British Friends of Merchavim supports the educational activities of Merchavim, the Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel – helping Israel’s 7.7 million citizens to live together better by learning about each other, valuing diversity, developing a shared civic awareness and cooperating to make their classrooms, communities and Israeli society as a whole, fairer and more cohesive. Merchavim-Israel’s innovative and consensual approach, already used in around 500 Israeli schools, is based upon five core concepts: identity, access, fairness, spaces of agreement and active shared citizenship, all designed to address the severe range of internal tensions that weaken the cohesion of Israeli society and threaten its sustainability.
In addition to raising funds to support Merchavim’s work in Israel, British Friends of Merchavim works to educate British citizens about the society-building challenges facing Israel through the implementation of a range of programs and events in the UK and for British citizens visiting Israel. We build professional partnerships with British NGOs and agencies working in the fields of civic education, diversity, democracy, inter-faith and British-Israeli bilateral relations to strengthen knowledge and understanding and to disseminate the importance of shared citizenship education in Israel for the benefit to all.
“British Friends of Merchavim, whose mission is to support Merchavim-Israel’s extensive educational activities and increase awareness in the UK of the complex society-building challenges facing Israel, is proud to join the UK Task Force. Improvement of the relations between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens is a moral and practical necessity as we work to shape a society in which Israel’s citizens are comfortable with the diversity that characterizes Israeli society and are able to imagine and cooperate to build a better shared future.”
Errol Rudnick, Trustee and Founding Chairman of British Friends of Merchavim
23 March 2017
Now, more than ever, it is the critical responsibility of decision-makers to work cooperatively for the benefit of Israel's social and cultural fabric. Multiculturalism has led Israel to great achievements and economic strength, and made it a global leader in a number of scientific fields.
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.
31 August 2016
Over three years, the number of public Israeli-Arab teachers has jumped from 420 to 588 - though not everyone is applauding the achievement.
29 August 2016
The number of Israeli Arab teachers working in Jewish state schools has increased by 40% in recent years to reach 588 in the last school year, up from 420 just three years ago. The jump is the result of a program to integrate Arab teachers of English, mathematics and science, into Jewish schools, reducing surplus of teachers in the Arab sector & promoting coexistence.
18 August 2016
1) More and more, young people are seeing Israel as a prime destination for teaching English after college. Through Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, we’ve brought hundreds of participants to more than a dozen Israeli communities from Netanya to Rahat.
2) the educational, economic and social benefits to Israel and Israeli society from the current placement of around 600 Arab teachers — all Israeli citizens — in Jewish schools teaching a range of subjects, including English, are well documented.
22 June 2016
Merchavim’s Arab Teacher Integration in Jewish Schools (ATI) programme is a joint initiative with the Ministry of Education, with the goal of placing 500 Arab