Hands of Peace piloted our first ever alumni trip to the region in March, 2017 and it was a huge success. This will now be a core part of our alumni programming, offering yearly trips to Israel/Palestine for our American Alumni.

The program includes cultural touring, with a heavy emphasis on multi-narrative exposure. Participants stay two to three nights in the West Bank and the rest of the time in homestays and hotels throughout Israel. During their travels, participants will stay with host families whose children have participated in Hands of Peace.

Tour highlights include:

  • A visit to the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Via Dolorosa, followed by a delicious lunch in the Muslim Quarter
  • Crossing into the West Bank and walking though Hebron, exploring the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and visiting a refugee camp
  • Traveling to Haifa, visiting Bahia Gardens and an engaging tour of Beit Hagafen, an Arab Jewish Cultural Center in the heart of the city

The most exciting part of this experience is the opportunity for our participant families in the region to host our American alumni in their homes, and to experience firsthand the Dual Narrative that they hear about in dialogue during our Summer Program. It is also amazing for the Americans to reconnect with their Jewish Israeli, Palestinian Citizen of Israel, and Palestinian counterparts from the summer. The goal of this trip is to enhance the Americans’ understanding of the struggles that their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts live with on a daily basis.

Discussing the impact of the separation barrier in Umm al Fahem, where the West Bank Palestinian city of Jenin is visible in the background.
The separation barrier