Local Woman Plans Peacemaking Trip to Israel

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By Evie Allen
By Randy Livingston

HERRIN -- Despite violence in the Middle East, a Herrin woman is proceeding with her plans to travel to Israel. 

She's headed to Jerusalem on what she calls "a peacemaking trip". 

The violence in Israel has many worried about traveling to the country, but it hasn't deterred Herrin resident Kathi Neubert. 

"We live in a scary world and we can hide and be afraid or we can be brave, and I choose to be brave," she says.

Neubert plans to work at a school in Jerusalem called Hand in Hand. The school brings Jewish and Arab students together. 

While there, she'll work with staff and students, "who are invested in that country. Who want to stay in that country, Arab and Jew. They want to live side-by-side and I want to encourage that."

Neubert says she's aware of the dangers being in Israel and follows the news daily. Some may consider the trip bad timing, but Neubert says she's not worried about her safety.  

"I think when I get there, when the sirens go off, I will, of course, have a viseral response. As far as being afraid to go [to Israel], I'm not."

This will be her second trip to Israel this year. She went on a tour in February with a group. This time she'll be making the trip alone.

"I'm excited to be doing the work. I'm excited to be going to the school and to be working with the children there," she says.

School begins in September. Neubert plans to leave for Israel in August and stay until June 2015.

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