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
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.
Review from CharityNavigator
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.
Review from CharityNavigator