Shared Education Webinar with Hand in Hand & The Abraham Initiatives
On March 22, 2022, Hand in Hand hosted a joint webinar with The Abraham Initiatives, a shared society non-profit organization that advocates for policy change in Israel across various fields, such as economic development, education, policing, and equal representation. The webinar featured Efrat Meyer, principal of the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem high school, and Rania Laham-Grayeb, the shared learning English pedagogical advisor for The Abraham Initiatives. The two discussed the rewards, challenges, and future of shared education in Israel.
In Israel, the vast majority of students attend separate Jewish and Arab schools. Both The Abraham Initiatives and Hand in Hand create crucial shared learning opportunities that bring together Arab and Jewish students, enabling students to overcome cultural and religious barriers, forge long-lasting inter-group bonds, and become agents for social change.
Hand in Hand’s seven integrated schools bring together over 2,000 Jewish and Arab children to learn, grow, and connect daily in a fully equal and bilingual environment; The Abraham Initiatives runs shared educational programs that bring students of Jewish schools together periodically with students of Arab schools for dialogue and shared learning. Both organizations partner with local municipalities, and both are making a difference on the ground in distinct and complementary ways
Efrat Meyer is the principal of the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem High School. Efrat joined Hand in Hand over fifteen years ago and has served in many educational roles over that time: as community organizer, the founder of the high school’s art major, and co-creator of many specialized multicultural curricula. Efrat lives in Jerusalem with her family and has two daughters, who study at the Hand in Hand School.
“I work every day in a place that brings hope and healing… I want to see other schools take a lot of what we do and integrate it. This will heal Israeli society.”
— Efrat Meyer, Principal of the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School
Rania Laham-Grayeb is the Shared Learning English Pedagogical Advisor for The Abraham Initiatives, where she simultaneously serves as Resource Development Unit Coordinator. In addition to developing the curricula, she trains Jewish and Arab teachers participating in shared learning to successfully run the program with their students. Rania brings to her role many years of experience teaching English and advocating for minority rights in education.
“Our program is advocacy through action. We not only make sure the program succeeds but use it to advocate with the government. I believe and I have a dream that the law for shared education in Ireland will one day be something we see here in Israel.”
— Rania Laham-Grayeb, the Shared Learning English Pedagogical Advisor for The Abraham Initiatives