Nes Ammim is a village in the Western Galilee, north Israel, situated between the city of Haifa and the border with Lebanon. What makes Nes Ammim different from other kibbutzim/villages in the country, is that the village was founded and is inhabited by a Christian community of European volunteers. In Nes Ammim, the Christian community lives and works together with its Israeli and Arab neighbors.
Center of Learning & Dialogue for Peace
Learning and Dialogue – both intercultural and interreligious – are important pillars of this community. In the Center of Learning and Dialogue these pillars come into practice. The center organizes dialogue activities, local dialogue groups use the facilities of both the center and the hotel for seminars and workshops, and a study program is organized for the European volunteers. Also, Palestinian Arab Christians come to the Nes Ammim Hotel for community building activities.
History of Nes Ammim
The development of Nes Ammim is closely connected to the history and the current political situation of Israel. During and after the Shoah – the genocide of six million Jews in Europe during World War II – many survivors sought refuge in Palestine. In 1917, the Balfour declaration promised a Jewish homeland and in 1948, the new state of Israel declared its independence. About ten years later a group of Christians in Europe decided to live in Israel to show solidarity and to contribute to the state of Israel.
Nes Ammim was founded in 1963 and has always been a place where volunteers from Europe meet Jews and Arabs. They come to find out firsthand how people in Israel and Palestine live, what they believe in and what they think about the conflict and the current political situation.
The aims of Nes Ammim
The aims of Nes Ammim have developed over the years, just like Israel has developed. Today Nes Ammim wants to:
- facilitate the reconciliation of Jews and European Christians after the Shoah;
- foster exchange between European and Palestinian Arab Christians;
- show practical solidarity with Jews and Arabs in Israel;
- inform volunteers comprehensively and in a well-balanced manner about Israel, Palestine, Judaism, Islam, local Christianity and other religions;
- support dialogue between Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians;
- free the Christian theology of antisemitism and of its compulsion to missionize Jews.
A logo that tells a story
The sign of the village is a symbol of agriculture with a Christian background. The ear of wheat represents an agricultural community, of which most of Israel was dependant on when the pioneers built Nes Ammim. The fish is the ancient symbol of the Christians. The ear of wheat and the fish overlap: Israelis and Christian volunteers meet in Nes Ammim.