AFT-Maryland President Marietta English joined with other AFT national officers and representatives for a visit to Israel. There, they participated in a cultural exchange about best practices in educating young people. The trip had significant importance as the group also engaged with students and teachers at Jerusalem’s Hand-in-Hand School. The school promotes integration and tolerance among the Arab and Jewish residents of Israel.
President English was there on behalf of the more than 15,000 state and public employee members that make up AFT-Maryland. There, she engaged and exchanged ideas with members of Israel’s Union of Clerical Administrative and Public Service Employees. The entire experience was enlightening and informative for her and for the Israeli union activists she met.
In her remarks to the group, she observed a moment of reflection for “…those who love harmonious living and respect all the various people, cultures, and religions of the world. All who have given their lives so we can live a more peaceful one.” Unfortunately there would be an attack in Israel shortly thereafter that would claim the lives of four people. No one in the AFT delegation was injured. AFT-Maryland’s hearts and prayers goes out to the victims and families of that tragic attack.