In 1997, the Hand in Hand Centre for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel was founded to build peace between Jews and Arabs in Israel through the development of bilingual and multi-cultural schools. Elementary schools were founded in Jerusalem and in the Galilee region of Israel. In 2004, a third school was opened in Wadi Ara and, in September 2007, the fourth Hand in Hand school opened in Beersheva.
Under the unique Hand in Hand Education model, each school is co-directed by Arab and Jewish co-principals and each classroom is co-taught by Jewish and Arab teachers. Students at each grade level are balanced between Arab and Jewish children. Students at all grade levels are taught in both Hebrew and Arabic, learning to treasure their own culture and language while understanding the difference of others around them.
22 March 2017
President Reuven Rivlin has been an outspoken advocate regarding the existential necessity facing Israel to build a genuine partnership between the four major community groups. Israeli society is fragmenting along these communal seam lines, facing civil tensions that can too easily turn to civil unrest. Bringing Jews and Arabs together in a shared educational partnership is not about political correctness or providing some shallow multicultural facade. It is a pragmatic, political, economic and security necessity.
5 March 2017
Two years after arson at an integrated Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem by Jewish extremists, Yad B’Yad (Hand in Hand) schools, seen as rare symbols of coexistence in Israel, are today seeing a boom in enrollment.“It is clear the attackers did not achieve their goal,” Gaby Goldman, Director of Communications for the Yad B’Yad (Hand in Hand) Center for Jewish-Arab education in Israel says.
14 December 2016
Israel’s population is a mishmash of Jewish communities from around the globe, with a healthy dash of local Arabs. Like any society, Israel struggles to find a way to create a healthy shared society between the disparate parts of the community that came to the land with their own customs, cultures, emotional baggage and expectations.
15 November 2016
Protesters staged a sit-in on Tuesday at a Haifa cafe that told Arab employees they cannot speak Arabic in certain situations, especially around non-Arab customers.
The policy arose after a Jewish customer of Café Café, said he thought two Arab employees were speaking about him in Arabic.
29 September 2016
Yitzhak Gabay gets another four months behind bars, for a total of 40 months, as the Supreme Court rejects his appeal and finds for the state which found his punishment for the November 2014 attack too lenient.
7 September 2016
If an educational experiment like Hand in Hand is an incubator, it is a nuanced one, providing dialogue skills and an extra window into the inter-group tensions constantly lurking beneath the surface. Reaching across the divide, graduates may have more complex roads to navigate than young Israelis who manage to remain within their silos. But in being ambassadors for a shared society, these graduates also get to glimpse possibility – something every budding citizen wanting to reshape their society should get to do.