Hand in Hand: Standing Together

Dear Friends,

Beneath the headlines, the bombs and the rockets, the last few weeks are dividing Jewish and Arab citizens.  Fear, despair, mourning and hate dominate the public sphere, the streets and the media.

Hand in Hand has not taken a summer vacation as our preschools, summer programs and community activity continue unabated in our five schools and communities.  This is our mission.  This last month has tested our strategy to develop the community aspect of our endeavor.  Since the eruption of violence we have become a focal point for citizens who refuse to be enemies.  Some come simply to be together, to take part in our social and communal gatherings.  Others come to give voice against polarization, violence and hatred.  Thousands of Arabs and Jews have joined our human chains and solidarity walks in Wadi Ara, Jaffa and Jerusalem: we stand together, walk together and talk together.  Read more.

As Adv. Jawad Boulus, Co-Chair of the Hand in Hand Board, said at a Ramadan break-fast we held:  “It is precisely when such days of darkness envelope us, that the voice of Hand in Hand needs to stand out and draw to us those who are sane.  It is a human instinct to choose life.”

Hand in Hand continues to expand.  In school year 2014-15 our two new preschools in Haifa and Jaffa are doubling in size, with far more demand than our classrooms can accommodate.  As we consider in which city to open our next new community and school, we must choose between multiple groups insisting that we work with them first.  And we continue strengthening our veteran schools, community activity and organizational capacity to meet the demand from Jewish and Arab citizens throughout Israel who know, as we do, that we must learn and live together.

The 2014-15 school year will be dedicated to social repair and further building our educational and community structures so they thrive and also absorb the shocks of conflict. We do not do this alone.  We cannot do this alone.  We thank you for supporting us.  It gives us great strength.  And we ask you to bring others.  It is the only way we can continue to bring this viable alternative to thousands more people who want to live together in peace.

Yours,

Shuli Dichter | CEO, Hand in Hand
Adv. Jawad Boulus | Co-Chair, Hand in Hand Board
Dr. Shimshon Zelniker | Co-Chair, Hand in Hand Board

  

 

Jewish and Arab families march together calling for shared living in Jerusalem. July 16th, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

In Wadi Ara, the Hand in Hand community forms a human chain, holding sings that say "Neighbors in Peace." July 11th, 2014

 

 

 

 

"Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies." The Jaffa community goes to the streets to protest violence. July 18th, 2014

 

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