Hagar was founded in 2006 by a group of Beer-Sheva parents, academics, and community activists as a response to the situation in the Negev, whereby Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel lack a framework to positively interact and engage with each other. Before Hagar started its bilingual and multicultural school in 2007, there was not any educational or social framework in the Negev through which Jewish and Arab children could meet and interact in a meaningful way together. Today, the school is at full capacity educating 240 students, with plans to expand.
Hagar’s educational framework is accessible to families from all social, ethnic, and religious groups, and offers financial aid to subsidise tuition fees for students in need of such support. Since 2007, Hagar has grown from a one-room kindergarten class to include an elementary school, and also a day care, two kindergartens and an early childhood learning centre. As it looks to the future, Hagar aims to expand to junior high and high school ages.
Hagar also offers family-oriented activities such as joint holiday celebrations, workshops on the issues of Jewish-Arab relations, and joint artistic and cultural projects. Additionally, Hagar’s communal framework promotes awareness of environmental issues, a multicultural spirit, and social responsibility.
1 December 2015
On 30 November 2015, Hannah Rendell, Director of Development of Hagar: Jewish-Arab Education for Equality, gave a lecture at JHub on the work of the association in the areas of education and community empowerment. Hagar's primary school is recognised by the Ministry of Education, but must raise funds in order to be able to provide an extra teacher in every classroom (as there are two teachers in every class -- one Jewish, and one Arab)...
2 January 2015
All of the schools, except the one in Kfar Kara, are under the control of the Israeli Jewish stream of the Ministry of Education. In all, says Roth, there are 1,100 students in all of the Hand in Hand schools. Another 500 learn in two other bilingual frameworks – Hagar, which has a school in the southern city of Be'er Sheva, and the school at Neve Shalom, the joint Arab-Jewish community outside Jerusalem.