Hand in Hand Schools, Israel.
Jun 23, 2016
Hand in Hand Schools were founded in 1998 by Amin Khalay and Lee Gordon, two educators, one Arabic and one Jewish. Observing that the two communities of Arabs and Jews in Israel live segregated and polarize the society, they set out to counter this with the creation of a shared bilingual learning experience for Jewish and Arab children to foster a spirit of national co-existence. Hand in Hand Schools have two teachers in each class conducting all lessons in Hebrew and Arabic. The schools are a 50/50 mix of cultures. Muslim, Jewish, and also Christian religious festivals and holidays are all observed and each cultural traditions and beliefs are given equal weight in the classroom. The Jerusalem campus is their flagship offering education from kindergarten through to graduation. All schools are fully recognized by the Israeli Ministry of Education and students regularly outscore their peers in Israel’s matriculation exams and attain a higher rate of college attendance. They present integrated teams within sporting events and promote adult education programs geared to learning the two community’s languages, customs and traditions. These ex-curricular activities are unique in Israel and aimed at nurturing broader public and social inclusion.