Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

UNESCO highlights Israeli students' peace efforts


January 18, 2019

A still from the Kfar Silver students' award winning video, "Peace for Israel."

Students from a World ORT Kadima Mada Youth Village in Israel scored a historic "first" after their peace-making efforts were acknowledged at a major international forum.

A short film, "Peace for Israel," made by teenagers from the Kfar Silver Youth Village, was screened at a UNESCO conference in Paris last month.  The 90-second video on the use of drones and robots for peace, which was created by the students at the height of the conflict on the Gaza border in 2018, was selected as one of 10 winning entries in a competition to mark the UN's "International Day of Peace." The production was chosen from more than 100 entries from around the world.

Scores of fire kites and Molotov cocktail kites have been launched into Israel from Gaza, destroying tens of thousands of acres of agricultural crops, since the spring. The Kfar Silver Youth Village is set in hundreds of acres of agricultural land on the outskirts of Ashkelon, less than nine miles from the Gaza border. In November, the village was evacuated after the region came under heavy rocket fire. 

Avi Ganon, World ORT director general and CEO, said, "ORT has been a member of UNESCO's NGO Liaison Committee for more than a decade and this recognition is hugely welcome for our organization and our students." He observed, "ORT's dynamic STEM curriculum is giving thousands of students a head start to transform their lives using 21st century skills, with drone technology classes proving particularly popular. To receive international appreciation of this work makes a real difference to our students."

Henri Levy, World ORT representative to UNESCO, said: "The fact that a piece of work done by Jewish children in Israel, appealing for peace in the face of Palestinian violence, was chosen to be shown by a UN organization, is historic.  It is something that ORT, and especially Kfar Silver students, should be very proud of."

Shimon Solomon, Kfar Silver principal, explained, "The video put together by our students reflects the educational values and messages that they receive at school and at home. The children's courage to travel to the Gaza border when incendiary balloons were being launched on a daily basis demonstrates the yearning for peace in our region. I see great importance and pride in our students who chose to send a clear message of peace."

Kadima Mada's "Flying Drones and Aviation" course is one of the school's most popular offerings. It teaches students to design, build and fly the unmanned aerial devices.

The video can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrbttaCXot8&feature=youtu.be.


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