News and Events

Our son Motaz, one of this year's graduates of the Hand in Hand school, was born 18 years ago. At the age of 3, and without any deep thinking about the future, we sent him to a kindergarten at the Jerusalem YMCA. The kids who came to this kindergarten were Jews and Arabs/Muslims and Christians. In this situation, my wife and I, Arab Muslims, found ourselves buying for Motaz a Superman mask at the Purim feast, gifts and decorations for the Christmas tree, and sharing with our new Jewish and Christian friends our Muslim feasts.

Hand in Hand celebrated its second graduation of high school seniors on June 28, 2012.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a $1 million grant to Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel to be distributed over the next three years. The funding, which starts this spring, supports Executive Director Shuli Dichter's vision of building "shared communities" between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel.

Junior high students from Hand in Hand's Jerusalem campus took first place in a prestigious national science competition sponsored by the Ilan Ramon Foundation on Jan. 30. Over the course of four months, Hand in Hand students advanced through three rounds of quiz questions focusing on astronomy and space, including a project about finding and extracting water on the moon. Our students made their presentations in both Hebrew and Arabic, the only school to do so and a first for the competition. 

More than 250 Jewish and Arab students, family members and other friends from around Israel participated in the "Rally Against Racism" at Hand in Hand's Jerusalem school on Feb. 17. The rally was a show of support for the integrated, bilingual school, vandalized Feb. 7 with racist graffiti in an apparent "Price Tag" attack.

Co-founder Lee Gordon responds to a disturbing Feb. 7 graffiti attack on the Jerusalem campus: 

Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza visited Hand in Hand's Wadi Ara school on Jan. 11, singing with the children and leading a discussion about peace. Broza, who penned the anthem "Yihye Tov" ("Things Will Get Better"), is known around the world for his eclectic musical styles and passionate voice for coexistence.

Three officials of the State of Israel responded to an invitation from Hand in Hand to visit its Jerusalem campus on Dec. 15. The school's 540 Jewish and Arab students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade were delighted to welcome Knesset Speaker Reuven (Rubi) Rivlin, Education Minister Gideon Saar and Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi. 

Hand in Hand Executive Director Shuli Director will co-faciliate a conference about Jewish-Arab relations on Jan. 22 at American University in Washington, D.C. "Strengthening Israel's Democracy: Arab Citizens of Israel" is the second annual community education day of the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues, convened by the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation. 

"Bridges," a musical performance starring Hand in Hand students alongside Norwegian and Swedish students, will debut Thursday, Dec. 8, in Jerusalem. In creation since 2009, "Bridges" is an international collaboration between Hand and Hand's Jerusalem school and a handful of schools and colleges in Norway and Sweden. Students will travel to one another's countries for performances of the play, which blends dance, poems and music in a multicultural showcase. 

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