How We Celebrate Shared Holidays in Our Integrated Schools
At Hand in Hand, multiculturalism is not just an idea—it is a way of life, and a core element of our educational approach and curricula, which informs every aspect of our work. Over the past few weeks, students and families across our schools in Jerusalem, Haifa, Kfar Saba, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Wadi Ara, and the Galilee, have come together to mark Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Mawlid al-Nabi, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
Community members built and decorated sukkahs, and then participated in joint activities for children and parents throughout the holiday. Later that weekend, students and families came together once again in their sukkahs to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, embodying a true spirit of shared holidays.
Ahead of Yom Kippur, Haifa 6th graders took to a beautiful local beach to perform the Jewish tashlikh ceremony. Typically, the ceremony involves “casting off” the previous year’s sins by throwing breadcrumbs or rocks into a body of water. Our students wrote down that which they wish to let go of from the previous year, and then discarded their notes into the Mediterranean Sea, symbolically preparing themselves for the new year. We take pride in celebrating these meaningful traditions together, and exploring the shared values embodied in each custom.
Annual Olive Harvest Festival
Nearly 200 community members participated in the Haifa community’s annual olive harvest festival last weekend, which took place in Rameh, an Arab village nestled in the heart of the Galilee. Children and families picked and brined olives, learned to make manakish (a type of pita bread served with a variety of toppings), and enjoyed arts and crafts activities, along with a delicious joint picnic. Over the next several weeks, community members across the rest of Hand in Hand’s communities will come together for the olive harvest festival, which takes place every fall.