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Special Thanks to Rotary

Thursday 1 August 2013, by Public Relations

On Monday, July 22 Eyas Shbeta (Gen. Manager of the municipality) and Nava Sonnenschein (Director of the School for Peace) had the honor to attend the annual changeover ceremony of the nearby Modiin Rotary Club. The club welcomed its new incoming president Alberto Hodara, and thanked outgoing president Rochelle Fisher: two wonderful and altruistic souls we have had the pleasure to get to know in recent years.

Nava and Eyas were invited to the event on account of a generous donation, facilitated by the Modiin Club, to help equip the Friendship Library in WAS-NS. The donation came about through a highly successful cooperative effort between Modiin, the Limburg, Groningen and Middlesburg clubs and Rotary headquarters in Evanston Illinois. This year’s grant followed a similarly generous one last year, that was facilitated by Modiin and initiated by Italian Rotary Clubs. That donation went towards equipment, furniture and supplies for the Primary School and the School for Peace.

Rotary, through its work in bringing together the most generous and hard-working individuals across a broad spectrum of professions, expresses very much the community spirit that Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom itself aspires to. But there are are deeper links: one of the founding members of our community was Rotary - Israel’s first governor: Wellesley Aron . Aron intimately linked his Rotary work with the long search for a “peace academy” that ultimately led him to Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom.

Over the years, Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom has been honored to serve as a vehicle through which Israeli Rotary Clubs can develop and express the aspiration for peace and equal coexistence between Jews and Arabs throughout this land. As such, we have been recipient to a number of Rotary matching grants, including, in the early 1980s, one that enabled the construction of classrooms and accommodation for encounter workshops at the School for Peace. This donation recently came up in conversation with a member of the Tel Aviv – Jaffa Rotary Club, who is now helping to plan that Club’s 80th anniversary.

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