Pioneer high school program unites US Jews with Arab teens

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.


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