A Home for Peace in Jerusalem: Introducing Hand in Hand’s New High School Building
On Monday May 16th, we at Hand in Hand celebrated the official opening of the new Max Rayne Hand in Hand High School building together with the Jerusalem Foundation and our generous donors.
While the new building has been fully operational since September 2021, many donors have not been able to travel to Israel to celebrate its official opening until now, due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Jerusalem Foundation and its dedicated staff organized, led, and oversaw the construction of the new campus, and raised most of the donations which funded the project. We at Hand in Hand are deeply grateful for their partnership, and the hard-work and determination that were poured into constructing the new high school building, and making our vision a reality. Our joint commitment to the creation of a more inclusive and multicultural Jerusalem has allowed us to achieve great things, one of which is the construction of this truly spectacular campus.
Celebrating a more inclusive Jerusalem
The event took place on the roof of the new high school, overlooking the hills of Jerusalem, and a range of Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, including Beit Safafa, Malkha, and Pat. Keynotes speakers included the Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon; the President of the Jerusalem Foundation, Shai Doron; Co-Chair of Hand in Hand’s Board, Hagai Shmueli; the Principal of the High School, Efrat Meyer, and the Vice Principal of the High School, Engie Wattad. At the close of the event, Mayor Moshe Leon cut the ceremonial ribbon alongside a group of students, and the elementary school choir performed a number of songs in Hebrew and Arabic.
“When we have a physical building, walls, classrooms, laboratories and learning centers, we have the room to develop and grow. This school and the surrounding community is a home for hundreds of students and adults who choose a life of Jewish-Arab partnership in Jerusalem.”
—Efrat Meyer, Max Rayne Hand in Hand High School Principal
“In this special building, our home, we will continue to meet, connect, learn, and grow. In the view that we see here behind us from this roof, we can see our past, live in our present, and look towards the future, a better, more beautiful future. Together, Hand in Hand.”
—Engie Wattad, Max Rayne Hand in Hand High School Vice Principal
A new and improved campus
The new building, which opened its doors in October 2021, features unique educational facilities that cater to the pluralistic nature of the school and its diverse student body. Thanks to the beautiful new roof garden, auditorium, and foyer, the school is now able to host larger gatherings and events for students, staff, families, alumni, as well as other educators from East and West Jerusalem, who attend teacher training sessions and professional meetings at the school.
The campus now has a multi-lab science wing, state of the art classrooms, and a well-equipped computer room. These new features encourage academic excellence, alongside our multicultural and bilingual values, and will increasingly set our students up for success as they graduate and pursue higher education and employment.
We thank the Jerusalem Foundation, the Jerusalem Municipality, and all our generous partners who have supported the creation of this new building—a home for peace in Israel’s most complex city. We know that this beautiful new campus and the educational work taking place on it will continue to serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the city of Jerusalem and beyond.