I want to tell you about my contacts with Shimon Peres while he was President of the State of Israel. I became involved in a program of dialogue between Israeli Jewish and Israeli Arab youth which has become a befitting dedication to the memory of the late 9th President of Israel and the values he taught us, I was working with the ORT educational system, in the Steinberg Leadership Institute, and developed a “Bridges for Peace” program in conjunction with the Peres Center for Peace and the Google Company. The program encompassed ORT schools each with classes of Arab pupils and classes of Jewish pupils. The contact between the pupils was both through navigator platforms browsers, as well as face to face meetings.

The program was as follows: Following upon the meeting between them each two classes worked on a project that extended into their communities and in other schools. For example, two classes organized a sports day for Jewish and Arab school children in their city. The unprecedented results for example in schools in Akko are shown in the photographs here.

At the end of the year, each school presented the results of their activities at a function at the Peres Center for Peace which was attended by Shimon Peres.  The then President, agreed to have a photograph taken with all the pupils there.

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צלם פביאן קולדרוף

Mr. Peres told the Jewish and Arab pupils about the values he cherished: perseverance, striving for personal truth and the ideology that promotes action, the constant desire for innovation, implementing ideals, integrity and the belief in living together.

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Please share about your experience and what do you remember of Shimon Peres.