|Friends of Roots||
The day-to-day realities of life in this region demand a constant readiness to be a support network for individuals and families in need. We create this network through a variety of activities ranging from engaging the civil and military administrations to home/hospital visits to aiding individuals as they navigate the complex legal systems in the region.
Local Leaders Programme:
Roots has engaged 65 local civil and religious leaders from both Palestinian and Israeli communities to implement local joint initiatives. These leaders are already working on tolerance education in local schools, medical co-ordination and programs which promote leadership against violence.
Working with 3 pre-army academies, we deliver 2 months of exposure to the Palestinian narrative, facilitating understanding between those going to the army and local Palestinians. Our 2015 pilot reached 200 young people and we are now preparing to replicate it throughout the pre-army academy network.
Working with Young People
The last two summers Roots has run summer camps for 160 local children. This year we hope to expand our summer camp to a weeklong experience of art, fun and positive interaction with the option of overnight stay.
Maintaining ongoing contact is critical to keeping our young participants engaged with Roots's message. We host photography workshops which bring Palestinian and Israeli children together in ongoing meetings throughout the year. This is a unique place for young people to connect over things they enjoy and undo the prejudices and fear our children otherwise learn.
Dual Narrative Program:
A five month program for Israelis and Palestinians age 17-21 which explores personal and collective identity, connection to the land and each other’s narratives. This is comprised of monthly trips and activities, bookended by 2 day workshops. This pilot for 50 young people will serve as a model to be expanded upon in coming years.
A quarterly gathering enables participating Israeli and Palestinian families to share each other’s hospitality, drawing on our shared legacy of welcoming guests from the house of Abraham. At these meetings families renew contact and sense solidarity. Local coordinators invite families to the meetings and facilitate.
We host and organize small learning groups, lectures and events to encourage dialogue and conversation between religious communities. These efforts increase understanding and open up an important avenue for resolution.
Groups come together to learn each others' languages, a great gesture of respect between our peoples and a real place of understanding and transformation.
Responding to Violence
Points of Calm
As a way of preventing escalation and lowering tensions, we facilitate communication channels between neighboring Israeli and Palestinian local leaders to be an immediate source of calm and understanding between local communities in times of increased tensions. This reduces the chance of volatile escalations and violent outbreak.
Incident Response Team
Members of the both communities make visits to the site or family attacked, to show solidarity and condemn the violence. Responses have also included large scale rallies against violence.