Throughout July, 100 kids from Akko – Jews and Arabs – had a blast together at our Shared Existence Day Camp. Every day, 27 newly-trained youth counselors from the city guided the campers as they cooked, danced and laughed their way through the long summer days together.
The Jewish and Arab groups came together daily for joint activities so they could become friends while getting to know and learn about each other. This is an important and enriching experience for the campers – an experience that too many Israeli kids never have.
We ended the camp in style with a closing ceremony where we invited all of the parents. The campers put on a great show of musical performances, skits and choreographed dances in their workshop groups from the summer. The closing ceremony also gave us a chance to award the counselors with merit certificates for their amazing work.
Tolin Afana, a camper from Akko’s Arab community, addressed the closing ceremony:
“I had the opportunity to make new friends from outside my group. The experience of all of us meeting each other from different schools and between Jews and Arabs was incredible. We are all friends now. And even if there were arguments, we were always able to overcome our differences. The counselors were there for all of us and played with us no matter what group we came from.”