Archives For Jerusalem: Leap

Houston camp visits NASA

merk4p —  August 13, 2015 — Leave a comment

by Dala, Muslim Counselor, K4P Jerusalem

unnamedIt was our last day at Camp Allen, so we ate breakfast and headed to NASA and now we’re spending this one night at the Clear Lake Islamic Center. Our big adventure of the day began in NASA. We ate lunch there and we had a slideshow about the background and current events of NASA.

Brian Duffy is a famous astronaut that we met today at NASA, who told us multiple stories of his experiences; some were happy and some were about difficulties he’s had during missions.

Each group went with one NASA staff member to have a guided tour all around the NASA museum, and the kids were amazed by each different step they were guided. We even saw what astronauts eat during their journey to the moon and what their restrooms look like.

We arrived at the Islamic center in time for dinner; then we will be leaving in the morning for the Cathedral church tomorrow.

The next mission for the astronauts is to land on Mars, so we’re hoping in the near future that Mars will have human footprints on it, just like the moon.

Everything is possible, if you BELEIVE.

“I am very happy I had the chance to visit NASA today. I got to see things I have never seen before in my life.” -Shahd, 13, Muslim

“We spend our time today with the astronauts it was an amazing time. We also watched a movie on a huge screen. It was a great time to be spent at.” -Cleo, 13, Christian

by Dala, K4P Muslim Counselor, Jerusalem
11846748_491779597655920_2136038619410923129_n 11836784_491780017655878_116455258060498258_nAnd we’re on the 6th day now, 5 more days to go. Today is our last night at Camp Allen so tomorrow we will be heading to the Islamic center to stay for one night.

We had another morning with a birthday and it was Lutfi’s birthday, one of the Jerusalem campers.

After breakfast we continued with our regular schedule with art, music, and Olympic Games.
Today was the last day to swim in the lake, so everyone had fun doing the blob, giant swing, iceberg, and the canoeing. After 2 hours of swimming and laughing it started to rain, so everyone started to run so we can get to the cabins as quickly as possible. This is Houston, it is very hot that it even starts to rain from that high temperature “Crazy Houston”.

We ended our night with a great movie “Apollo 13” which was considered a failure, but then ultimately a successful mission to the moon. Everyone sat with their pillows and blanket all in one room to watch that movie and we were getting the kids ready to our adventure tomorrow in NASA.

by Dala, Muslim Counselor, Houston Camp

11781603_491338397700040_5975133429892608350_n Time passes so quickly.  Here we are on the 5th day. We started our day with birthday’s songs because we had two birthdays for Stuart who is the director of camp, and for May who is another Jerusalem counselor, so lots of delicious cakes were eaten by everyone.

The next part of the day was the activity part and we went to the high rope courses.  It was so nice seeing the kids supporting each other when they are all on very high heights. We went swimming after the high-ropes because we needed a cold place to be in because Houston is so hot.

We ended our night with a campfire and we did s’mores. A camp with Kids4peace can’t be finished without a campfire which everyone sits together and just chat over the campfire with music and everything.


“Today we went to the high ropes, I was scared at the beginning, but then I got a lot of support from friends and I had so much fun I even did the zip-line.” -Marianne, 13, Christian

“Today I had so much fun I was partying so much and I had a blast at the lake because the activities were new to me and I experienced it for the first time.”  -Mira, 13, Muslim

by Bar, Jewish Faith Advisor, Houston Camp

11850747_922733204449971_7011123391240170244_o Today is a beautiful, cool morning with the birds singing, the sun coming out of the trees and the lake begins to shine bright. We have some nice ladies in the kitchen, who welcome us each day with their smiles. Some of the campers dressed nice for Sunday worship.

We went to the outdoor chapel to hear Rev. Dub Brooks preach about the importance of our mission and purpose. He showed us with exercise weights that you need to share your burden because we all have a bunch of weight that we carry. Peace can be a heavy weight, but if we all carry it together it can be a wonderful gift.

Later, each group had their own different activity. With my group, we went to do art with Natalia. We are doing a mural project, and our group got the letter D to design of Kids4Peace. Everyone was making their own design, and at the end we tried to find a way to bring them all together. The combination of all the camper’s designs looks beautiful. We also began to paint it, but we still have a lot to do.

11794296_922733174449974_6042341932211129231_oAfter lunch, we went to the basketball court and everyone got ice cream, candy and a basketball to play with. All the campers were smiling and happy. Afterwards, we all went to archery and then to swim. The campers were really excited, and waited patiently to get into the water. Everyone was surprised to feel how warm the water was. Most of the youth tried all the lake water park options: giant slide, blob, iceberg and canoes and paddleboards. After a nice dinner with lots of fried chicken, we closed out the weekend with a fun country dance.

A new Kids4Peace cheer

merk4p —  August 7, 2015 — Leave a comment

by Jack, Christian Advisor, Jerusalem Peace Builders

11865045_921381674585124_5174237745787187931_o   Before heading to bed after a long day of traveling by car, plane and bus, we all got reacquainted and familiar with each other’s names through some icebreaker activities and designing our name tags to represent a part of our identity.

Once everyone finished creating their unique name tags, each participant explained the meaning and story behind their names. It was interesting to hear everyone share their different stories around such personal and deep parts of who we are.

On Day 1 of the camp, we had a nice yummy breakfast of pancakes, hash browns, fruit and cereal before hiking along one of Camp Allen’s wooded trails towards the new Discovery Center. Here, the group was introduced to Stuart and all of the camp staff and then launched into a discussion and sharing activity around four main questions:

What I expect from the camp?
What I expect from my friends?
What I expect from myself?
What I expect from the staff?

11141748_921380491251909_6215707509080103438_oThe activity allowed each of us to think deeply and reflect upon our expectations for the 12 days ahead. Once finished, the group headed back for lunch and a music-making workshop with Billy Jonas. Billy beautifully led the group through some basic rhythms and peace songs to get everyone engaged and feeling their creative spirit coming out. We each received a pair of drumstick-pencils and were instructed to find some object or thing in the room to make sound with. The campers got very creative in their choices: coolers, cafeteria cups, chair legs, knees, decorative plants, door frames… you name it! It was a lot of fun watching the group work collectively and as a team to make the drumbeat.

Working up such a sweat from all the drumming required a refreshing dip in the pool. After swimming, we had a great scavenger hunt where the youth were running around the main campus looking for different clues and asking Camp Allen staff for help. The dramatic conclusion of the hunt led us to a nice spaghetti and meatball dinner. After a little free time, we met up with Billy for some more songs and song writing. We all laughed as we did different hand and body motions to the words of the songs. Part of our experience at camp this summer is to write and perform a song for friends and supporters of JPB-K4P. Tonight we came up with a few lyrics to get us started:

11794080_921380384585253_5963426609229845729_o“Inside were all the same, from our hearts to our brains, let’s all break the chains, of hating, open up the gates, find your friends and mates, drop the hot plates, start creating…

by Dala, Muslim, Counselor from Jerusalem

IMG_9990Finally after the long journey of everyone from Jerusalem, Boston, and Seattle everyone made it to camp Allen in Houston. It was so nice seeing the kids reuniting together. We started our day with a small hike around the camp and the kids got amazed by the views they saw and different animals they met on our way. The next part was a short dialogue about the kid’s expectation from themselves, camp, other kids, and staff.

Later, we had a musician playing instrument with the kids. Music can be done with everything. The kids also swam today since it is very hot in Houston. We had a special game called scavenger-hunt the kids worked in groups and it went all well and they got to know more about the camp.


More than 250 Youth, Family Members, Staff & Community Leaders gathered together on Thursday December 19, 2013 from across East & West Jerusalem and the West Bank. For many, the event was the first time venturing outside after days of Jerusalem’s most intense snowstorm in over a century.

The Kids4Peace community was honored to receive blessings by prominent local clergy members from the three religions including former MK Rabbi Michael Melchior, Father Sanni Ibrahim Azar, and Emam Hosein Abed Gomaa. The community was inspired and encouraged to continue coming together amid rising regional political tension, an unpromising peace process, and increased violence. Rabbi Melchior challenged the community to “listen to other people’s dreams and change our destiny.” He proclaimed to the audience boldly, “We are not destined to fight and kill each other.”

After the blessings, the Jerusalem Youth Chorus of the YMCA performed songs in Hebrew and Arabic, filling the auditorium with cheer and song. Executive Director Josh Thomas honored Kids4Peace’s longest-serving staff, and Jerusalem Co-Directors Mohammad Joulany and Rebecca Sullum announced a new community service partnership with Hadassah Hospital. Staff and volunteers then led activity stations, including art, drumming, and cookie decorating.

The art station featured an array of gifts for the youth to decorate which Kids4Peace will be donating to children hospitalized at Hadassah Hospital as part of a new volunteering relationship with the Mount Scopus branch of Hadassah Hospital. Kids4Peace Jerusalem will be visiting the pediatric ward regularly to run activities for the youth in the hospital.

For the first time ever– Kids4Peace Grandmother Jihan Raouf led an incredible cookie-decorating station, featuring her own homemade cookies! Guests had choices of toppings, spreads, icing, candy and sprinkles for the most colorful and exciting cookies Jerusalem has ever seen.

Kids4Peace counselors in training created and ran a Kids4Peace game with prizes including new Kids4Peace merchandise.

The Fundraising Raffle was a huge success and congratulations to Leap4Peace member Aviya Cohen on selling the most tickets! Special thank you to our sponsors: Guiding Star Travel, Sbitany and Sons, and the Village Green.

The event was a blast for all who attended as community members of all ages rekindled their connections and friendships. Thank you to everyone who participated and we look forward to next year’s winter event already!


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Community Weekend

rachlf —  April 25, 2013 — Leave a comment

What else has been happening at Kids4Peace Jerusalem? We’re glad you asked! This past weekend 31 youth from our Leap program participated in a Kids4Peace “Community” weekend in the north of Israel. Leap is a continuation program for our 7th graders after they attend camp in the US. In the Leap year they are focused on the themes of friendship and community; continuing the relationships that began in year 1. The weekend included 10 participants from the Jaffa chapter and 21 from Jerusalem. They were also joined by four new youth counselors who had recently completed their counselor training course – we couldn’t have been happier to have them!


They spent time discussing their ideal communities, engaging in team building activities, and learning together in an interfaith text session on community. Participants took part in role-play sessions concerning the challenges that can arise in a community and shared ideas about what they hoped to gain from their Kids4Peace community. It sounds to us like they had an amazing weekend!


A lot is happening here in Jerusalem and we’re excited to continue sharing the work that Kids4Peace is doing!