All Aboard the Tolerance Train!

All Aboard the Tolerance Train!

One of the main goals of our Grassroots Campaign for Tolerance is to bring tolerance activities into the public sphere. Today, together with the Citypass company that operates the Jerusalem light rail and the Ruach Nachon pre-army preparation program, the Jerusalem Municipality and religious and ultra-orthodox high school students, we helped them do just that.  The invitation to get out to the Municipality Hall Light Rail Station was put on Facebook:

Here’s a short video to give you a taste of what went on:

In addition to music, throughout the event participants handed out flyers that read, “Let’s open Jerusalem’s heart” in Hebrew and Arabic and spoke with passersby. Passages from the Koran and the Book of Psalms that speak about peace were hung, in Arabic and Hebrew, respectively.

Speaking with passersby on the street

Speaking with passersby on the street

Participants also posted messages with tolerant messaging on light rail cars.

Making the cars more tolerant

Making the cars more tolerant

The event raised the curiosity of passersby, including city council members as well as those who heard from inside the Municipality buildings, as well as those who joined in the festivities on the sidewalk. Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, City Council member from the Yerushalmim Party, was so excited she made this video (in Hebrew):

Together with the beautifully sunny winter’s day, the event spread a tolerant atmosphere throughout the entire area. If we continue, these and other events will be able to influence the entire city. Congratulations to Citypass, which recognize’s the light rail’s important role in maintaining a positive atmosphere in Jerusalem. This was the first of what is supposed to turn into a monthly event. We can’t wait ’till then!

Many thanks to the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jerusalem Foundation for their ongoing support for our efforts to promote tolerance in Jerusalem.

If you’re interested in seeing more of the event, here’s a longer video that Ruach Nachon posted:

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