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Letter From Rachel

Dear Friends,

During the last few months, arranging meetings between Jewish and Arab teenagers in the Galilee has been both challenging and rewarding. The memories of 1948 loom large, stirring profound emotions among Jews and Arabs alike.

Navigating these tensions, we persist in our mission to foster understanding and empathy between Jews and Arabs. Our recent gatherings reflect this commitment.

At the Assif Jewish High School in Misgav, students met with their peers from the Druze school in Yarka  to engage in heartfelt discussions. They developed a deep sense of connection and a hunger for more encounters. Their maturity and openness filled me with excitement and admiration.

Similarly, at the meeting in Kibbutz Evron, 10th graders from the Ofek Regional School and the Shalom School from Shikh Daron joined together over lunch. Honest exchanges revealed mutual fears and dispelled misconceptions, laying the groundwork for future interactions.    

In Bir El Maksor, the teenagers from the Katzir High School in Misgav were hosted by their peers from the Atid Bedouin School. The joy of collaboration radiated through shared meals and envisioning ideal relationships. Each interaction deepened bonds and broadened perspectives.  At the end of this heart-warming session, students were asked to share one word that best summed-up their feelings. Here are some of the words that were offered: unity, friendship, love, fun, participation, acceptance, and connection. 

At the end of May, 11th graders from Jewish and Arab communities in the Upper Galilee convened online with their peers from the Park School in Baltimore. The hour-long discussion highlighted the struggles of the Galilee residents amidst ongoing conflict. Their resilience and eagerness to connect resonated deeply, as they eagerly anticipate future exchanges, both virtual and in person.

I am thrilled to announce a summer retreat this August in Israel, made possible by a generous donation from the William and Irene Weinberg Family Foundation. This initiative will further nurture relationships among Jewish and Arab students, culminating, God-willing, in a delegation to the USA (NYC, Baltimore, and DC) in September 2024.

I thank our supporters who continue to believe in our sacred work.

Warm regards,

Dr. Rachel Ravsin-Ravid

Director, Galilee Dreamers                                                                                              

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