Building on her successful classes last year, JPB's Sarah Benazera returned to Sharet High School, Netanya in January and February to facilitate workshops on conflict resolution, storytelling, and communication for 10th and 11th graders. During one of the workshops, Sarah connected the topics of conflict transformation and storytelling to her own personal experience of peacebuilding in Rwanda. They explored how the Rwandan genocide and stories about it helped fuel the conflict and how new stories of reconciliation helped transform the conflict. With that as a model, she asked the students to plot the points of their own personal story, explaining that they decide where their stories begin: one boy said, "I begin with Abraham", another drew an infinity symbol, one in Libya, and another in Hungary during the Holocaust.
Sarah leads teens through a peacebuilding workshop
Her work left a deep impression with both the students and their diplomacy teacher alike, reminding us that transformational education involves teaching a child to tell their own story and then recognizing the remarkable answers they generate. Sara Dayan, the school's diplomacy teacher, later wrote, "Her techniques for bringing out the salient points are deceptively simple and slowly reveal themselves as sheer brilliance as the workshop progresses. It was hard to concentrate during the rest of the day and for days after, as her teaching was so powerful and raw. We were blessed, and I wish all students could learn like this." High praise indeed for Sarah and JPB!