We are currently fundraising to build a formal alumni program so that Heart to Heart participants can continue to be supported in their journey together long after the summer ends.
A letter from Omri, one of our 2015 participants
To the Heart to Heart community:
I am Omri, a Jewish participant of Heart to Heart 2015.
First of all I'd like to say thank you so much. Heart to Heart was an amazing experience and has made a large impact on my life. I’ve learned so much and made so many friends. I’m still in touch with two of the Palestinian participants and even went to the movies with one of them.
Thanks to Heart to Heart my view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has changed. I see that the conflict has two sides and there is more to it than what we're taught in school. Since I came back I've started noticing a lot of misinformation and unawareness among other students and people I talk with. They aren't aware of a lot of things Israel has done and don't see our Arab neighbours the same way as I do, people whom the majority of just want to leave here in peace. I think everyone who lives here should experience something like Heart to Heart before making their opinion on the conflict, because teenagers over here make up their mind based on what they see on the news or what they learn in school and have probably never had a conversation with an Arab even though they are so close to each to other. Thanks to Heart to Heart whenever a discussion about the conflict comes up in school or at home I feel like I am obligated to speak up and share my thoughts and experiences, and help other people see the two sides of the story. Overall I am extremely grateful to everyone involved with Heart to Heart, keep doing what you're doing and help more kids experience what I got to experience.
An update about the most recent meeting of 2015 alumni
"We discussed what is happening around us and talked about how they felt. Some said they felt scared and some said they aren't leading normal lives right now, and so on. They talked about the increase of hatred and racism in their schools. But one thing they all agreed upon was that they were never scared to come see each other in Givat Haviva. Their parents’ behaviour was the same - they didn't hesitate for a minute to send them to meet us and the other kids. We also discussed what we they thought should happen to help us get through this time of crisis. They said that we should join hands in protest and show others what this group is capable of. Just so you know, we canceled the meeting two hours before but they would not have it and MADE us come, it was great!"
- Usnat Atamna, Israeli Palestinian chaperone, Heart to Heart
Heart to Heart 2015 Alumni Meeting at Givat Haviva in October