letter from parent CARMEL RON, upon the opening of the Kfar Kara school, October 2004.
Making Peace, Not Just Talking About It.
I am the mother of three boys. The oldest, Alon, is in first grade at Hand in Hand's Bridge Over the Wadi school in Kfar Kara. Each morning when I send him to school, I am so thankful to Hand in Hand and all the people who took part in setting it up. I have no doubt that my choice to send Alon to this school was the right one.
Alon, Amir, Ron, Noam, Shira: Jewish names.
Machmud, Fatimah, Vasiem, Suha and Majid: Arab names.
They will be friends and classmates for the next 12 years.
I grew up in a small Jewish town neighbored by two Arab towns. There was never any connection between us and the people living in these nearby towns. Today, I realize how unrealistic growing up this way was. Machmud, Fatimah, Vasiem, Suha and Majid were all strange names to me; they weren’t part of my awareness or understanding.
When I see Alon playing at school — happy, returning home pleased and filled with new experiences — I am jealous. When he comes home struggling to speak Arabic words he has learned, there is no one in the world happier than me.
When I talk about our school, tears come to my eyes. I still can't believe that September arrived and the dream of our children learning together in an integrated Jewish-Arab school has come true. From the moment I heard about the school, and every time I am asked how the school is progressing, I only can think and say, "It is too good to be true.”
Our political leaders talk about peace. The school that we have started together as Arabs and Jews — parents, educators, and community members — is making peace, building it every day, every hour.