Shalom Salam Hello
I'm part of a project that deals with co-existence between Jews and Muslim Arabs. The name of the project is JITLI= JACOBS INTERNATIONAL TEENLEADERSHIP INSTITUTE. The 40 participants of this project are:10 Jewish teenagers from Shaar Hanegev Israel, 10 from San Diego USA, 10 Bedouin teenagers from Segev Shalom and 10 from Laquiya .All participants are at the end of the 11th grade. The number of the boys equals to the number of the girls during the year each community prepares itself to the challenging summer. The beginning point of the trip is equal to all the communities.
This project is a vision of Jacobs family from San Diego. Gary and Jerri-ann Jacobs. The summer trip began in San Diego Cal, after a week there, the group continued to Spain, Granada, Cordova, Toledo and the last week was in Israel: Jerusalem and Negev.
The teenager boys and girls were fascinated, full with admiration and curiosity and were ready to discuss the questions, conflicts that rose during the trip.
Some of the questions were:
1.what is my identity? Jewish or Israeli? Jewish or American? Moslem, Palestinian, Israeli, Bedouin. What is my personal order?
2. Modernization and traditions, religions and traditions, what is my personal preference? We visited synagogues, mosques, churches. We found a lot of subjects that are similar in those religions.
3. boys and girls that different from each other culturally and religiously, what are the possibilities of building bridges of friendship among them?
4. What are the feelings to experience historical events in the places they happened?
5. What is the contribution of such a trip to the advancements of the relationship between Jewish and Bedouins that live together in the Negev?
I finalize this post by giving my opinion about the cultural differences among the communities.
The American youth are very much involved, we can feel and hear them, they always have something to say; they know the limits between allowed and forbidden.
The Bedouin youth are very sensitive, quiet, and proud in their tradition and keep it when ever it committed. During the trip they always came to me and asked if I need any help, to carry, to sit….most of them say their opinions only if it suits the tradition and religion but some of them very bravely said their opinions although it was against their accepted tradition.
The Jewish Israeli youth think, are sensitive, have what to say, protecting Israel positions, sometime are confused and do not know behavior limits, there is collective responsibility, demand of their "rights".
From the next post I'll describe the trip, every day its' stories, pictures, feeling…..questions
I'll be more then happy to read your comments, questions, opinion…..