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We Are Thankful

This Year, Kids4Peace faced a world of violence and fear.

But we faced it together.

Over and over again, Kids4Peace came together when it seemed impossible.

At Ramadan iftar during the Gaza fighting.
At a demonstration for peace on the streets of Jerusalem.

We stood together. You stood with us.

With more than 100 youth at camps this summer – no cancellations.
With courageous parents who set their children on a path of peace.
With young leaders ready to move from dialogue to action.

You stood with us.
And it has made all the difference.

For the courage and strength to continue, we say thanks.

Shukran and Todah,
From all of us at Kids4Peace

Kids4Peace is thankful for you!
In the toughest times, we stand together.

Watch and Share.

10384548_584137851692281_1333149366989193792_nIn the wake of continued violence in Jerusalem, we in Kids4Peace decided to speak out. Dozens came out to show their support on last minute’s notice. With international and local press coverage and a wide array of religious and political support, we took our message to the streets.

We are tired of the violence and hatred. It’s time for the world to see our peaceful community of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, Israeli and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. It’s time to act for change. Together, peace is possible.

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Check out the event here.

See Event Photo Album HERE.

Kids4Peace Jerusalem was honored to have spent an evening with Shaun Casey, Special Advisor to John Kerry on Faith-Based Community Initiatives. After Rebecca and Mohammad had the opportunity to meet with Shaun last year at a RoundTable discussion hosted by the US Consulate, it was clear that a follow-up would have to take place. Rachel Leslie, the Cultural Affairs Office at the US Consul General in Jerusalem and supporter/friend of Kids4Peace Jerusalem, facilitated this private meeting with Shaun.

Toot and Louis, two Kids4Peace counselors in 11th and 12th grade told their stories to  Shaun and shared their hopes for the future of Israel and Palestine. Inspired by their passion and honesty, Shaun turned to us, the staff of Kids4Peace Jerusalem and asked “How can the US government help support your work?”

It’s not everyday that a top US State Department official can take two and a half hours to brainstorm with Kids4Peace youth and staff on how to do our work better. We feel so inspired by his dedication to our cause and look forward to more and more collaboration as Kids4Peace continues to work toward ending the conflict and inspiring hope for peace in Jerusalem.

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“It feels like a huge relief to take everything we’ve been doing for the last 5 years and finally the world will know about it. The program isn’t just about video, it’s giving us so many lessons and skills that we can use to spread the message.” – Emmamuel, age 15

As part of our mission to “Empower a movement for change“, Kids4Peace Jerusalem has launched a new social action project for its high school youth, titled “My Jerusalem”. This project, sponsored by the US Consul General of Jerusalem, will facilitate creating cross-border video newsletter, and will equip a core group of our Palestinian and Israeli youth to actively engage in promoting peace and mutual understanding. This project will provide a forum for sharing stories from people and places normally inaccessible to young people from different religious backgrounds. It will place a special focus on youth voices and their personal and religious connection to Jerusalem.

“I feel that the biggest challenge is being truthful about what I really feel and think without hurting my Israeli friends. In the Leadership Camp this summer, they taught us how to have a proper dialogue so that we can say what we mean and trust that we can be ourselves.” -Adan, age 15

A main goal in this program is for the newsletter team to show the reality of each other’s lives to the other side: both the positive elements and the challenges of injustice, fear, violence, and poverty. These local stories will honestly address the historical, political, cultural and religious dimensions of Jerusalem through the perspective of hopeful committed youth leaders who are working together for peace.

“When we do talk about the conflict and we say the really hard things, we have to learn how to put it aside after. I’m always worrying, is this going to affect the way we see each other after the dialogue? But so far it hasn’t.  I didn’t only have to learn the skill of how to listen, but also to trust that everyone else is learning it too and they’ll be able to set things aside when the dialogue is over.” -Emmanuel

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466Check out our latest Kids4Peace International Newsletter. Click here.