The latent, often violent conflict in the Middle East makes an undisturbed relationship between the Jewish majority and the Arab-Israeli minority in Israel almost impossible. On top of that, another complicating factor is the fact that people mostly live in barely mixed communities and cities, and children and youth learn in separate schools. Arab-Israeli and Jewish children and youth have almost no opportunity to meet each other, let alone play or learn in the same classroom or in a common environment.
Projects for a dialog between children and youths
Since 2011, Kiriat Yearim has been supporting selected dialog and integration programs for cultural exchange between the Jewish and Arab-Israeli populations. We especially support selected projects that bring together Arab-Israeli and Jewish children and youth, promote openness, tolerance and mutual respect and help to reduce existing resentment. The aim of our mission is a peaceful coexistence of different cultures.
Current ongoing dialog projects in Israel
- Active, experienced and lived dialog in the Youth Village: The children and young people in our Youth Village are challenged every day anew to deal with different cultures and traditions in the country and also in the village. Kiriat Yearim supports selected activities and dialog projects directly in the Youth Village. Among other things, the Youth Village has a soccer team with enthusiastic Jewish and Arab-Israeli children from the surrounding area. They train and score goals together.
- The program «Together» in Ramle and Lod: Since 2007, Kiriat Yearim has been supporting the dialog program «Together» of the Trust, in which Muslim, Jewish and Christian mothers meet regularly with their children for play afternoons. They get to know each other, exchange ideas and reduce mutual prejudices.
- Professional work in a multicultural setting: Due to high demand, once a year, a multicultural workshop is held in Ramle and Lod for women, who work professionally with children and multicultural groups. The workshop is conducted by a Swiss social education worker. The group consists of Jewish, Muslim and Christian women. The workshop focuses on mutual exchange of experiences, sensitization and openness to the foreign, and the development of problem-solving strategies.
- Public library in Ramle: Children from Jewish and Israeli-Arabic kindergartens meet regularly and are introduced to each other's cultures through various activities such as reading stories and theater plays. They sing songs together in Hebrew and Arabic and despite the different languages they learn to play with each other.