certain, different type of food. This challenged them to think about the equality of what each participant was given and the effects of these divisions. How does it feel to be judged based on your culture, religion, or ethnicity? What have you heard about or personally experienced with discrimination and stereotyping?
In addition to this exercise, the group engaged in discussions surrounding situations of racism in Israel and Palestine in different communities and learned about leaders from around the world who have fought against racism. They also learned how they can combat racism in their own communities. A highlight of the weekend, removed from the idea of racism, was the master chef competition where the youth were divided into teams competing to create the most original and beautiful chocolate balls. Sounds like a pretty fun and delicious way to end the weekend to us!
Another weekend, another amazing seminar for our continuation program participants! As always, we look forward to keeping you up to date on what’s happening in Jerusalem!