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Hand in Hand Galilee Wins the National Education Prize

HIH Galilee is one of 12 schools awarded the Ministry of Education’s 2022-2023 prize for excellence!

In May, Hand in Hand Galilee received one of the most respected accolades in Israel’s education system: The National Education Prize from the Ministry of Education.

Each year, the award is presented to just a handful of educational institutions in Israel that serve pupils and communities in innovative ways. This recognition follows the “Best School in the Northern Region” award, given by the Ministry of Education Northern District to HIH Galilee School this past fall. Winning this award doesn’t just affirm our educator’s hard work, but shows just how far we’ve come within Israeli society.

HIH Galilee School is our most northern community, and draws families from 27 villages, towns and cities in one of the most diverse regions in Israel. The school spans grades 1 – 6, and serves 305 Jewish and Arab students across eleven classes. Although the Galilee region is one of the most mixed in Israel, Hand in Hand is the only school to serve both Jewish and Arab students. 

Since its inception in 1998, HIH Galilee School has become not just our network leader in educational innovation but truly a model for schools across the country. It was one of the first schools in Israel to develop and roll out the Project Based Learning approach in each grade, a highly creative tool that begins with a question and ends with a student-created project that they present to their peers and teachers on the subject. 

HIH Galilee School is also known for: its beautiful greenhouse, a verdant hub of hands-on learning and pleasure for the students; extensive teacher-student mentoring program that includes home visits to the students’ families; and multiple elective classes each week that give teachers the chance to share topics they are most passionate about. This year, the school is reexamining how teachers assess student performance and introduced a new model that looks at students’ knowledge, skills, and habits, setting personalized expectations together with the students at the beginning of each semester and then together reviewing progress at the semester’s end.

None of this would be possible without our powerhouse principle, Dr. Manar Hayadre. Manar has served as the principal of HIH Galilee School since 2018, and understands first-hand the potential of education to create meaningful change. Manar is an educator and language researcher, with a focus on innovative schools and education systems. She visits schools around the world, absorbing their techniques, and brings her learnings directly back to our Galilee campus.

HIH Galilee is one of 12 schools out of 2,000 chosen for the National Education Prize, and it is a huge milestone for both the school and Hand in Hand as an organization. It proves the impact we’re having within the Israeli school system, and society’s willingness to embrace our values. In 2021, then President Reuven Rivlin awarded the school with the ​​Certificate of Distinction for Israeli Hope in Education. He said, ”Hand in Hand’s Galilee School creates an ongoing, substantive, deep encounter designed to overcome fears and divides between populations, and lays the foundations for true democratic, civic partnership.” 

The next step for HIH Galilee School is to build a permanent home after 20 years in a temporary facility. With a waiting list that grows year-on-year, we’re in the process of fulfilling our dream to build our own campus, and delighted to receive support both from the Ministry of Education and philanthropic partners for this major undertaking.

It’s thanks to supporters from Israel and around the world that Hand in Hand is able to provide HIH Galilee staff with the resources they need to reach these amazing achievements. With your help, we can continue to build a learning environment in the Galilee rooted in excellence, creativity, equality, and respect.


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