The Open House in Ramle - a peace education center in Ramle, Israel
 

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    .wp-caption.aligncenter Between the 2nd to 20th July was our 25th Summer camp!   It is 26 years of Open House activity.   We had 94 Jewish and Arab children...Read more »
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2017 Summer camp


Between the 2nd to 20th July was our 25th Summer camp!
 
It is 26 years of Open House activity.
 
We had 94 Jewish and Arab children between the ages of six to twelve, with one from Jaffa and one from Nazareth .
 
Preparing for the summer camp takes months in advance – registration, creating the program, organization of busing from different locations, securing dates with the various trip sites and, of course, most importantly, choosing the counselors with their various responsibilities.
  
Costa Mansour and Lutfia Gnime were project directors with Mary Manassa responsible for the arts.
 
Besides a team of 8 counselors, we accepted 8 summer camp graduates who miss the summer camp and desire to volunteer. No doubt some of them will be our future counselors.
It seems to us that the joy of the encounter between Jewish and Arab children is facilitated by our long experience with creating a conducive program in which we have learnt to balance between educational activities and fun. 
 
Outdoor trips are a great responsibility. In the heat of summer the well being of the children, as well as their ability to integrate what they are exposed to, occupies the full attention of the counselors.The outdoor trips included religious, historic and archaeological sites in Jaffa, in the Latroun area, the caves of Beit Govrin, the monastery of Beit Gamal.
 
 
Fostering love and respect for Nature we visited a working agricultural farm and had an exciting jeep ride in rough terrain, which evoked great enthusiasm. 
 
Creative activities are central in our summer camp. Mary Manassa who has been with us for many years is by now an art therapist. Art in the summer camp is basically created from natural or discarded materials. For example, this year, in their trip to the agricultural farm, the children were permitted to gather wheat stalks from which they weaved baskets.
 
 
   
On the last day, we had a farewell party, which is also an opportunity for the Jewish and Arab parents to get to know each other.
 
There was an exhibition of the children’s art work
 
With the encouragement of the young volunteers the children prepared a performance for the parents. They performed acrobatics, played music, but most of all they loved to dance.
 
 
A dream come true
 
At the end of their performance, the older participants read out what they had written about their hope for the world. To see Arab and Jewish children standing together in all seriousness and read out their dreams for the world was itself a dream come true. 
 
 
Counselors Received Gifts

Counselors Received Gifts

 
— Written by Lutfia Gnime with Dalia Eshkenazi Landau.