There are things governments can do that citizens cannot; and there are things citizens can do at the grassroots level that governments cannot. Creative ideas and models of reconciliation and collaboration are needed. In troubled regions, even-handed, outside assistance can relieve desperation and give hope and inspiration to people paralyzed by the fear and hopelessness of their seemingly intractable conflict. There are discoverable answers and a way through. Citizen vision and initiative is required.
To support the peace process and offer concrete assistance to young people in the Holy Land, we have identified two worthwhile, needy institutions: The Children's Day Care Center in Netanya, Israel, and St. Joseph School in Ramallah, West Bank. We have established reliable telephone, fax, and e-mail communication with them, and have been advised of their greatest needs. We first considered sending material supplies. Because of high import duty costs, direct financial assistance for their specific in-country purchases has been determined to be the best way to help them. They have advised us of their most urgent needs which total $14,000, to be shared equally between them.
The last stage of the project proposes bringing together, in new relationship and dialogue, the staffs and other motivated participants from these two institutions. They have expressed great interest in this proposal and in the long-term process of reconciliation.
This short-term project will be funded by individual citizens who wish to make a difference. Support will begin with the Dialogue Group participants themselves, who will then reach out to friends and to members of Palestinian, Jewish, and other groups and institutions. Perhaps interested foundations will help, but that will not be the project's expectation. Meeting with others in the community will also be a valuable opportunity for deepening the public dialogue about building a life together. After all, we are neighbors forever.
Voice: 650-574-8303 — Fax: 650-573-1217 — E-mail: LTRAUBMAN@igc.org
Rabbi Yitzchak Yellin , the Director, writes: "In this environment, the day care center is a picture of care and concern! It is staffed by eight professionals, and the children are clean, well mannered and surprisingly happy despite the terrible world from which they come. The center is open from 7-5 every day and is supported by a large volunteer group. The volunteer group needs resources like yours to enhance the children's world. What money you send will be used to acquire an air conditioner."
Rabbi Yitzchak Yellin, Director
St. Joseph School offers the Palestinian community the best possible values and quality of education, producing fine citizens and sending many of its graduates on to universities.