Hands of Peace Builds Future Leaders
Hands of Peace Builds Future Leaders in the Monthly Aspectarian
The following article appears in the June-July 2009 issue of The Monthly Aspectarian, a Chicago-area magazine. Hands of Peace is a partner of Global Ministries and is supported by One Great Hour of Sharing.
“If you see a sea of purple shirts in the northern suburbs or downtown Chicago, you’ll know that Hands of Peace is back in session! From July 17 to August 2, Hands of Peace, a small, local non-profit organization dedicated to fostering peace in the Middle East person by person, will bring in students from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to learn about peaceful coexistence. Jewish Israeli, Arab-Citizens-of-Israel and West Bank Palestinian teens stay in local homes with host families, and join American teens in daily dialogue sessions, teambuilding exercises and cultural activities during the intensive two-week program.
Past participants use words like ‘moving’ ‘powerful’ ‘unforgettable’ ‘amazing’ ‘wonderful’ and ‘it changed my outlook on life’ to describe their experiences with the program. [Hands of Peace has shaped their perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and their ideas about their futures.] Itamar Levy, a Jewish student from Israel who participated in 2006 and 2007, reflects, ‘Hands of Peace changed me; they are humans on the other side, and we should want peace! I learned that hoping for peace is good, but if we won’t deal with it straight to the face, it will never happen.’ Carrie Hanson, a Christian American participant in 2008, says, ‘It taught me a great deal about human nature and the capacity of the human spirit.’”