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Galilee Dreamers visit South Africa

Jewish Cape Chronicle

Feb 1, 2023

It starts with me – together we lead for change

For several years, the International School of Oranim College of Education has led the Galilee Dreamers programme, which aims to promote relationships and connections based on ideas of dignity and hope between Jewish and Arab teenagers in the Galilee region of Israel. The Galilee Dreamers is a three-year programme for teens in Grades 10 – 12 from several carefully chosen Galilee Jewish and Arab high schools from different cultural backgrounds, such as Druze, Bedouin, Muslim, Christian and Jewish, from urban and rural communities. The programme comprises facilitated encounters and activities focused on leadership, dialogue, and peace education. All activities are characterised by open discussion about these topics, emphasising understanding, acceptance, and future cooperation. Some of the meetings take place on Zoom with partner communities worldwide.

Given the conflicting reality in Israel, the Galilee Dreamers programme sees in its vision the need for optimal communication between Jewish and Arab high school students, to break barriers in an era of ongoing political conflict. The programme promotes a long-term commitment to living together in a society of different identities.

As part of their leadership development, the young dreamers engage with communities all over the world. They undergo a process of empowerment, moving from deep social crises to understanding the need to promote a society based on human rights. The experiential learning while visiting South Africa will focus on communicating with the other and sharing thoughts about promoting young leadership for shared community within various global contexts. Together they will play, laugh, eat, learn and party, while celebrating diversity. In the workshops, they will share personal and collective narratives, and practice active listening, empathy and problem-solving given their role in leading for social change in their communities.  

Thanks to the generosity of donors in South Africa, Israel and the United States, 22 Galilee Dreamers – three professional educators and 19 teenagers – will participate in a programme of activities in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Cape Town leg will include a three-day youth-leadership camp where they will meet and engage with youth of their age from Ikamva Youth. The remainder of their time in Cape Town will include visits to various places of memory, where the group will have the opportunity to experience and observe apartheid through their own lenses.

Says Dr Rachel Ravid, “My wish is that through the various exhibitions, our kids will be able to recognise their own hidden stories and relate with dignity towards the stories of the other.”

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