On Thursday, June 15th, Kids4Peace held our annual community Iftar event. Our entire community had the opportunity to join the Pathways for Peace (6th and 7th grade) Iftar and community service drive, funded by USAID. It was a moving, fun, inspiring, family-filled evening. With speeches from Meredith and Reeham, and two of our K4P youth, Eliana and Omri, a Ramadan coloring and lantern making station for kids, the charity drive, and two big interfaith text study sessions all happening before the meal even began, it was truly a community event.
This time, thanks to USAID and the amount of people that came, we were able to get everyone even more involved than in previous years. For the first time at a K4P Iftar, in honor of Ramadan and our K4P values, we organized the charity drive. As people entered, we collected secondhand clothes and toys to be donated to Muslim, Jewish and Christian families in need all around Jerusalem. Each family was also asked to bring a dish to share with everyone. Also, thanks to an incredible donation by K4P father, Jared, we were able to greatly minimize our plastic use and waste production due to his generous donation of plates and silverware, which we will use at every future community event to come. At the end of the meal, there was a washing station set up which allowed us, as a community, to all clean up together.
Omri, a Palestinian Muslim 10th grader, spoke about Ramadan and what it means to him to celebrate his holiday and traditions alongside his Kids4Peace friends. Eliana, a Jewish Israeli 9th grader, spoke of similar themes, and of the power and hope Kids4Peace gives her.
With 300 people in attendance, I heard people remark on what an amazing community Kids4Peace really is. Everyone participated in making the evening a success, and everyone left with their bellies full and their faces smiling.
The opportunity to celebrate each other’s holidays in Kids4Peace, together, is meaningful and unique. For the Jewish and Christian youth at the Iftar event, to learn about Ramadan and to experience an Iftar meal, is a rare opportunity that helps connect the youth even more and helps them learn more about other religions and cultures.
We are so grateful for our amazing community, and for the hope and power you give to us and we continue giving to each other. We are grateful to USAID for making this evening possible.