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One America - Children of the Dream

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One America

Program: Children of the Dream
Contact(s): Bette Weinberg, Assistant Director of Educational (310) 470-8712
Purpose: To improve intergroup relations among culturally diverse teens and encourage them to challenge their own stereotypes

Established in Los Angeles in 1992 as tensions between Jewish Americans and African Americans were increasing, Children of the Dream brings Ethiopian Jews living in Israel to Los Angeles high schools as a means of building bridges of understanding. Not only do African American students connect with the Ethiopian Jews, but so do Latinos and Asians who are also refugees from war-torn nations. In the next phase of the program, a diverse group of students are selected to experience Israeli culture firsthand and interact with Israeli and Arab teens in an international forum. In the last phase, the "Dream Dialogue," participants of the program are linked with local Jewish teens and teens of color for monthly dialogues to break down racial, ethnic and religious stereotypes, and to develop teen leadership skills. "Dream Dialogue" students have led discussions on valuing diversity at educators' conferences, high school and junior high school classrooms, at youth group conferences and the White House's Conference on Hate Crimes in October 1997. Implemented by the Anti-Defamation League, Children of the Dream operates in 12 U.S. cities.

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