Some Jewish-Arab youth summer
experiences have not been sustained after everyone goes home from camp.
Not so in Seattle, Washington, wrote their youth camp organizer, Arab Maha Gebara (Gebara@attglobal.net).
The week of August 12-16, 2002 saw children aged 6-to-12, and their teenage counselors, build bridges toward peace through friendship and understanding. They called it The Middle East Peace Camp.
It was born from cooperative initiative between the Arab Center of Washington, the Kadima Jewish community, and the new Beyond Borders Arab-Jewish Dialogue in Seattle. The Dialogue is convened by Yaffa Maritz (YaffaM@imvumbu.com).
Since summer, the children are being sure to continue their relationships and outreach.
On Wednesday September 11th, 2002, they sang "Give Peace a Chance" in Arabic, English and Hebrew for an interfaith service.
Then, Saturday September 14, 2002, these dedicated Arab and Jewish children performed "The Peace Tree Play," their camp's original creation with music and dances from both cultures.
At the same time in the San Francisco South Bay community, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian children, with encouragement from their parents, have sustained their activity as CHUMS -- Children United Morally and Spiritually.
It began with three women -- Muslim, Christian, and Jew -- bringing together their families, including their eight children as an interfaith youth group dedicated to the understanding and acceptance of the world's faiths.
Katie Fackler, 13, expressed CHUMS' larger vision: "If we understand each other, I think we will have a greater chance of living in peace together."
Their local newspaper described their early work:
CHUMS reaches across religions with holiday cards to work for peace
The CHUMS kids have designed beautiful GREETING AND HOLIDAY CARDS for purchase. They have then given the proceeds of their sales to charities and people in need, They began by helping the victims of 9/11.
This year 2002 they will contribute to the work of (1) Seeds of Peace summer camp for Israeli, Palestinian (http://www.seedsofpeace.org), and to Save The Children, dedicated to improving the lives of children through emergency relief and practical projects worldwide.
You can see more about CHUMS and the beautiful cards you can order, at:
To learn even more, contact:
Donna Peterson, 650-949-5453, DonnaBP@aol.com
Anees Siddiqee, 408-246-7702, AneesS@iname.com
Madeleine Fackler, 650-949-5725, MFackler@lfsus.jnj.com