My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for American Friends of Neve Shalom-Wahat Al-Salam, Sherman Oaks, CA, USA
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