“I live the conflict. I’ve been a part of ‘one side’ of the conflict for my entire life. When I heard of K4P, I got excited because I knew I would get the opportunity to learn more about ‘the other side.’ “
- Evyatar – Jewish Israeli Participant, 9th grade
Growing up, everyone around me believed what they heard on the news, which can be really biased, so I wanted to learn about ‘the other side’ for myself. I wanted to see what ‘they’ thought and what ‘they’ heard on ‘their’ news about my community.
That’s why I joined K4P. After joining, I learned a more nuanced view of ‘the other side,’ and it wasn’t ‘the other side’ to me anymore. Because of the Palestinian friends I’ve made through K4P, I don’t see it as an ‘us against them’ thing anymore. It’s more of a ‘how to live together’ thing now.
K4P has been incredible for me. The topics we learn about and discuss during the educational programs and the fun activities we do in our free time have both been amazing experiences. It’s really special that we can talk about hard topics like the Oslo Accords or our religious differences; we can be such close friends and respect one another deeply even if we have different opinions and beliefs. I can’t wait to come back next year as a counselor.
There is so much we can learn from each other. Every year, we learn about each religion, but every year, I feel like there is still so much to learn. It was so, so special to me to see my friends talk about their faiths, and it was incredible when I got to share Kabbalat Shabbat with them at camp and when we all danced and sang together. It was beautiful.
One of my favorite moments from camp was when we talked about the conflict during our education sessions. We discussed history, Oslo, and our thoughts. Then we pretended to rewrite Oslo the way that we thought it should be written to solve the conflict. Everything we wrote is what we would want in an ideal world; it’s far from reality because not all Israelis agree with what I think, and not all Palestinians may think the way my Palestinian friends do.
But I think that’s the beauty of K4P. It’s allowed us to open our eyes and see beyond the headlines in the news, and see our friends as who they are: human beings.
For me, ‘peace’ isn’t us kids solving the conflict in one night. Peace is every time we laugh at a joke together, every friendship we make, every deep, vulnerable conversation we have. Peace is me, a Jewish person, learning about my Muslim friends’ faiths and prayers; it’s me observing and respecting their rituals during the Jumma prayer we experienced, just like how they respected and participated in Kabbalat Shabbat with me.
That’s what K4P is about. That’s peace.