AJCC: The Class Exchange Program

AJCC: The Class Exchange Program

The Class Exchange Program addresses the issue of protracted isolation between Arabs and Jews in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Cultural isolation culminates in a lack of understanding, and negative beliefs of the “Other,” which are generated often by hearsay alone. Tensions between Arabs and Jews have been recently exacerbated as Jaffa undergoes large-scale gentrification processes with an influx of Jewish families into previously Arab neighborhoods. Recent community disturbances include the painting of swastikas on storefronts across Jaffa, and a brutal attack on an Arab man by Israeli youth. Without proper intervention, the implications of socio-cultural isolation and the growing negative opinion Jews and Arabs carry of one another impair long-term efforts for a more democratic Israel.

The Class Exchange Program provides an alternative to the dire prospects of Arab and Jewish relations in Israel. Children, still relatively unaware of Arab-Jewish tensions, have the potential to become well-adjusted citizens of a multicultural, cosmopolitan community. The Class Exchange Program facilitates first encounters between 120 Arab and Jewish elementary school children in the safe, sensitive environment of AJCC. Children become familiarized to each other’s cultures and build sustainable rapport through creative dance, music, and interfaith dialogue programming.

Academic research on the 2013-2014 Class Exchange Program found that tolerance activities were successful in lowering negative attitudes of out-group peers in 72% of participating children, and raising intercultural cooperation in over 50% of participants.

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IMPLEMENTORS
The Arab-Jewish Community Center (AJCC)
The mission of the AJCC is two-part in nature. First, the AJCC increases cooperation and positive relations between its 3,000 Arab and Jewish members through diverse tolerance programming. Second, the AJCC enriches the Tel Aviv-Jaffa community and underprivileged populations with religious and cultural events; and arts, sports, technology, and language courses tailored to the needs of the community. Together, these two mission components fulfill an overarching goal at the AJCC: To create a cohes ...
A.M.A.L. - The Association for the Promotion of Spoken Arabic
The Association for the Promotion of Spoken Arabic aims to make knowledge of Arabic and Arab culture more accessible to non Arabic speaking Israelis. Its vision is a more tolerant and open minded Israeli society in which the Arabic language is taught as a language of peace and not as a language of war and in which Arabic is used to build bridges of mutual respect and understanding. A.M.A.L's directors and staff see themselves as citizens of a modern liberal society, in which Arabic and Hebre ...
CONTACT INFORMATION
AJCC: The Class Exchange Program
Phone: (3) 5080898
Email: info@ajcc-jaffa.org

Website: http://ajccjaffa.wix.com/ajcc#!contact/c1gzt
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AJCCJaffa