Launch of the final exhibition, June 2016

Launch of the final exhibition, June 2016

Good evening, thank you for coming and thanks to the entire wonderful staff of This is Jerusalem! – Teachers’ Lounge program.

This remote strip of land in a small corner of the Middle East, Jerusalem, has been a global focus for historical events for millennia.

It is the nature of the world that the history that has been written and taught is the history of wars, conquests, and conflicts, which crush in their giant jaws the small, simple individual, who was born, lives, loves, eats, raises children, and, with a little luck, dies in a good old age.

This Is Jerusalem! – Teachers’ Lounge program in commemoration of Shira Banki is a program of the little-big people who are trying not get crushed and not to let the presence of the conflicts – that shake the reality of our lives – be the only presence in our lives.

There are many conflicts everywhere, and in Jerusalem there may be considerably more than in other places.  Religious, national, gender, and other conflicts. But those who acknowledge the value of man as a man and the value of life do not need to let conflict swallow all that is good in our world.

It is right for all of us to seek and build physical, virtual, and emotional places where people – human beings – meet, get to know each other, and break down the walls of ignorance, suspicion, hate, and fear.

The program’s team and the participating teachers create a better reality for us –  a point of optimism to take comfort in and a guiding sign to the road we must take.

Just as Shira went to the gay pride parade to support the right of every person to live his or her life without discrimination or hate because of their sexual orientation, everyone of participates in this welcome venture supports the right of every person to be present in the public space irrespective of whether they wear a hijab, knitted yarmulke, a streimel, or is bareheaded like myself.

To our great regret, our public sphere is full of violence and hate.

The pictures and the exhibition are proof that another way is possible.

Thank you and we hope for a time of fruitful and expanded operations in the coming year as well.