Youth Making a Difference in Israel


I had the privilege these last two days of meeting and talking to teens May Ayoub and Ella Chernyak from Haifa.  One Arab, one Jewish, these teens are trying every day to build ties between their communities in Israel, one-to-one and person-to-person.  They have come to the U.S. for the first time, far from their homes and families, to spread their message of tolerance and understanding to us who do not hear this message often enough with regard to Israel.  They are amazing.  Watching their interactions with people here, especially with teens, fills me with hope.  Talking with and getting to know people who are different from us and who may disagree with us on many things will not magically solve all the difficult issues that face us, neither here nor in Israel.  But seeing what people like May and Ella can do with words and smiles and goodwill can give us hope that solutions are possible.  I urge you not to miss meeting them this Shabbat or on Sunday morning, when they will be speaking to our Tough Social Issues in Israel class and meeting with teens in our Religious School.  Their presence in our community is a gift to us.  The hope is alive.