Cultural Learnings from Israel

For Spring Break this year as part of Lauder’s new Intercultural Ventures, we traveled with 24 of our classmates to Israel to learn about water innovation as well as the country’s cultural and political environment.

One of the visits we found most inspiring during the trip was our afternoon at the Eastern Mediterranean International School (EMIS) twenty minutes outside of Tel Aviv. Founded by Lauder alum Oded Rose (WG’95), EMIS is a unique international boarding high school with a mission of making education a force for peace and sustainability in the Middle East. At the school, 20% of students come from Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East, with over 20 students from Palestine, 20% from Israel and the remainder 60% from 40 countries all over the world.

Oded greeted us on our arrival and told us the story of how after a successful career he wanted to give back to his country by educating young people from different nationalities and teaching them the ability to live and thrive together peacefully. Talking to some of the students over lunch, we identified with their experience working with and becoming friends with their classmates from all over the world.

At our table was both a girl from Israel and a boy from the West Bank. Before coming to EMIS they told us that they would have never even had the opportunity to share a table with someone from the other’s home. Yet that day we sat together coming from Israel, Palestine, Germany and the U.S. sharing lunch and laughing together. Reflecting now on that day, we remain impressed by the maturity of all the students we met at EMIS – talking to them we felt as though we were talking to peers rather than high school students ten years younger than us.

Oded’s work has stuck with us weeks after the trip. It reminds us of the strength of our own international community and what we can achieve working together. If our blog piqued your curiosity, please visit EMIS’s website to learn more. Thank you so much Oded for welcoming us and sharing this incredible initiative with our group!

With Lauder Love,
Katie Fackler (Lauder French Program ’16) and Kaline Brückner Saab (Lauder Global Program ’16)

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