Healing words

Tales of dialogue

I read two stories that made me happy today, so I thought I'd break from my usual blogging model and pass them along.

Jonathan of Head Heeb blogged about Bridge Over the Wadi, a bilingual school in Kfar Kana which brings Jews and Arabs together; it's beginning its second year of programming this fall. "There's a certain amount of self-selection among the families that participate in this school," he writes. "[S]ome are mixed couples, and the others by definition have an active interest in bridging the Jewish-Arab divide. Even these, however, have found that they have a great deal to learn about each other, and as their interaction has become more natural, they have benefited from the learning." (Here's the Ha-aretz story at the heart of his blog post.)

And in Thank G-d for Summer Camp, Sarah of Jewschool posts about 3rd annual Oseh Shalom Sanea al-Salam Peacemakers Weekend at Camp Tawonga, a three-day program dedicated to creating dialogue around the Israel/Palestine issue. "90 participants from places as far flung as Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jenin and Palo Alto lived, ate, played, sang, talked, smoked, joked, argued, clashed, agreed, disagreed and burped babies together while sharing their stories about Israel and Palestine," she says. Her post includes a moving quote from an Israeli man about sharing talk and cigarettes with a man he'd once considered an enemy.

Difficult as dialogue can be, I'm really glad to see evidence that it's happening. Hearing each others' stories, and acknowledging each others' truths, can be a powerful first step toward changing the world.

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