Nomination of Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation for Season of Nonviolence
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other."
Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation seeks to address the core root of violence which Martin Luther King Jr. believed came from the lack of capacity for communication and listening. Situated in Los Angeles, Salaam Shalom co-sponsors peace education schools in the Middle East while participating in, and leading a number of projects for peace locally. Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation promotes a paradigm for peace based on the power of innovative educational methods and a heart-based form of communication known on the Way of Council. The Way of Council is form of community building/contemplative group communication based on four simple tenets:
- Speak from the heart.
- Listen from the heart.
- Be spontaneous.
- Be lean in your speech.
Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation has:
-hosted interfaith BE THE PEACE Walks which are silent meditational walks in the Santa Monica Mountains followed by the Way of Council.
-helped dispel myths in Los Angeles that there will never be peace in the Middle East by arranging a series of Los Angeles joint appearances by a pair of their peace education teachers from Israel - one Jewish and one Arab - are who championing peace in the MIddle East.
- Hosted the Southern California BioRegional Gathering of thirty southland Interfaith and Peace Groups
-taught the Golden Rule as a universal principle in all major religions to school children.
-promoted Gandhi’s teachings at local events by inviting community members to weave prayers for peace into a large community banner emblazoned with Gandhi’s mantra “There is No Way to Peace - Peace is the Way”
- Helped to provide an awareness of the basics of peace education through educating about the 10 Steps to Peace Education.
-Helped to coordinate and mark the first anniversary of the Los Angeles Day of Nonviolence held at the Los Angeles City Hall on December 2, 2010
Recently the United Nations asked communities throughout the word to honor the first World Interfaith Harmony Week this beginning week of February 2011. To commemorate the U.N’s first World Interfaith Harmony week, Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation introduced the first Israeli-Arab Council facilitator to Jewish communities throughout Los Angeles. This provided many new experiences for Jewish and Arab people here in Los Angeles to give up preconceived notions of each other, and to sit together with open hearts - proving you don’t have to wait for politicians to create peace on earth and good will toward all people!
This Sunday, February 13 At the West Valley Jewish Federation Salaam Shalom will be running two centers based on a similar model of what they did for Sacred Service at Agape. One center will be a meditation center on Gandhi's peace teaching using their peace banner, and the other center will be on nonviolent communication, introduction to Islam, and teaching about peace in the home using our Ten Steps for Peace in the Home strategy. In another part of town they will be hosting "Music in the Key of Peace" which will involve PeaceMaker Itaf Awad and amateur filmmaker, Amitai Gross. Amitai will be showing footage of one of their interfaith peace projects in Israel that is a model for the Los Angeles interfaith children’s program Salaam Shalom is developing called “Walk with Me”.
Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation is active in making a significant difference for peace in our community; therefore I nominate Salaam Shalom Educational Foundation as an organization to be recognized as a local hero for nonviolence.