The Educating Towards a Racism-Free Future initiative was developed in 2012-2013 as part of Charles E. Smith High School for Boys social justice activities. The initiative enables students to respond to actions that undermine the foundations of democracy and solidarity upon which the Jewish state and the ethos of the Charles E. Smith High School is built.
This year, ninth grade students from the Charles E. Smith High School and from the Max Rayne Hand-in-Hand Jerusalem School, a bicultural school for Jewish and Arab students, have partnered to create the Student Partnership for Coexistence, a student group that is building a foundation of trust between Arab and Jewish students by identifying areas of commonality. The first project that the group has taken on is keeping a major Jerusalem park that runs through Jewish and Arab neighborhoods safe and welcoming to all citizens.
The Student Partnership for Coexistence grew out of a partnership of the Charles E. Smith High School and a high school in East Jerusalem through that worked together to "guard" the Jerusalem Forest. The group took a Magen David Adom first-aid training course and firefighting courses so that they could volunteer together to fight forest fires in this area.
Students participating in this year’s initiative meet weekly for dialogue and training. As part of the initiative to keep the park safe and open, students will take a Magen David Adom first-aid training course to provide them with practical skills to help them work towards their common goal.