Suzanne Bardasz's Comments

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At 7:32pm on May 30, 2008, Rob Schrama said…
The ‘Big Hug’ and the future of Jerusalem

The sting of all problems between Israeli and Palestinians lays in the Old City of Jerusalem. Her status has to be solved in such a way, that all parties fighting for control over her can agree upon.

On June 24, the ‘Big Hug’ will be hold in Jerusalem. Light workers from Israel, Palestine and from all over the world, ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’, will come together to bring warmth and energy to this city, embracing holding hands the Old City. If we bundle all our positive energies and bring these to Jerusalem, we can create peace to this exceptional place.

We are organizing the Big Hug to make the people aware –especially the Israeli and Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem- that there is a very shaped perspective for the city of Jerusalem as a city of peace: a new, undivided Jerusalem, as the capital of Palestine, Israel and at large.

Let go of the conflict concerning her command and dedicate the city to the Omnipresent. The Old City as a whole is His Temple. To give the walled Old City free to God, as a "Status Apart”, as an independent city, will be the most feasible way to come out the current impasse.

The Old City of Jerusalem must become an open city; a House of Prayer for all the Peoples. This perspective is written down in the Holy Books, this is the perspective we, as ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’ embrace as well as solution. But how many people does already notice this hopeful point of view?

What I saw in Jerusalem and also everywhere else where I meet Islamic and Jewish people is, that not so many persons really think about a future for Jerusalem. Most of the time, they stick with old ideas that the Old City of Jerusalem will always remain a part of Israel, or in opposite, that it will be absolutely a part of a new Palestinian state, as stolen land that has to be given back. With these visions, a future Jerusalem will be a divided city with an East Palestinian and West Israeli part, with barbed wire and checkpoints in between, like the situation of the city from 1948-1967. Or, coming closer to an agreement, people suggest -like proposed in the “Geneva Accord” in 2003- to make a complicated dividing of the Old City in a Israeli and Palestinian part. That will mean that the small alleys will be split by walls and barriers too. The idea that a future Jerusalem will become a divided city, is something that we have to prevent.

There are living about 250.000 Palestinian and 500.000 Israeli rather close together in one city. Do they want to make a separation of Jerusalem in parts or do they choose, deep in their hearts, for unity? So my best friends, it is our task to inform the whole city that there is an alternative for the Jerusalem of today.

All lovers of a united Jerusalem will come together to encircle and embrace the Old City of Jerusalem with love and devotion. We have to encourage all inhabitants of Jerusalem to join the coming Big Hug, with the idea of a New Jerusalem that might be realized with their support.

Rob Schrama Phone:0031-646608660
At 11:20pm on April 12, 2008, Noa D said…
Thanks! Good luck with everything!
At 1:02pm on April 5, 2008, Yael Patir said…
Dear Suzanne,
Thanks so much for your warm and encouraging words. I would like to apologize for not answering earlier. The truth of the matter is that I am having difficulties keeping in touch with all the different e-mail boxes and online networks I have.
We share something in common - a polish mother ;)
Be well,
At 11:24am on April 1, 2008, Noa D said…
Hi Suzanne,
Thanks, I need it! This year is really annoying because it started out with a long, long professor's strike, during which classes took place only partially, So, I am only finishing my first semester now, and the second one will drag into next year... but, to be positive, next year I have only one semester left and then I am done. This is my fifth year (because I also did a BA in Politics , Philosophy and Economics first) so I am more than ready to finish! After that, I have a year of internship waiting for me in the center for Jewish Pluralism (the legal department of the Jewish Reformed movement, AKA IRAC). I am looking foward to doing some practical work finally. After that, I will totally identify with your feeling of uncertainty... :-) I'm sure you will find something great and exciting at the end. "Real life" is really starting, huh? :-) Scary. BTW, you can always come here and teach English and learn Hebrew! :-) Actually, there are people that come here to the Hebrew University to learn Hebrew but also to learn teaching techniques of second language. There were some teachers from Japan, actually, when I studied there in the teachers course, that came to observe the lessons.
I thought alot about what you wrote about "what kind of English?". What do you think would happen if you taught, let's say, immigrants in England, or Australia? What "English" would you teach them then? With what accent? Interesting!
I speak a little Spanish, but I don't remember much (took lessons when I traveled in Ecuador). I studied literature Arabic in school, and now finally, finally, am studying spoken Palestinian Arabic (it took me so long, I am embarrassed). I really want to reach a high level of conversational abilities. I wish I had more days in the week...
My favorite lesson is the one on words of comparison. I use pictures from the book " Hungry Planet: what the world eats" (,29307,1645016_1408120,00.html) to have them compare the weekly expidenture on food and also compare the different families. It really livens up the subject! What's yours?
Well, off to do some studying...
Take care and good luck with all the interviews and the thesis,
At 9:26pm on March 29, 2008, Noa D said…
Dear Suzanne,
I am just fine, thank you! Getting on the roller coaster of end-of-semester exams and papers, ugh. I wait to go to work, it is the light of my week (I know I am lucky to say this!).
When considering the issue of slang or "spoken mistakes" I think Hebrew is an interesting case. It is a revived language for only about 150 years now (, and like any other language has it's grammatical rules... but it is very very dynamic and when speaking, the rules get bent alot, both in terms of grammar and also in terms of correct diction. Unlike Arabic, which differentiates between the spoken language to the one in books, on the news and studied in school, Hebrew is still one language that includes both written and spoken. But I find myself having to tell my students: "now I am teaching you the right way to say this and that, but don't use it in conversations, because nobody really talks like this anymore". Even grammatical forms I studied in school (not very long ago...) aren't used anymore, and some of these changes have received the approval of the Israeli Academy for the Hebrew language. So it is not only a question of if/how to teach slang, but also to what level I am willing to play along with common grammatical mistakes made by the average Israeli. I guess you can say this is an issue I am still grappling with. Especially because students learn the language for different purposes (some for school, some for work, some just to converse) and each have different needs in this aspect.
By the way, on the issue of the language revival, a really interesting article on "the Language Wars" from Ha'aretz:
What surprised me? The fact that you can really learn a language at any age. I've had students of all ages (over 18...) and their abilities to acquire the language had nothing to do with their age.
By the way, do you use movies when you teach? Or popular music? I love doing this also as an introduction to culture/ social issues. And it is a great feeling for them to watch and understand a movie in Hebrew!
Are you teaching now, or just studying? And are you learning a language at the moment?
All the best and peace,
At 11:12pm on March 25, 2008, Mo'min said…
Dear Suzanne
i am glad to be friend with you
your welcome in my profile
wish we can talk as soon as possible
thanks with best regards Delete Comment
At 9:16pm on March 25, 2008, Noa D said…
Hi Suzanne,
Thanks for your thought-provoking reply! I never thoroughly thought of these issues where the English language is concerned. I guess that in a non-English speaking country, we are so wrapped up with the instrumental purposes of learning the language ("English is important for university" "You need good English to study abroad", etc) that we forget the cultural/philosophical dilemmas... I guess that's your job, right? :-)
What do you do about slang? And common grammatical mistakes? For me, teaching in the country where the language I teach is spoken, I get alot of wry comments from my students: "But Noa, nobody really talks like that in the street", "Do people really use that phrase?!" etc. One student asked, after I pointed out a grammatical mistake common amongst native speakers, "Noa, don't you want us to have friends? People will laugh if we talk like this!" :-). So it is a thin line between teaching a (correct form of a) language and encouraging immersion in a dynamic, changing language...
About peace education- first of all, I would love if you could elaborate on the meaning of the concept. I am interested in it in general. Regarding where I work, Milah is defined as a Hebrew Ulpan, and as I described earlier, this can be a delicate status for some people. I think the beauty of the place is that it gives people (students and teachers included!) the opportunity to meet people as people, without political/ethnic/whatever tags attached. Actually I think this is a good basis for peacemaking, but a sort of "under the surface" kind.
Kol Tuv (=all the best in Hebrew),
At 11:14pm on March 21, 2008, Noa D said…
Hello Suzanne,
I started out taking a Hebrew teacher's course in the Hebrew University, taught there for two summers and then started working in Milah as well. Milah defines itself as a Hebrew Ulpan, which historically means intensive Hebrew lessons also aimed at promoting integration in Israeli society and culture (check out Part of the melting pot, you could say. But today Ulpanim serve also foreign workers and tourists (mainly in Tel Aviv).In Jerusalem, a city that is such a mosaic of people that visit/live there, this is even more prominent. Only a fourth of students there are Olim Hadashim (new immigrants). The rest are from all over the world (from Japan to Brazil, from Tajikistan to Denmark…) and Palestinians from East Jerusalem, from all religions, backgrounds and ages. For me, as a teacher, this raises more and more pedagogic questions. Teaching Hebrew was perceived in the past as teaching a culture and an ideology. Most of the textbooks are very focused on this goal, many of text very religion-oriented and with a strong Zionist emphasis. Many textbooks rely on a Jewish background of the students for the use of introducing new vocabulary. The texts are quite ethnocentric and many times anachronistic. A lot of revising has to be done to adapt them to the student's world of concepts and associations, with consideration of various political and religious issues… it is a really interesting challenge. One day I would love to investigate the changes in curriculums and Ulpan textbooks over the years…
Have you met issues like these in your past experience, or during your studies of TESOL? I think the issue of textbooks in peace education is fascinating… this is my new obsession… :-) What do you think?
Take care!
At 10:00pm on March 20, 2008, Noa D said…
Hi Suzanne! Nice to meet you. Your profile is very interesting. I too love teaching languages (Hebrew, mainly...) and see it as a great opportunity to meet people from many beliefs and backgrounds. Usually I feel like I am learning much more from my students than they are learning from me! :-)
Take care,
At 1:07am on March 13, 2008, Eyal Raviv said…
Suzanne, Happy Birthday fellow twin :-)
At 11:12pm on December 18, 2007, Eyal Raviv said…
Hi Suzanne, thank you for sharing your story and for your activity on the site. My twin is a brother, eight minutes younger than I.
At 12:09pm on December 16, 2007, Eyal Raviv said…
Q: Where did you find us on takingITglobal?
At 12:05pm on December 16, 2007, Eyal Raviv said…
Hi Suzanne,
I'm so glad you are part of our community! You share yourself beautifully in your profile. BTW, I have a twin, too! I see you've joined groups and made yourself comfortable already! Here are our Features. If you have a question on the site, see our FAQ. And I welcome your Feedback.


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