Tuesday, December 12

Festival of Festivals

The "Amal" Highschool in Jaffa is located in what used to be the "Manshiye" neighborhood. Close to the sea, in an area somewhat run down these days.
It's a small not adequately funded public school, trying to assist students, most of whom have dropped out of all other schools. Kids who do not believe in the system, and worse, who do no longer believe in themselves.
Different from the majority of Jaffa's public schools, the school caters to both Jewish and Palestinian students.
The teaching language is Hebrew.
Many of the children come from "broken" homes or very poor families. At the end of the schoolday, many of the kids run off to work. In a few cases, the children's income is the only one the family has.
For almost all students, it is the last chance they have to study.
Many of the staff are very idealistic, care about the children. Some are tired, it's not easy doing a diffecult job with inadequate resources.

As the school has children from many religions (a rarity in Israel's single track system) they today had the "Festival of Festivals: a joint celebration for Hanuka, Christmas and Id El Adha.
The Reut Sedaka (a joint Palestinian Jewish youth movement) band gave a rap performance of Jaffa related political songs in Hebrew and Arabic, called "System Ali".

As i myself facilitated an art workshop, i cannot tell you about all of the day, just about the atmosphere.
It was wonderful, great, special. I guess it was the way festivals should be, happy, fun, together.
Respecting each group's traditions, willing to try out , to listen and to appreciate.


ss said...

Kol Hakavod on the workshop! I'm sure you gave the kids a great time.

yudit said...

Thanks, it was fun and they made meaningful works.
They asked me to do a series of workshops and i hope i will be able to.