Dialogue to Action
Jews and Palestinians from both sides of the Green Line are given the tools to move from despair and distrust to dialogue and into action, inspiring others and becoming peace multipliers
“For years there have been academies in the various countries where the art of war has been taught….we wanted to found a school for peace, for peace too is an art. It doesn’t appear spontaneously, it has to be learned....” Founder Father Bruno Hussar
"Engaging the asymmetry in power"
The School for Peace has created a world-renowned approach to working with groups in conflict. Rather than focusing upon interpersonal relations between encounter participants, workshops focus on inter-group relations.
Jewish and Palestinian participants meet to explore national and ethnic identity. They self-examine their interactions in the encounter, which represent a microcosm of relations in the larger society. With the help of Jewish and Arab facilitators, participants come to understand how their group’s preconceived attitudes affect the encounter. Participants change their perceptions and take action towards change.
Our method differs from others as it engages the asymmetry in power dynamics. It puts the conflict “on the table," centering the encounter around real issues that affect the two peoples. Groups work together to identify common concerns and implement joint projects with the goal of creating change towards a more equal and just society.
We base our work on research, theory, and evaluation in the field of conflict resolution. The model has been studied by academics from Israel and abroad, who have written hundreds of books and academic articles about our work. Staff from the SFP have trained and worked with groups in conflict all over the world including Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kosovo, South Africa, Costa Rica and in the United States.
Change Agents: Groups of urban planners, leaders in Israel's mixed cities, mental health professionals, and up-and-coming politicians work for over a year on dialogue and discussion. The capstone of this program is the projects developed by teams in each program, working on social change issues in the country. This coming year, we hope to implement courses for women in media, archaeologists, and lawyers.
Youth Encounters: High school students from Jewish and Arab high schools come together for three days of dialogue and negotiation simulations. They develop interpersonal friendships while focusing on intergroup dynamics.
Educator Training: We bring teachers from Arab and Jewish schools together to address the issue of teaching literature and culture in their classrooms. This course is where our bilingual literary anthology, "Two Peoples Write from Right to Left," was born.
University Courses: Four leading universities in Israel host courses taught by the School for Peace that include dialogue, negotiation, and shared projects. We are hoping to expand to more universities in the coming year.
Research Institute: Our recently founded Research Institute will publish research on the School for Peace methodology, course projects, and more. Look out for the first edition of our journal.
Measures of Success and Impact
“There’s no such thing as a conflict that can’t be ended. They’re created and sustained by human beings, they can be ended by human beings." Senator George Mitchell
- 60,000+ Jewish and Palestinian graduates
- Over 1,000 facilitators trained
- The first peace organization in Israel to develop academic courses at leading universities
- Advanced conflict resolution practice here and abroad.
- Palestinian and Jewish attendance throughout periods of extreme conflict.
- More than 30,000 Palestinian and Jewish high school students together in three-day Youth Encounters, many for their very first encounter with ‘the other’
Learn more at sfpeace.org!