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nting a seed for the future

Jewish-Arab relations and coexistence is, without a question, one of the toughest and most complex matters of concern to the State of
Israel. The gaps are huge, the cultural-religious-national disparities are practically unbridgeable; yet many believe that coming together,
getting acquainted and accepting each other is what does the work, and must continue to do so.
For the past four years, students at Megido High School have been participating in the “Spring Encounters” project at the Yigal Alon Center
on Kibbutz Ginosar, with the support and backing of the Partnership.
“Four years ago we contacted the Yigal Alon Center on Kibbutz Ginosar regarding a project called ‘Spring Encounters’, which was pio-
neered by Yigal Alon while he was alive," explains Talia Galindez, a Ramot Menashe resident and 25-year veteran teacher at Megido High
School who is coordinator of the Humanities Multidisciplinary Learning Center.
"These ‘encounters’ were between artists of differing religions,” she continues.
“After Alon's passing, the Center transformed this project into encounters be-
tween Jewish, Arab, Druze and Circassian youths. Each class visits the Yigal
Alon Center twice a year, for an entire day, to meet with Arab peers in the same
school grade. We've been meeting with a school from Shfaram for three years
and this year we will meet with students from Daliyat al-Karmel who attend the
ORT School of Science and Leadership.”
“The encounters with Shfaram," explains Talia, “are much more complex in
terms of Arab-Jewish relations. Here, you are required to answer questions
regarding your identity in order to determine your affiliation and who you are.
These encounters generate tricky challenges that require participants to open
up, accept others different from them and have the capacity to accept and
embrace the differences. There is a clear right-wing tendency among Jewish
youths today, which only makes the situation more difficult. The Yigal Alon
Center employs excellent facilitators and we are all partners in this project. We
organize encounters that involve joint creations and shared activity in games.
These are 9th graders, so we don’t deal with politics. This experience is not life
changing,” says Talia, “but it’s a small taste that certainly leaves some sort of impression. We’re planting a seed for the future that we hope
will succeed somewhat in diminishing stereotypes. One student said to me today, ‘We've learned that they are actually just like us’. That’s
important and it’s also an achievement. The Partnership’s involvement in this project,” sums Talia, “is very welcomed and appreciated.”





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