On Saturday night outside Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate eight teenage girls stood together laughing, their arms wrapped around one another. This behavior is normal within any group of young girls – however, the makeup of this group was anything but typical.
Four of the girls are students at Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles, studying Arabic in a one-of-a-kind program for Jewish day schools across the United States. The other four hail from Deir el-Asad and Majd el-Kurum, neighboring Arab villages in the Galilee. These Israeli-Arab teens were invited to participate in a 17-day program where they would travel and live side-by-side with the students in YULA’s Arabic program.