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Breaking Down Barriers & Building Trust

We started off our morning with the usual hostel breakfast; eggs, salad, and toast. Then we packed up our bags and headed straight for Yad B’Yad, or the Hand in Hand school. We learned about how the K-6 school brings together Israeli and Arab students. It’s a bilingual school aimed at bringing families from different backgrounds together teaching them to coexist. After understanding the history of how the school began from one of the mothers whose children attend, we headed down to the kindergarten to play! Even though we couldn’t speak their language we still managed to get some high fives, draw, and play some feisty tag. All the kindergartens were so cute and fun to play with. For lunch we headed to the unique restaurant Robin Food. Similarly, to Robin Hood who takes from the rich and gives back to the poor, this restaurant takes food that would otherwise be thrown out and repurposes it into delicious meals, where people pay as they feel. Not only was the restaurant vegan, but also mostly allergen free for our gluten free and tree nut free friends. After lunch we drove to the Baháʼí Gardens. At this magnificent garden the Baháʼí people created their mausoleum and world center due to its significance to their people. The impressive gardens surrounding the mausoleum were designed and created by the doctrines of the Baháʼí philosophy. Next, we visited Beit Ha'Gefen, an Jewish-Arab Cultural Center, whose mission is to break down barriers and build trust between various nationalities, ethnic groups and religions in Haifa and Israel so people can coexist. We participated in a workshop to learn what values are important to us, and a guide toured us through a Haifa neighborhood. We experienced lots of cool art and culture along the way. We even made a falafel stop at the best falafel restaurant in Haifa! It was worth the wait, especially since we haven’t had it the whole trip. Before dinner, we played a pickup game of soccer in a field next to our hotel. The sunset over the port was so pretty while we played. We can’t believe we only have two days left! - Sydney and Hannah

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