American Friends of Neve Shalom-Wahat Al-Salam

Rating: 5 stars   4 reviews

Issues: Education, International, Religion

Location: 12925 Riverside Drive Suite 230 Sherman Oaks CA 91423 USA

Mission: The American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam encourages, supports and publicizes the projects of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the Oasis of Peace. For more than thirty years, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam has been dedicated to dialogue, cooperation and a genuine and durable peace between Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis. Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel have chosen to live and work together as equals in this community to promote trust, understanding and mutual respect well beyond its own borders. At Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the bilingual, binational, multicultural Primary School, the School for Peace, the Pluralistic Spiritual Center, and other projects, serve the village and beyond reaching thousands of Jewish and Palestinian youth and adults.
Results: Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is home to the first ever binational school in Israel, where Jews and Palestinians learn in the same class in the two languages - Hebrew and Arabic. Hundreds of children have graduated since 1984. 50,000 have participated in the internationally recognized School for Peace workshops, often meeting the "other" side for the first time. The Pluralistic Spiritual Center opened its doors in 2001 and has brought together hundreds of individuals, groups and religious leaders for workshops exploring the three monotheisms' traditions. Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam ("Oasis of Peace" in Hebrew and Arabic) has been providing for 40 years a concrete alternative to the conflict, showing that Jews and Palestinians can live, work and raise their children together, in peace, equality and mutual respect.
Target demographics: Jewish and Palestinian children, youth and adults living in Israel, as well as the Palestinian Territories. American audience who wish to learn about the Middle East situation and constructive alternatives to the conflict.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Every year, 200-250 children enroll at the first ever binational, bilingual and multicultural primary school; 1,200 youth and adults participate in the School for Peace workshops; 165 people participate in the Pluralistic Spiritual Center activities. All programs impact thousands of people indirectly every year.
Programs: Established in 1979, the School for Peace is an integral part of the Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam's mission to build relationships between Palestinians and Jews through communication and respect. The School for Peace brings together Palestinian and Israeli, youth and adults, with diverse and often diametrically opposed ideological backgrounds for youth encounter workshops, women courses, teacher trainings, and facilitator trainings.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Great organziation that really makes a difference, can't praise them enough for the work they do.

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2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I teach at Brandeis University, where we were given an endowment to bring pairs of Israeli peace activists, each consisting of a Jew and a Palestinian, to our university for a full four year liberal arts education, all expenses paid. We are able to fund three pairs in every four year cycle in the Slifka Peace Scholarship program.
Among the remarkable beneficiaries of this largesse was Noam Schuster, class of ’11, our first Slifka Scholar from the Palestinian-Jewish peace village Neve Shalom/Wahat as Salaam. Although we have enjoyed the presence of many exceptional Slifka scholars before, by her background which immersed her fully in Arabic and Hebrew and in both Israeli Jewish and Palestinian cultures, Noam became a profoundly effective peace advocate and activist during her four years at Brandeis. She and other Slifka scholars created peace organizations and sponsored speakers, films, and forums that were truly educational and appreciated on our campus.
The village, whose name means Oasis of Peace, is a tiny redoubt of absolute decency and determination to battle the forces of separation and ethnic/religious superiority that have infected both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship for over half a century. NSWAS locates itself in that growing sector of Israeli society that sees that no one is free until everyone is free and that inclusiveness and mutuality are the ways to peace.
As a board member of American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat as Salaam, I am glad to contribute what I can in terms of board participation, to the sustenance and growth of NSWAS, a model of inter-communal struggling, striving, and accomplishments.
---Gordon Fellman, board member of and Professor of Sociology and Chair, Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Program at Brandeis University

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my several visits to the village and my acquaintance with several of its members .

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

figure out how to build a philanthropic tradition in Israel and ways for village to raise needed funds in its own society.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam – the Oasis of Peace in Israel, serves as a model and a beacon to the world that with understanding, peace is possible. This unique village maintains the first school of its kind where children have a chance to learn what it means to respect each other, understand each other’s histories, and celebrate each other’s holidays. Their dialogue programs provide forums for journalists, attorneys, professors, and many other professionals from all parts of the world to address issues of conflict. These and scores of other unique programs would not be possible without the support achieved through the efforts of American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam. This very small staff, with the assistance of volunteer board members, has achieved outstanding financial response over the years. Despite the recent economic downturn, they are maintaining contact with donors and educating new groups of potential supporters throughout the United States. Through these efforts, American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam anticipates continued and future financial support.
I am proud of my involvement with American Friends of Neve Shalom Wahat al Salam for over twenty years as a past board member, past board president, continued advocate and financial supporter.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have visited the Village to learn more about their needs for funding.

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i would encourage all board members to visit the Village.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The peace village of Neve Shalom/Wahal al Salam is a shining light that is deperatly needed in that troubled region of the world.

Arabs and Jews relating and working together is what God wants from her/his people. The American Friends of Neve Shalom Wahat al Salam plays a very important role is making that happen.

It is my honor to support and engage peace and mutual respect.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

They keep me informed of the daily activities at the village.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing needs to be changed.

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