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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Circus School Builds Trust Between Jews and Arabs


The Israel Circus School envisions conflict resolution through circus art.
By: Hanna Szekeres


Published: November 3rd, 2011

There is a basic concept in circus art one cannot do without: Trust. If you are swinging from a trapeze or performing acrobatic tricks, you need to have total faith in your partner. This is precisely the idea that drives the Israel Circus School to create a peaceful space where Jewish and Arabic youth can start to get to know one another and build friendships. The school recently held its first convention called “Climbing Walls,” to envision an idea of conflict resolution through circus art.
Director Hanita-Caroline Hendelman and art director David Berry established the Israel Circus School in 2002 in Kfar Yehosuha in Northern Israel. The school holds professional trainings in acrobatics, clowning and all areas of circus arts. They have regular classes throughout the year for youth and adults and a variety of social and multicultural projects. At the school Muslims, Jews, Ethiopians, Russians, Druze and Christians come together to juggle, jump and laugh.
Apart from the “Climbing Walls” convention, the school has been organizing a cultural integration event called “Day at the Circus” for years for students from Jewish and Arabic schools in Israel to come together and learn about each other. “When they arrive, at first they examine each other,” says Hendelman. But the ice breaks quickly. During lunch break the students are asked to teach each other songs in their own language.
By the time they part, they often exchange telephone numbers, Hendelman says. “We have the same mentality and mind, in the end we get along very well,” says one girl from the Nazareth Arabic school. David Berry agrees: “They all watch MTV and wear Jeans. They look at each other as kids not as Jews and Arabs.”READ MORE:
http://us.shalomlife.com/culture/16121/circus-school-builds-trust-between-jews-and-arabs/

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