I was a Volunteer

I am Khulda Raz. I am 87 years old, and I volunteered in a work camp program in Israel between 1950 and 1960.

The idea behind these camps was that if people got together, peace would prevail in the world. I carried out physical work side-by-side with Palestinians and made friends with them. In the mornings, we sang from the song book, used as a tool of peace to take its place "beside the pick and shovel in the efforts of building peace through small international groups working and living together." That was a book of songs distributed to all of us with our names on it.

The work camp movement tried to bind people together. The volunteers came from many countries to do a job that needed to done, such as building a youth hostel in the north of Israel, or cleaning a school in Nazareth.
I also volunteered abroad, where I and a fellow Palestinian lady helped clean houses from water and mud in Holland after the floods.

People believed in peace and believed that it could be achieved. I also traveled to India during this time, and helped spread awareness on the importance of installing chimneys in the huts where people lived.
In the camps in Israel, volunteers never talked politics, they just came together to live cooperatively and show through their collective work that neither class, country, or color can separate human beings from each other.

Khulda lives in Jerusalem. She has retired from her position as a teacher in a high school. She currently holds discussion groups in her home on bible and history and provides assistance to children with difficulties.