Global Grant 1636666:
Rotary Peace Education Initiative
Rotary International has in May 2016 approved our Global Grant application for this initiative. It was provisionally approved by the Club Board in October 2015.
The program aims at
1) educating an Israeli Jewish and Arab youth leadership
team to lead changes towards the development of a truly
2) acquiring skills for non-violent conflict management and
3) inspiring dialogue, tolerance and hope among young
Our partners in this initiative are Rotary clubs and Districts on 3 continents:
* The Rotary Club of Mönchengladbach Germany in
* The Rotary Club of Southeast Tulsa in District 6110
in the US;
* District 6060 in the US;
* District 9675 in Australia;
* Rotary Club San Jose East Evergreen in District 5170
in the US;
* District 5330 in the US.
Here we also wish to express our gratitue to all our individual members who saw it their duty to contribute financially, so that this project can be realized.
Following the project approval by the RI, initial meetings have been held with the Leyada high school in Jerusalem and the Ein Rafa & Ein Nakuba high school. The preparation for the start of the program in September 2016 included agreements on procedures and recruitment; teacher training sessions and student selection for the coming year.
To see a short version of the program, click on the left PDF-icon for a summary in writing or on the right one for a presentation in pictures and shorter texts.
If you wish to read a more detailed version of the proposal,
please apply to the committee via the Contact Form.
Text version Images version
Rotary Peace Education Initiative
Update Report December 2016
June-August 2016 – Recruitment and training of teachers and staff
September 2016 – Recruitment of program participants
October – November 2016 – Program sessions in Jerusalem/ Galilee
December 2016 – First joint Seminar in Cabri, West Galilee.
Jerusalem Rotary Club President Dan Shanit joined by the project leaders Arik Gutler Ophir and Hanan Hadad embarked on their visits to the four participating schools back in June 2016, meeting with the school headmasters, teachers and educators of the Hebrew University High School (Leyada) and the Branco Weiss School of Ein Rafa, - in Jerusalem and the Cabri High School and the Sheich Danoun High School in the Western Galilee. These regional schools, Jewish and Arab cater for youth emanating from 17 different towns and villages in the Jerusalem and the Western Galilee regions.
Following presentations of the initiative and consultations with the educators – some minor adjustments to the project have been introduced and a final scheme has been agreed for both the annual program as well as the following summer camp.
Teachers for all 4 school groups – 2 Arabs and 2 Jewish – have been recruited and took part in three intensive preparatory workshops with the participation of a seasoned group psychologist consultant.
September 2016 saw the recruitment effort by both teachers and project leaders of the participating youth. Successful presentations in all 4 schools resulted in an overwhelming demand and the registration of 52 participants, an equal number of Arab and Jews males and females.
The program was initiated in unilateral sessions in all four schools with a position questionnaire so as to establish a baseline. This was followed by a serious of mutual half-day regional sessions alternating between the schools over October and November.
The subject matter of these joint sessions focused on national conflicts, solutions and agreements with the Northern Ireland issue being used a study model.
December 2016 saw the first joint seminar of the entire group hosted by Manor Cabri high school. The seminar was planned as a simulation game whereby the participants were to deal with a proposal by the Northern Ireland Republicans to abolish the Good Friday Agreement following the UK’s referendum outcome of the Brexit – departure from the EU.
While the discussions and compromise solutions offered by the youth were interesting, - the most exciting part of the meeting was the experiential learning. The youth were hosted in the homes of Western Galilee participants when the Jerusalemite Jewish kids were the guests of Arab participants and Arab kids were hosted by Jewish families. It was interesting to follow the anxious parents’ phone calls to the teachers throughout the evening…
The following morning started by exciting stories about the previous evening and the overall response was one of exaltation. The youth described in very favorable terms their first ever visit to the “other’s” home, the meeting with the family, the dinner served and the overall fun in the “discovery”.
As part of the program, the youth participated in social games. Having been asked to gather in couples, each was to identify two indicators of similarity and difference between them. Interestingly, not one has mentioned their origin – Jewish and Arab. When challenged by the moderator – the typical answer was “we are all human”.