A group of students from a German
construction school have spent two weeks in the northern Israeli city of Karmiel this summer helping teens to renovate their high school ahead of the upcoming academic year.
As part of the project, the German and Israeli students restored a balcony, which previously stood unused because it didn't meet safety standards and wasn't shaded.
The visiting group designed a pergola, safety railing and a sitting area for the use of the Person, Society and Nature High School in Karmiel.
The budding builders, designers and carpenters, ages 18-24, also shared their skills with the Israeli teens.
"Even though they don't speak the same language, they managed to communicate and understand each other," Noa Plotkin, an 11th grade teacher, said, referring to the Israeli and German students. "The common goal bridged the gap."
The German delegation's goal was to do its part for the community and strengthen the ties with Israel.
Aside from working on the project, the group also spent a week visiting various tourist sites, including the Ghetto Fighters' House Museum.
Dana Feinik, the general manager of the Dror Education Centers, which is affiliated with the Karmiel high school, noted that the Israeli society is fighting a battle over "the value of work."
"What kind of society do we want – one that is based on foreign workers who come here to do the jobs that require professional skill, or one that is based on industry or technology?" she pondered.
"Anyone who opposes blue collar jobs… undermines the durability of Israeli society," she added. "At times, we can make great educational achievements through physical labor."