October 18, 2018

When many of us think about our future, we think about how climate change will have a significant impact on our lives.  The Paris Climate Accord signed in 2015 was groundbreaking in its stipulation that every country has a collective responsibility to protect the earth and adopt measures to minimize climate change.  Even so, the agreed-upon goals fail to adequately address the negative effects in the coming decades. Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report written by 90 scientists with a dire warning for the future of planet earth. They believe that goals must be adjusted to reduce warming temperatures by an extra degree of heat, otherwise there will be inevitable risks to health, food security, water supply, and human security for people around the world.

Israel has been confronting its own climate challenges for years. Temperatures in Israel have increased by half a degree per decade for the past four decades. This has led to ongoing drought, wit...

September 26, 2018

We often use the word “coexistence” to describe the imagined peaceful future of Israelis and Palestinians. The Parents Circle, one of our peacebuilders, recognizes that an understanding and acceptance of the other’s humanity is a necessary precondition to achieving coexistence. The organization brings together bereaved Israelis and Palestinians who have lost an immediate family member to the conflict to find reconciliation through common pain and loss. The Parents Circle believes empathy is a powerful tool for resolving underlying anger and feelings of revenge that stem from conflict.

Boston Partners for Peace is honored to host Rami Elhanan and Mazen Faraj, co-founders of the Parents Circle, in Boston to share their personal stories of loss and reconciliation between September 27-29. They will talk about why relationship building, mutual recognition of the “other,” and a belief in reconciliation is crucial to sustainable peace.

The Parents Circle is connected to over 600 families, and s...

September 5, 2018

The transition from summer to fall brings new beginnings. Jewish people around the world will soon celebrate the Jewish New Year, a time of self-reflection and renewed commitment. In the lead-up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, they will also contemplate the changes they want to make in their lives and in the world.  The challenges can feel insurmountable and it can be easy to say, “someone else will do it” or “it’s too much for me.” 

One example is the overwhelming feeling that can come from engaging with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many of us feel frustrated or bewildered or hurt by the situation, and while we may want to take action, it’s hard to know how to do so in a meaningful and constructive way.

Boston Partners for Peace is an initiative that provides a road map for people in Boston looking to make meaningful, positive, and lasting change for Israelis and Palestinians. We come together to support grassroots organizations – comprised of Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs...

August 29, 2018

“Why do people see actions and understand words differently?”

“How do different perspectives impact a community?”

“How do we challenge our assumptions about others?”

These were some of the questions raised during the recent Kids4Peace Boston overnight camp for rising 7th and 8th graders. Kids4Peace is a grassroots youth movement operating in Jerusalem and the United States that fosters interfaith dialogue and cooperation between Jewish, Christian, and Muslim 6th through 12th graders from diverse religious, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds. The program provides participants with the leadership skills and tools to resolve conflicts, build bridges, and repair divisions in their own communities.

Today, there are countless social issues that need to be addressed. It can be understandably hard for young people to confront the reality of the deep divides that exist between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians, and to feel that they can change the situation. Kids4Peace in Jerusalem provides stu...

August 15, 2018

Israel is a diverse country made up of many religions, ethnicities, nationalities, and identities.  As is often the case, people are attracted to the familiar and tend to live in insular communities.  The result is that most Jewish and Arab children grow up in separate communities, rarely interact, and can fall prey to suspicion, fear and even hatred.

We know that children who grow up in diverse communities are more likely to learn the value of tolerance and accept the differences of others. Peoples’ interactions with different peers, at any age, are crucially important for learning about acceptance and valuing that quality throughout their lives. 

Recognizing this truth, the founders of Hand in Hand Schools created a series of integrated Arab-Jewish schools across Israel. Hand in Hand Schools give children the opportunity to meet and play together starting in pre-school and, in some cases, continue learning together through high school. The benefits of this approach spill over into...

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