2017 Graduating class!
On Tuesday night, June 27th, 2017, the 12th grade graduating class stood at their graduation ceremony holding white balloons.
Aya Cohen-Bar, one of the graduates, began the ceremony with this story:
“I remember that in first grade, we each got a white balloon and we were asked to write our hopes and wishes and let them go up to the sky. I don’t remember what I wrote then, but I do know what I would write now. I would write that I wish for all the children in this land and around the world to learn the things that we learned at school. Beacause despite all of the things we learned for exams, the things that I will remember for all of my life are not the equations. What I will remember is that even though we disagreed, we learned to speak to each other, we learned to listen and accept the other ideas and opinions. I will remember that for as long as I can remember, I grew up with people who are different from me, I learned to accept them and not see them as less than, but as equal to me.”
Another graduate, Jessica Ibrahim, performed a spoken word poem she said – “difference is like oxygen for us – it keeps us alive.”
Aya and Jessica are two of the 39 Jewish and Arab students who graduated from the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School on Tuesday. One after another, our incrediblly talented and poised 12th grade class got up and said goodbye to the school that has been their home for the last 14 years. They presented their authentic and mature monologues that left the audience wondering – are they really only 18? The answer is yes, they are 18, and if this is what the future looks like, then we have a lot to look forward to.
Hand in Hand class of 2017 we are so proud of you!