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Jewish Journal

Jewish and Arab Israeli Teachers to Speak on Laying Foundation for Peace

by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

September 30, 2009 | 3:45 am

Two teachers from Israel, one Jewish and one Arab, will speak to audiences in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco next week about their experiences working with Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation, an organization that educates Jewish and Arab nursery and elementary school children in therapeutic environments.

Tally Bat Ami Zahor and Lana Nasrallah will be joined by Agoura Hills psychotherapist Shepha Schneirsohn Vainstein, founder and director of Salaam Shalom.

Founded in 2006, Salaam Shalom attempts to lay the foundation for peace by starting with the youngest children. It sponsors Jewish-Arab twinned classes, an integrated Jewish-Arab kindergarten in the Galilee and a teacher-training program that enables Palestinian educators from the West Bank to travel to Israel to gain specialized educational skills.

The teachers will discuss how they teach Arab and Jewish children to play and learn together in a productive, respectful and peaceful environment, teaching conflict resolution skills and “moral imagination,” based on the Waldorf educational system.

“If we’re going to have peace in the future in the Middle East, we’re going to need to focus on healing children today,” said Vainstein. “Waldorf education, an artistic and healing education, nurtures children while cultivating independent creative thinking, cooperative problem solving and flexibility.” 

The teachers will speak Oct. 3 at 3 p.m at the Westside Waldorf School, 17310 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades; and Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. at the Highland Hall Waldorf School, 17100 Superior St., Northridge. For more information, visit ssefoundation.org.

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