Thursday, August 7, 2008

jitli - 2008

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…..


Jose Aroeste said...

Hi Itzik,
I know that anyone who was involved with JITLI was touched in one way or another by it. I know I was, as Alberto's parent.
Once you realize how other people live, act and think, you can never go back and think: "My way is the ONLY right way".
I believe that it is this simple realization that is central to personal relationships, community relationships, national relationships and ultimately, to peace.
I invite all members of the JITLI family to share their thoughts and experiences in Itzik's blog, and elsewhere, so we may make this experience even more meaningful for all. It is oour resposibility now to keep the JITLI spirit alive!
Jose Aroeste

koren or magen said...


Thank you so much for creating a BLOG.

It is great to see what we do and discuss in writing.

I have the journals that some of the kids worked on with me.

I will work on it next week to get on the JITLI website as well as the photos.

Thanks for being in our JITLI Family.


koren or magen said...

Hi Itzik,
Thank you so much for including us in your blog, we look forward to hearing more from you. Our daughter Amy had the most wonderful time ever with all of you.
Im sure that you have also taken wonderful photos of all the kids, I loved the ones you showed at our house on the Friday night, so Im sure that there are plenty more great ones!
Take care
Neville and Pam Berman