In this article I explore the tensions that arise in the context of educational initiatives implemented by organizations that have both pedagogical and political aspirations. I draw on the work of Sadaka Reut, a veteran Jewish-Palestinian peace education organization, to highlight how the ideological commitments held by an organization working for structural equality can limit possibilities for openness to multiple perspectives and can thus serve as a barrier towards successfully achieving pedagogical aspirations, in particular Sadaka Reut’s goal of educating towards a binational community of Jewish and Palestinian activists working in partnership. I also highlight the tension inherent in working simultaneously to help Jewish and Palestinian participants develop a strong sense of ethno-national identity; and to facilitate the development of a transcendent identity as activists in solidarity.

Author Bio(s)

Karen Ross is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance at UMASS Boston. Her research and professional work focus on questions at the intersection of grassroots peace-building, education, and social activism. She is particularly interested in methodological and conceptual issues related to assessing the impact of endeavors aimed at nonviolent social change.


peace education, Jewish, Palestinian, political, pedagogical, tensions

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