Protecting the Spark: A Jaffa Parent Reflects

On June 20th, 2014, the Jaffa Preschool celebrated their first year. Ami Kaufman, a parent at the school, shared his personal reflections: 

Today something new happened in Jaffa. The first class in the Hand in Hand bilingual Jaffa Preschool finished their year, and the little ones came together with their parents to celebrate this historic moment.  

It seemed like just an ordinary preschool party - We took off a day of work, made food, bought drinks, and ran around in the heat of Jaffa to prepare. But excitement was bursting as 35 earnest, adorable children began to sing in Hebrew and Arabic; songs that express longing and a dream - adhering to a reality that could be different.

     

 "I hope that in thirteen years I will see these children in 12th grade”, said Amir [Co-Community Dept. Director] from Hand in Hand, and there really was a powerful feeling that this is the first step on a long journey. The songs that the children sang and the models of Jaffa that they built held tightly to a reality that does not yet exist; an attempt to blur a difficult past and paint a better future. But after a year of dizzying success, we allow ourselves to sink into our dreams. “Me and my surfboard”, the kids sang in Hebrew, “My land is beautiful”, they sang in Arabic. There is just something about this city.  

The Jewish-Arab parent community that was created in the last few years in Jaffa celebrated a small victory. With all of the craziness that is raging around us, when our children sing together in each other’s languages about a city that is completely theirs, there is a small spark. A spark that we need to guard and protect - to make sure it doesn’t go out, doesn’t disappear, that the voices that rise up from this small corner can one day echo all over this land. We hope that Manar and Yafit, the preschool teachers, that Anat and Rola, the community organizers, and all of the parents that were part of this massive success in 2013-14, can one day pat themselves on the back and say “we were there when it started”. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

   

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