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PRESS RELEASE

In Midst of War, Girl Scouts Reach Out to Enemy

Jewish Girl Scouts have Palestinian pen pals


SCARSDALE, N.Y. (May 13, 2004) -- Troop 2077 Jewish Girl Scouts is selling more than cookies -- they have become purveyors of peace with a group of Palestinian girls from a Palestinian girls school on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. Letters peppered with "I Love Yous", pictures, candy, and of course, Girl Scout cookies, are being packaged and posted this Friday by the Jewish troop to a group of girls, ages 11 to 13, in East Jerusalem.

"The knee-jerk reaction to our project is often shock and sometimes mistrust," explains Judith Lederman, one of the troop leaders for Troop 2077, a Jewish Girl Scout troop. "But after some thought people realize that this isn't about politics -- it's about girls getting to know each other -- and if it can help change some attitudes, we are fulfilling our Girl Scout promise to help make the world a better place."

The Jewish Girl Scout Troop 2077 was established in 2001, in the memory of Freida Lederman, a scout leader in France who helped Jewish scouts use their scouting skills to hide from the Nazis and eventually escape over the icy Pyrenees Mountains to Spain on skis. The troop concentrates on service activities that benefit the Jewish community as well as the community at large. They incorporate their Jewish traditions and values to enjoy scouting events -- like creating Sabbath observant campouts, entertaining at Jewish Nursing Homes for holidays and teaching non-Jewish Girl Scouts about kosher food.

En route to a weekend campout, the girls of Troop 2077 will assemble at the post office to mail their letters, pictures and cookies.


SOURCE: Troop 2077 Jewish Girl Scouts




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