This week’s blog is written by American Fellow, LaToya Fisher, and talks about the “Big Friday” twinnings. A twinning is a joint activity between Arab and Jewish teams where they come together to do fun basketball drills and get to know each other.
Last Friday, April 21st marked the end of an epic era known as “Big Friday” at Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem. “Big Friday” is special because unlike a typical twinning that usually brings just two teams together, one Arab and one Jewish, a “Big Friday” twinning brings together four teams: two from Keshet (a Jewish school in Jerusalem), a team from Beit Safafa (an Arab village in Jerusalem), and a team from the West Bank.
Aside from all of the participants being ridiculously cute, the energy and enthusiasm they brought to every twinning was contagious. No matter what competition we did or how simple the warm up was, the kids and the coaches were cheering. So much of the energy and atmosphere was because of the amazing Leadership Development Program (LDP) participants who volunteered at every twinning and really encouraged the kids to cheer, dance, laugh, and made them feel comfortable.
Some might speculate that “Big Friday” twinnings were dear to my heart because there was usually at least one team that incorporated my name, LaToya, into their chosen team name or big competitions (e.g. Mama LaToya, Princess LaToya, Grandma LaToya), but I’m sure that’s purely coincidental. The energy was always great at “Big Fridays” and the LDP seemed to have just as much fun as the kids.
While I’m sad that the “Big Friday” twinnings have come to an end, I’m glad they ended well — with lots of cheering, a little dancing, and tons of smiles. I will miss seeing all of my little buddies once a month on Friday, but I will cherish the awesome memories we made over the seven Fridays we came together during this programming cycle.