Project SULHA, march 31 – June 9
SULHA (which in Arabic means “reconciliation”) is an NGO which since 2008, has organized large gatherings between Jews and Palestinians from Israel and the occupied territories. Groups of 80-100 adults and 40-60 young adults (between 16-21) meet, dialog, and alternate periods of meditation, music and walks. The SULHA project hosted 16 of the facilitators who have been working on a volunteer basis since 2008.
The stay in Switzerland allowed these facilitators, in their 20’s up to their 50’s, to get to know each other in a more personal sense, give them a breathing and nurturing time to create among themselves the dialog they offer to the SULHA participants, and reflect on the concept of the SULHAs taking into consideration the environment and means to reach out to greater numbers.
Project TALI-JCJCR, July 8 – 15
In 2011, Coexistences hosted the first group of teachers from Christian Arab and Jewish schools that participate in the TALI-JCJCR “Identity and Dialog” program of Galilea. A second group of teachers came in July 2013 and led to 80% of the teachers involved in the program to have experienced the stay in Switzerland. The “Identity and Dialog” program promotes a tolerant cultural identity by deepening one’s own identity and open up to the other via an annual school exchange program between Jewish and Arab schools in Galilea. During the year, 4 visits (and a final festival) take place alternately in the concerned schools.
The “Identity and Dialog” program involves now 14 schools, seven Arab and seven Jewish schools. The meetings are held in Arabic and in Hebrew, via translators. Besides the 420 children directly involved in the exchange program, all the children being schooled in these schools are impacted.
Project BREAKING THE ICE, august 15 – 29
This project, first created in 2008 by the famous Israeli mountaineer Doron Erel and the Arab Israeli sportswoman Ulfat Haider, is about a mixed group of people having to face the dangers and the challenges of the Swiss Alps. The trek facilitates the formation of personal connections while challenging the negative misconceptions about the other. This trek is done at mid-range altitude and requires participants to be in tents and be self-sufficient. The 2013 trek was at the Mont Rose and was led by Jean Troillet. The fact of crossing borders that are signaled by mere markers and devoid of any control is a highly emotional moment for the participants.
This project is achieved in partnership with the Haifa University and Beit Hagefen (a Jewish-Arab Culture Center), institutions that work to increase contacts between the Jewish and Arab communities in the Haifa area.