Visions of Peace
From the Hands of Children

Tree of PeaceFrom the autumn  of 1995 to the summer of 2011, Maureen Kushner, an innovative and creative teacher from New York, worked in Israel on a project called The Art and Soul of Peace Through Humor at the invitation of the Ministry of Education. Maureen traveled all over Israel, from the Northern Galilee to the Southern Negev, working with Jewish, Arab, Bedouin and Druze children, as well as Ethiopian and Russian immigrants, to create murals and paintings on the theme of war and peace.

It is said that laughter is the shortest distance between two people. Wherever Maureen went, she used humor as an opening, a way to break down barriers and build a trusting environment. She used various imaginative techniques to help children integrate the values of loving-kindness, compassion, enthusiasm, truth, respect and gratitude through humor, art, and the education of the heart. In this way, the children were motivated to transcend their own fears and pain to create a vision of peace, tolerance and hope.

a child dreams of peace in JerusalemPeace Through Humor has been exhibited in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), 182 cities in the USA and Canada and 13 countries in Europe. It is currently on display in Poland. It has been seen by more than 20 million people.

This inspiring exhibition represents the children's hope for peace, reaching far beyond the shadow of war. They dream that their vision of Peace Through Humor will open the hearts and uplift the spirits of everyone and travel around the world creating friendship, compassion and love.

The exhibition is stunningly beautiful, poignant, and timely.  It balances messages of courage, tragedy, and hope. It opens the heart and lifts the spirit of everyone who sees it.  The show has recently been updated with paintings from Ethiopian children in Kiriyat Malachi, and Jewish, Arab, and Armenian children in Jaffa.