Summer Service Fund Reports
Report from Israel by Rachel Smith '03March 1 2002
Windows - Channels for Communication
Tel Aviv, Israel
From an early age, Jews and Palestinians in the region are exposed to misinformation and stereotypes about one another. Most grow up in segregated communities where opportunities for interaction are very limited. These circumstances, combined with the ongoing conflict, perpetuate the historical fears, prejudice and hatred that divide the two peoples. With the deterioration of the peace process and the increasing levels of violence, the feelings of alienation and distrust have only grow.
Windows, a non-profit organization in Tel Aviv, believes there are ways to end the cycle of hatred and violence. To help create an environment in which real peace can be achieved, the organization publishes Windows: Hebrew-Arabic Magazine for Children, a bilingual publication written by and for children of both nations. In addition, a series of lectures, art exhibitions and workshops for people of all ages aim to increase understanding and promote dialogue among members of both peoples. I spent the summer volunteering at Windows, working on many different aspects of the organization. It was an experience I will never forget, and which will inform my thinking about the Arab-Israeli conflict in the years to come.
Thank you for making it possible for me to spend an amazing summer at Windows.
Rachel Smith ‘03
On the first day of Windows’ workshop for Jewish and Arab youth, the
participants spent time getting to know each other and thinking about
the topics that would be included in the upcoming issue of Windows:
Hebrew-Arabic Magazine for Children.
Jewish and Arab youth having a journalism lesson in the city of Jaffa during the second day of the workshop. The day they spent together in Jaffa provided some of the Arab children with the opportunity to show their Jewish counterparts their homes and neighborhoods. The next issue of Windows: Hebrew-Arabic Magazine for Children will have a special segment on Jaffa.
After a long day in Jaffa, Adrieh and Elia sat for a few hours chatting on the grass in a park. They become friendly over the course of the workshop and even made plans to meet together outside of the Windows framework.
The participants met with an Israeli photographer active in covering the current conflict to hear some of his insights about photography and what he has seen in recent years.