Youth Delegations: March brought return visits for two youth delegations from our Shared Communities partnerships. Following our delegations’ visits to Germany in October and December, sponsored by Haus am Maiberg, soziale und politische Bildung in Heppenheim near Mainz and Jugendbildungsstätte Kurt Löwenstein in the Brandenburg region, their German and Polish counterparts came for reciprocal visits to Israel. The focal topic of the delegations both here and in Germany was the issue of refugees in Europe and in Israel.
The educational program included Jewish refugees and victims and perpetrators at a visit to Yad Vashem, learning about Israel’s policy toward refugees and migrant workers at a visit to the Knesset, a visit to the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem, hearing from refugees from Eritrea and Sudan in Israel, a lecture from Dr. Saleh Mehajne of Musmus about the issue of Palestinian refugees and the Arab-Jewish conflict, learning from the experiences of families in the area, and comparing all of this to what they learned and observed on the trip to Germany.
The students also enjoyed touring the country, visiting the Old City and Ein Karem in Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth, Masada and the Dead Sea, the Golan Heights, Daliyat al-Carmel, and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. While staying in the area, the visiting delegations were hosted by the students’ families from the Baka el-Garbiya-Menashe partnership and the Maale Iron-Megiddo partnership. Besides the intense learning, the members of the delegations all agreed that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and deep friendships were formed. The local delegations are already busy planning continued activities together and involving more students. Kudos to Givat Haviva’s Mara List Avner for coordinating and accompanying the delegations.