Project Harmony Continues

July 28th, 2014

In the afternoon, three days before the end of Project Harmony, a group of young women sit in an improvised staff room in the Hand in Hand Max Rayne Jerusalem School. They are resting between activities, while the older campers are giving snacks to the younger kids. If you weren’t paying too much attention, Project Harmony seems like a regular day camp. Kids running around, bread and hummus for sandwiches, bags of snacks, and a big bowl of fruit.

But very quickly it becomes clear that this is not like any other camp. Project Harmony is run totally in English. The staff – volunteers from the US and Europe – speak with the campers – Jews and Arabs from Jerusalem – only in English.

Project Harmony was founded five years ago in cooperation with Hand in Hand. The founders, who still run it voluntarily today, are Meg Sullivan and Lexie Tabachnik who both finished their studies at the University of Chicago six years ago. They decided that they wanted to work in social justice and got in touch with Hand in Hand, and the trans-continental cooperation began.

Five years later, the camp hosts around 120 campers, including students from Hand in Hand and other children from the surrounding neighborhoods. This gives our students a chance to meet new people, and other students to get a taste of an integrated, Hand in Hand experience.

“It looks like a regular summer camp, we have sports, a community garden, arts. Everything looks pretty normal. But it’s Jewish-Arab. The idea is that we give them a chance to integrate, meet new people. We are creating a space for them to be who they choose to be.”

Click to read more about project Harmony.








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