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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

Kol BT

The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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Galilee Dreamers Visit BT

Galilee+Dreamers+Visit+BT

On Thursday, March 13, Galilee Dreamers, a group of fifteen Jewish, Christian, Druze, and Arab teens from Northern Israel, visited Beth Tfiloh. According to their mission statement, this program “aims to promote coexistence among the Israeli participants and to enable high school students worldwide to learn about the complexity and potential of life in Israel.” (https://www.galileedreamers.com/) 

After meeting and getting to know each other in the Galilee, separate delegations of dreamers visit South Africa, Germany, London, and Toronto, as well as Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Before Beth Tfiloh, the delegation visited the Park School and Pikesville High School, and then went on to see Krieger Schecter and Charles E. Smith in Rockville. In all the schools they visit, they open conversations about tolerance and accepting others. Ninth graders at Beth Tfiloh had a chance to hear stories of Israel from Christian, Muslim, Druze, and Jewish perspectives. After hearing a bit about the Israeli’s homelife, BT 11th graders had a thrilling question and answer session. Students hit it off so much they played volleyball and basketball in between classes. From the feedback of BT students, they appreciated hearing new perspectives and voices from Israel. 

Galilee Dreamers was co-founded in 2016 by former Krieger Schecter headmaster Rabbi Paul Schneider and Dr. Desmond M. Kaplan, a South-African born child psychiatrist now living in Baltimore. Schneider and Kaplan noticed how “Jewish and Arab teenagers in Israel lack opportunities to interact meaningfully with each other or just hang out.” According to Rotem and Maya, two Jewish Israelis on the program, this program gives them the opportunity to meet the other, either Jew or Arab. Although Jews and Arabs live in the same country, sometimes it takes a program like this  to speak to each other. Maya and Rotem explained that, in Galilee Dreamers, even if the teens disagree with one another, they must “understand and respect” everyone’s opinions.  

Although Maya and Rotem both do not believe this program can “bring total peace between all Jews and Arabs in Israel,” they believe this is a start. These conversations are not easy, however, as the very choice of name, Israel or Palestine, as the name of their homeland, can arouse tension. 

Galilee Dreamers is committed to holding difficult conversations leading to understanding and hearing each other’s narrative.  

“Home.” Galilee Dreamers, 7 Dec. 2022, https://www.galileedreamers.com/. 

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Shuli G., Reporter
This is Shuli G’s first time working on the Kol BT. Outside of school, she likes to listen to music, read, and play with her dog.

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