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First Lesson in Peace

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First Lesson in Peace

(Doc, 56 min., DVD/BETA, color, 2006)
  • Written & Directed by: Yoram Honig
  • Produced by: Yoram Honig
  • Language: Hebrew with English subtitles


First Lesson in Peace explores the Jewish –Arab conflict through the eyes of a six year old girl, the director's daughter when she starts school at the mixed Arab- Jewish primary school - Neveh Shalom-The Oasis of Peace. This the first time a film has been made looking in from the inside at this unique human laboratory named Neveh Shalom, this unique school, first of its kind in Israel which provides Jewish and Arab children with an educational frame work for learning together. The film, in the form of a letter from father Yoram to his six year old daughter, follows the clashes and encounters that the child goes through during her first year in school and her first year in the reality of the Middle East. This letter-film will be given to her when she is much older and when she is in a position to better understand the thoughts and hopes that went with the parent's decision. The director, the son of Zionist immigrants to Israel from Australia, and his wife Ofira, whose father was killed by Arabs in one of the Arab- Israel wars, accompany Michal on her first days at school. . They are full of fears and apprehension, concern and many politically incorrect second thoughts, especially when both Yoram's Zionist father and Ofira's extreme right wing brother express opposition to the parent's decision on their young daughter's future education at this Arab- Jewish experimental school. The film reaches a climax on the Israel Memorial Day and Israel Independence Day which is also the Palestinian Al -Nachba- the Day of Disaster, bringing all those featured in the film into sharply differing views and situations, some complicated and angry, some courageous and surprising- but all demonstrating the great complexity and enduring difficulties of this multi-faceted conflict. In many ways this film represents an open, honest, and human representation, a virtual microcosm of the long and terrible conflict between two peoples and two cultures and the search for humane, honest and lasting solutions.


  • Best Documentary Award - Parnu International Film Festival, Estonia, 2007
  • First Prize - Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival, 2006
  • Special Honoarary Mention - Medfest International Documentary Film Festival, Paestum, Italy, 2006
  • Special Honoarary Mention - DocAviv International Film Festival, 2006
  • Second Prize – Sisley International Film Festival, Georgia, 2006


  • Finchley Synagogue, London, 2011
  • Vienna Jewish Film Week, Austria, 2009
  • Temple Beth El, Santa Cruz, USA, 2009· First lesson in peace – edu· Toronto Media Centre, Canada
  • Temple Beth El JFF, USA, 2009
  • JCC of Greater Washington, USA, 2009
  • Sao Paulo Israeli Film Festival, Brazil, 2008
  • Film Is Real Festival, The Netherlands, 2008
  • The Other Israel Film Festival, NY, USA, 2007
  • Jersey Shore Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2007
  • Parnu International Film Festival, Estonia, 2007
  • Israel Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium, 2007
  • The Jacob Burns Film Center, USA, 2007
  • Makor, New York, USA, 2007
  • Syracuse International Film Festival, USA, 2007
  • Three Continents International Film Festival, India, 2007
  • Westchester Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2007
  • Makor, New York, USA, 2007
  • Delray Beach Film Festival, USA, 2007
  • New Israel Fund, NY, USA, 2007
  • Fact Cinema, Liverpool, UK, 2007
  • Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, UK, 2007
  • Big Sky International Film Festival, Montana, USA, 2007
  • Isratim Film Festival, Paris, 2007
  • Cucalorus International Film Festival, USA, 2006
  • San Diego Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2007
  • Warsaw Jewish Film Festival, 2006
  • Three Continents International Film Festival, India, 2007
  • The Jewish Museum, NYC, USA, 2006
  • Docupolis International Film Festival, Spain, 2006
  • Cork International Film Festival, Ireland, 2006
  • Agudas Achim Congregation, USA, 2006
  • Sole e Luna International Film Festival, Italy, 2006
  • Cucalorus International Film Festival, USA, 2006
  • Calgary Jewish Film Festival, Canada, 2006
  • Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival, 2006
  • UK Jewish Film Festival, 2006
  • Lussas International Film Festival, France, 2006
  • Sesily International Film Festival, Georgia, 2006
  • San Fransisco Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2006
  • Grand Rapids Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2006
  • Made in Israel Film Festival, NYC, 2006
  • Akiva High School , USA , 2006
  • DocAviv International Film Festival, Israel, 2006


  • Smith College
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Denver
  • Baltimore Center for Jewish Education
  • Cockfosters Learning Centre, UK
  • Duke University
  • Library of Congress
  • Emory University
  • Michigan State University
  • Wichita State University
  • Northwest Indiana Jewish Community
  • University of Iowa
  • Indianapolis JCC
  • UCLA
  • University of Florida
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Ezra Film Club, Israel
  • B'nai Jeshurun Synagogue, USA
  • Ohio State University
  • Toronto Media Centre, Canada

Press and Links

First Lesson in Peace at the DocAviv Film Festival, April, 2006. An article by Julia Anspach at, for the article click Here

First Lesson in Peace for a NY Premiere at the Made In Israel Film Festival. For further information, click Here


From the Jury DocAviv 2006
With both tender care and professional know-how the director managed to create a film which successfully portrays the complex subject of the love between a father and his daughter. The documentation of the microcosm of a classroom is a perfect metaphor for the Israeli reality.”


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