ISRAEL: Jewish, Muslim and Christian kids leave illness at the door.

If a child with a chronic disease can conquer a climbing wall, she will feel she can conquer anything.


Jordan River Village (JRV). The only program of its kind in the Middle East.

ISRAEL21c is “an online news magazine offering the single most diverse and reliable source of news and information about 21st century Israel to be found anywhere. It is a vast resource of thousands of originally written and produced articles, videos, and blogs by some of Israel’s leading journalists. Free from bias or prejudice, ISRAEL21c is a uniquely apolitical nonprofit organization.”

This week, ISRAEL21c, in an article written by Abigail Klein Leichman, reported on an exceptional Israeli programme where Jewish, Muslim and Christian kids leave illness at the door when they come to Jordan River Village for a free week of medically supervised activities.

As we hear in utter revulsion of the horrors taking place in Syria, and the blatant abuse and violence taking place against its’ children, we wonder how absurd it is to believe that Israel’s Jordan River Village programme may, at some time in the distant future, be open to accept all children living in the Middle East.

“If we would leave the problems of the Middle East to the children, we would have had peace long ago.”

In her article Leichman explains that, “Jordan River Village (JRV) offers 24-hour medical supervision during a week of swimming and drama, sports and arts in a 61-acre setting in the Upper Galilee. One counselor tends every two or three campers — kids between the ages of nine and 18 with cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, familial dysautonomia, neurological disorders, rheumatic diseases, heart diseases and other life-threatening or chronic conditions.” She adds, “by virtue of its location it also presents a rare opportunity for Jewish, Muslim and Christian children to become friends.” And mentions, “The father of one Arab girl was extremely worried about how she’d cope. She wasn’t fluent in Hebrew, let alone English. When she got back, he told us she had a fantastic experience. He said that if we would leave the problems of the Middle East to the children, we would have had peace long ago.”

Leichman writes: “The camp is recognized and supported in part by the Israeli government, and Israeli actor Chaim Topol chairs the board that oversees hundreds of volunteers along with 15 paid staffers.

“An Arab child came as a camper when he was 17 and he had such a great time and liked the idea of coexistence so much, that when he turned 18 he became a volunteer in the village,” she says.

To read the article in its entirety click here .

 (Photo credit: ISRAEL21c)

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