The lack of trust between Arab and Jewish society was created, among other things, due to the limited number of opportunities for a substantial encounter with the other side. We see that such a meeting has the power to open a significant hatch, and so step by step we will succeed in bringing about a common, pluralistic and humane society. For the past 20 years, the Yigal Allon Center has been running the “Spring Gatherings” program – a program that brings together about 2,500 Junior high school students per year. Participants meet throughout the school year, have a dialogue, learn about each other’s’ culture and at the peak of the process create a joint artistic venture.
The program brings together Junior High school students who are able, on the one hand, to grasp the complexities of such encounters and have a dialogue about the difficulties and challenges of living together, and on the other hand sufficiently flexible and open-minded to another culture. We see the meetings between the students as opening a window for acquaintance, removing fears and an opportunity for discourse. The activity is based on an educational, playful and artistic meeting in which the barriers fall and the students understand that we are all actually human beings, Israeli citizens who are partners in one society. In a reality where youth do not have the opportunity to meet with other people, there is value in creating an initial encounter within the school. We see that in the power of such an encounter to be a spark of curiosity and motivation to deepen the encounter and discourse in the future, and so by step by step we will succeed bringing about a more shared society.
The program brings together about 2,500 students each year, half Jewish and half Arab, from about 40 different schools. At the end of each year of activity we present the art products in the museum and thus the general public receives the message of creating a shared society