AT A GLANCE: BRIDGE OVER THE WADI
NUMBER OF STUDENTS: 270
GRADES: Kindergarten through 6th grade
LOCATION: Wadi Ara valley of central Israel
FOUNDING DATE: 2004
PRINCIPALS: Dr. Hasan Agbaria and Masha Krasninsky
THE BRIDGE OVER THE WADI SCHOOL
Opened in 2004, Bridge Over the Wadi is located in the the Arab town of Kfar Kara in the Wadi Ara valley of central Israel. The one-story school, built around an inner courtyard, started with 105 students in grades kindergarten to third grade. The school has added a grade level each year, with the current enrollment at 270 students through grade six.
The Wadi Ara school was born when a committee of Jewish and Arab parents, seeking hope in a region with a long history of conflict and violence, approached Hand in Hand about a partnership. Together, Hand in Hand and the parent committee lobbied the Ministry of Education until the school received official approval. It is also the only Hand in Hand school located inside an Arab village. Never before had Israeli Jews commuted from their neighborhoods to an Arab town to attend school; the program's success sends a strong message that Jewish-Arab shared living is viable.
Like in all of our schools, classes in Wadi Ara are taught by co-teachers, one Jewish and one Arab, in which all students learn both Hebrew as well as Arabic. (Read more about our educational model).
The Wadi Ara school is also part of a country-wide "Green School" initiative, with a consistent focus on environmental education. The school also minimizes its use of paper, recycles and composts and has a greenhouse and garden in which the students grow vegetables and herbs.
THE WADI ARA COMMUNITY
“As parents, we cannot lay the burden of creating a shared future on the shoulders of our children. We, the adults, must lead the way.”
-Hand in Hand CEO Shuli Dichter
Hand in Hand’s adult communities are an essential way for us to expand our impact beyond the schools and create a broad-base for a shared civil society in Israel.
Wadi Ara has a vibrant and active adult community who comes together for community programs and activism, such as:
- Beit Midrash/Madrase Study groups
- Community Dialogue Holiday Events
- Family Hikes
- Neighbors of Peace Demonstrations
- Alumni Programming (Read more about some amazing alumni here!)
What's new in Wadi Ara?
Purim Party in Wadi Ara! March 2017
Grandparents Appreciation Day! February 2017
Hand in Hand's Third Annual Community Activist Retreat February 2017
Wadi Ara School Wins Education Prize! December 2016
Event With Rapper Tamer Nefar October 2016
Joint Jewish-Arab Womens Netball League, September 2016