In November we commemorated the 22nd anniversary of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. We marked the occasion with the Rabin Remembrance Tent in which we invited all Akko locals – children, youth and adults, Jews and Arabs, secular and religious – to learn about Rabin’s life as well as the incitement that led to his death and the ongoing challenges faced by Israeli democracy today.
This year we expanded the activities in the Remembrance Tent from three days to five, during which time we met about 500 locals, including 300 schoolchildren, from all the communities that make up the social fabric of Akko.
A group of brave and passionate ninth graders took responsibility for teaching the messages of the tent to 6th graders from several of Akko’s elementary schools. Orr, a 9th-grade student, was inspired by his experience as a participant in the remembrance tent activities and decided that he wanted to be a youth leader. He said about his experience:
“It was really fun for me to guide the younger children through the activities about Rabin and democracy. We had a lesson at school about Rabin’s assassination and about the incitement that was going on before his murder, and we talked about how words can lead to violence and even to murder. We made the connection to our own lives and to the phenomena of shaming and excommunication and social media. We decided that it’s really important for young kids to talk about this and to understand that even verbal violence can have serious consequences and that it can really hurt.
We ran educational programming for the 6th-graders from five different Akko schools and we decided that we wanted to take the material to 5th- and 4th-graders as well. It felt amazing because not only was it meaningful, we also learned how to be youth leaders and how to educate. And it was also lots of fun.”
Or’s story is an example of the power of education to inspire people, young and old, to find the energy within themselves to make change and to bring that same energy out in others.