By: Laurina Driesse

Students in a mixed Jewish and Arab school for the hearing impaired located in Jerusalem recently had the opportunity of displaying their creative side, and the Christian Embassy was delighted to be a sponsor of their educational journey.

The students took part in a unique photography project that afforded a select group the opportunity to explore the world of visual concepts. The photo course encouraged active learning in the students through a topic of their own choosing.

Beyond gaining photography skills, students also learned the importance of teamwork, and how to communicate and consider ideas of fellow teammates to reach agreement and achieve results.

Jiska and Noam worked together on the topic of “My shadow and me” and shot photos of objects or animals and their shadows. Meanwhile, Nati and Liav paired up to photograph “Water Reflections” and captured the reflections of nature and other objects in water. (See below.)

Photo outside in Jerusalem

Photo excursions around the school premises as well as on the streets of Jerusalem gave plenty of scope for the imagination. Khaled submitted images of cars and has already started working on another project called “On the street”, where he captures ordinary people going about their daily lives. Some people are directing traffic or riding bicycles, while older people walk with their walking stick or shopping cart and younger people focus on their cell phone as they walk.

Dozens upon dozens of photographs were taken and submitted, but at the end of the project only the 10 best photos could be chosen for an exhibition.

The selection process proved to be an extremely challenging task for students, as it was natural to feel passionate about their own photographs. Yet here, too, there were lessons to be learned. The students were taught to look critically at their own work and acknowledge their skill level compared to their fellow students. The selected photos were printed and exhibited along the school corridors. Participating from start to finish in the project, the students were involved with the order of photo placement as each found a place of honor and was displayed for all to enjoy.

A sense of pride and accomplishment filled their hearts at the successful completion of the project.

You may be wondering what happened to the photographs that were not chosen for the exhibition. Well, a segment of the project included a lesson in prioritizing, budgeting, and sales. During this task, students embarked upon a shopping expedition. They were given a budget and needed to check prices, calculate costs to buy boxes, canvasses, and other materials within their budget.

Students then painted the boxes that they bought, selected their most suitable photographs, and applied the photos to the boxes with special adhesive. The school arranged for a market-day, where the students erected a table in a local neighborhood to display their creativity and sell their work. They were absolutely thrilled when several of their boxes and other items were sold!

Meanwhile, the photographs from Salma and Ahmed’s “In the kitchen” project – which focused on shots of food preparation – will replace previous faded photos currently displayed in the stairwell leading to the school kitchen.

Photo magnets

During the course, students also learned about taking photographs specifically to produce on magnets. When an opportunity arose for the students to participate in events held in Jerusalem’s gardens, they were quick to agree. Here they were asked to take photos at the event and were able to charge a fee. They also could display their photographs on magnets during these events.

This course was especially meaningful for students nearing the end of their formal education. Their exposure to the creative and commercial opportunities of photography has left them hopeful that they can develop and use these skills in the future.  

“It is very special to be able to assist these hearing-impaired students and help them gain new creative and technical skills that could turn into a source of income for them in the future”, said Nicole Yoder, ICEJ Vice President for AID and Aliyah. “The medium of photography is a marvelous way to communicate and the ICEJ is honored to support this vocational training project by providing essential equipment and covering the expenses of the course.” Thank you for your generous donation to support this and other ICEJ AID projects. Through your faithful giving, we are able to touch lives and meet needs in all sectors of Israeli society, giving them a future and a hope. Please consider a gift of love by clicking the button below.

Project photographs