We try to provide all of our visitors with an interesting and rewarding visit to NS/WAS, and to introduce them to the village's educational institutions and various departments. Because of the great amount of time involved in receiving visitors, we do ask that all visits should be coordinated in advance.
Rissho Kosei Kai Student Delegation
A group of 20 students from the Japanese Rissho Kosei Kai movement visited NS/WAS as part of a fact-finding tour they were making of Israel, with further meetings in Europe (where they were scheduled to have an audience with the Pope). Ulla Phillips Heck, of the German Friends of NSh/WAS met with the group during their visit.
Lee and David Hitchcock
Vice President of the American Friends of NS/WAS David Hitchcock visited the village with his wife Lee. David has known the village since the days that he served with Ambassador Samuel Lewis at the American Embassy. He first visited the village in 1979. In 1982, encouraged by our then still tiny community, they encouraged us to send our first delegation to the USA. It was David Hitchcock who found the necessary funding to enable Nava Sonnenschein and Abdessalam Najjar to introduce NS/WAS to a selected circle of friends which has since grown into the impressive nation-wide organization it is today.
It is several years since the Hitchcocks have visited Israel. During these years, David has filled diplomatic assignments in other parts of the world. Now, in retirement, he is devoting himself to enlisting support for NS/WAS, to which end he decided to come to NS/WAS to update himself with the situation on the ground. In addition to holding a series of meetings with the heads of departments, he and his wife hosted a reunion reception to which they invited their many friends in Israel.
The reception took place in the hall of the White Dove. Before their buffet meal, the guests were given a brief summary of the work of each department and were able to meet with many members of the community, who the Hitchcocks had also invited. Many useful primary contacts with influential people from the worlds of politics, the media and academia were therefore made.
In September, we had an interesting visit of mime/clown performers from LUME, 'a nucleus of theatrical research in the University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. The troupe gave performances for the children and the adults.
From South Africa
On June 8, we received a delegation of Canadian Government officials. They chose Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam for their visit from among many organizations that have received funding through the Canada Fund for Peace and Dialogue, which supports projects that foster the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
Among the delegation were Madame Diane Marleau, who is Minister for International Cooperation and la Francophonie; Mr. Gurmant Grewal, MP; Ms. Louise Hardy, MP; Canadian Ambassador David Berger, other embassy officials, representatives of the Israeli Foreign Office and journalists.
The visit lasted approximately an hour, and included a survey of the School for Peace and Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam as a whole, as well as meetings with School for Peace director Rabah Halaby, Palestinian Peace Movement director Mohammed Joudeh, and Abdessalam Najjar from the NS/WAS public relations office.
A highlight of the visit was the participation of Palestinian and Israeli graduates of the facilitator training course who engaged in candid discussion with the Canadian visitors.
Madame Marleau, during the course of the discussion, stressed the vital necessity of grass roots work in order to bolster the political agreements between the leaders.
On two occasions, the Canada Fund for Peace and Dialogue has supported School for Peace projects. In the current scholastic year, the Fund has provided 25,000 Canadian dollars towards a joint project by the School for Peace and the Palestinian Peace Movement. The purpose of the course was to train Palestinian and Israeli facilitators of conflict group encounter. This was the first such joint course for training Israeli and Palestinian Authority facilitators to be conducted by the School for Peace. Graduates of the course are now actively engaged in field work in a variety of organizational frameworks.
On a recent visit to Israel of the South African deputy foreign minister, the deputy minister's wife, Ms. Sandra Pahad, together with Mrs. Koti Prinsloo, visited the village. The visit to NS/WAS was arranged by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She toured the village and met with representatives of the various branches.A month later, another delegation from the Embassy arrived, consisting of Counselor Dennis Casale, who is the Deputy Ambassador, and Mr. Seth Mompei, a political secretary. They were given an explanation of NS/WAS and its activities, and ate lunch at the Guest House. They expressed appreciation for our work and also a willingness to cooperate with NS/WAS and include it in activities of the Embassy.
An official visit to the village was made by the International Federation of Social Workers, as arranged by the Israel Federation of Social Workers. Among those who visited were Honorary President of the Federation, Mr. Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol, from Switzerland, and President of the Federation, Mr. Elis Envall, from Sweden. The Israel Federation promised a donation of $1,000 towards a play corner in the kindergarten, in Mr. Mouravieff-Apostol's name.
Open Day for the Diplomatic Corps
Visit of Former US Ambassador Martin Indyk
Visit of Former PM Shimon Peres
Mrs Rut Dayan describes a visit
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