Seven students from Pacific Ridge School participated in a peace-building summit with nonprofit Hands of Peace over the summer. The students met with Israeli and Palestinian teens who stayed with local host families, each day participating in facilitated dialogue sessions to create connections and break down stereotypes. The group also bonded by painting murals, doing a ropes course, and visiting with students near the United States-Mexico border.

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Each summer Hands of Peace brings a group of Jewish-Israeli, Palestinian Citizens of Israel, and Palestinian teenagers to San Diego and Chicago for a 19-day, dialogue-based experience, as well as with a comparable number of American teens from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and other faith backgrounds. The program teaches team-building and leadership skills, helps the participants learn about different cultures and religions, guides them in learning about the conflict from different points of view, and encourages them to take action to incorporate peace-building into their personal lives. Learn more at www.handsofpeace.org.