Alumni Spotlight: Wadi Ara alumni respond to racism in school

Ariel, Nimrod, Razan, Naama, Noga, Kareem, Fares, and Amado are 8th grade graduates from the Wadi Ara School who are making a difference in their schools.  It started with Ariel Chetrit, a graduate from Hand in Hand’s Wadi Ara school's 6th grade in 2013, and now goes to a local public school that is all-Jewish. A few months ago, Ariel's school invited a class from a nearby Arab school for a day together. “It didn’t go well,” Ariel says, “all my classmates know about Arabs is what they hear in the news about terrorist attacks, and they think that all Arabs are terrorists. During recess that day I heard my classmates cursing the Arab kids we met.  When I heard that, it felt like they were insulting my family. I couldn’t stay quiet.” 

So Ariel spoke to her friends Nimrod, Razan, Naama, Noga, Kareem, and Amadu from the Wadi Ara school, and they got together and thought about what they could do. They decided to come meet each other’s classes, and create a lesson about racism and their experience at Hand in Hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above - one of the sessions the students ran for class 8b in the Mevo'ot Iron School 

The alumni have already led this workshop in 7 classes and are looking forward to more. “We talked to them about racism in their own lives, and about generalizing. I can already see the difference in how they talk about Arabs. It’s not going to happen in one session, but I think we started something." says Ariel. 

The teacher from one of the Jewish schools wrote a message to the parents in the class that read:

“Two of our students led a lesson about dealing with racism and how it is possible to live together. The Hand in Hand students facilitated this lesson with courage and maturity, complexity, and respect. This was so enriching for all of us.”

 

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