Meet Shai! One of our inspiring and brilliant Jewish participants. Shai took part in the JPB Interfaith Citizenship Institute in 2017 and will join the JPB Leadership Institute this summer. We recently asked Shai to reflect on her experience thus far in the JPB program:
"I joined JPB because I wanted to meet new people that I would never get to interact with otherwise, and going overseas to do so seemed like an adventure worth taking.
Shai at peace in Texas
JPB offered me a new window to the world. It presented the opportunity for me to apply all the skills I learned in my Diplomacy class. One of the strongest memories I have from last summer is the last day of the program. We all read our poems in front of a large audience at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston. We also read a poem we wrote together. At the end we all hugged. It was such an emotional and empowering moment - we had created such an amazing family in just ten days.
The program changed me and I even encouraged my classmates to make friends with "the other side". It can happen.
"JPB offered me a new window to the world."
If you are afraid, it is normal. I remember I was afraid at the airport, but there is nothing to be afraid of. You will connect to new people, make new friends and learn about different cultures and religions. It will change you and the way you see the world.
Sadly, in Israeli society, we don't know each other, we don't know anything about each other, and it is a big issue. We can't have a relationship before we know each other and we need to have a relationship before we can make peace. It is not such a scary step and it will lead to good things!"