Haifa – One thousand, five hundred and seventy three schoolchildren aged 10-11 gathered in the Haifa’s international conference center to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ever magic lesson.
The event was led by Israeli magician Cagliostro, in conjunction with Beit Hagefen, a cultural center that works to foster dialogue and coexistence between the Jewish and Arab communities in the city.
Children from twenty-five schools across Haifa attended the historic event, with representatives from every ethnic and religious community, including Jews, Muslims, Christians, Bahais and Druze. Dubbed “Haifa Magic for Peace”, the initiative also had the full backing of the city council and was held in the presence of Mayor Yona Yahav.
The lesson began with Cagliostro teaching the 1,573 pre-teens how to perform a card trick with a specially prepared pack of eight cards that had words like: Peace, Coexistence and Dialogue written on them in Hebrew and Arabic.
The youngsters were encouraged to ask a friend to pick a card and place it back in the pack, after which the budding magicians would make the chosen card rise above the rest with the aid of a magic wand.
Tens of teachers and adjudicators were on hand to ensure that each and every child had successfully learnt how to perform the trick.
Then under the instruction of Cogliostro, they all raised their packs of cards and performed the magic trick in unison while uttering the magic words: “Peace Be With You” in both Hebrew and Arabic.
Mayor of Haifa, Yona Yahav addressed the crowd saying: “It is vital that “Haifa Magic for Peace” breaks the Guinness World Record. Around the world, people are unaware that here in Haifa, we have been living together in peace for over a century. I hope that the world over, people will learn this special magic trick for peace and think of the peaceful coexistence that we cherish here daily in the city of Haifa.”
Cogliostro the magician commented: “This is not just any magic lesson, this is a magic lesson with representatives of every faith and community in Haifa, this is Haifa Magic for Peace. It wasn’t just about teaching a trick or breaking a record, it was about bringing people together to speak and get to know each other.
I hope that each and every one of these children will show the trick to at least 30 of their friends and family, taking the message of peace an understanding to over 50,000 people, because at the end of the day, peace is in our hands.”
Beit HaGefen is a Jewish-Arab Culture Center that strives for the creation of common and equal spaces that encompass the variety of identities and cultures in Haifa in particular and in Israel in general. Beit HaGefen Center holds various cultural, educational and tourism activities aimed at a broad age range.