Prominent Visitors to Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand has attracted international attention for our ground-breaking educational model and shared community frameworks. Below are some of the prominent visitors who took time to see our school and/or meet with our students, teachers, parents, and community members throughout the country: 

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin

You are proof that we can live together in peace and we can’t let the difficult experiences, like what you went through this week, harm our faith in our ability to live together.

- President Reuven Rivlin, December 2014, after the Jerusalem school had been targeted in an arson attack



Pope Francis I (Read more)

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power 

The way to break through fear is to see peoples faces arial. Not think about indivduals a certain way just because they are part of a certain group... You are the best ambassadors peace can possible have.

- Ambassador Power, February 2016; Read more about her visit! 



Below is the full list of prominent visitors from 2013-16: 


President Reuven Rivlin

Justice Minister Tsippi Livni

Education Minister Shai Piron

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav

I’ve always thought that Jews and Arabs should speak each other’s languages and be able to flow easily between Hebrew and Arabic. It is important that Jewish and Arab children learn together – next to each other, on the same desk. This will ensure that they will not become enemies.

- Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, January 2016 


Knesset Members: Dov Lipman; Afu Agbaria; Dov Khenin; Uri Ariel; Moshe Feiglin; Ahmed Tibi; Rachel Azaria 

Director of Ministry of Justice Emi Palmor

Professor Manuel Trajtenberg, Chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel

Rabbi Benny Lau

Jerusalem City council members Tami Nir and Rachel Azaria (then Deputy Mayor)

There are brave people in this city who are creating the Jerusalem of the future for all of us. People here at this school who look complexity in the eye and move forward together. 

- Rachel Azaria, December 2014




US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and his wife Julie Fisher

Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, Wife of the Governor General of Canada

Consul General Michael Ratney

The Hand in Hand School represents something very important for a lot of people that go well beyond the students and families of that school, that go well beyond even the city of Jerusalem… I leave Jerusalem in just 3 weeks, and I leave more optimistic because I know there are places like this school.

-US Consul General Michael Ratney, June 2015


Mayor of New York Bill DeBlasio

AFT President Randi Weingarten

Celebrities: Lavar Burton; Sean Penn; Chelsea Handler

US-based Israel organizations:

  • AIPAC President Bob Cohen
  • JStreet President Jeremy Ben-Ami
  • Jewish Agency Board of Governors


  • US Senators: Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO); Senator Ed Markey (D-MA); Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Members of the US House of Representatives: Suzanne Marie Bonamici (D-OR); Susan Davis Alpert, (D-CA); John Thomas Graves, (R-GA); Morgan Griffith, (R-VA); Janice Kay Hahn, (D-CA); Randall Mark Hultgren, (R-IL); Steve Israel, (D-NY); William James Pascrell (D-NJ); Jerrold Lewis Nadler, (D-NY); Todd Young (R-IN); Steve Stivers (R-OH); Jim Renacci (R-OH); Alan Grayson (D-FL); Karen Bass (D-CA); Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
  • First Lady of Mississippi Mrs. Deborah Bryant
  • Massachusetts State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg
  • 15 New York City Council members

Europe & Asia

Pope Francis I

Japanese First Lady Akie Abe

Polish First Lady Mrs. Anna Komorowska

German First Lady Daniela Schadt

German Ambassador Andreas Michaelis

Italian Ambassador Francesco Talò and Senator Nicola Latorre

Finnish Ambassador Leena-Kaisa Mikkola

President-Minister of German State of Hesse Volker Bouffier,

Swiss Foreign Ministry officials

Swedish Parliament Deputy Speaker Mrs. Susanne Eberstein, and other Swedish Parliament Members

Mayor Arne Sigtenbjerggaard of Vejle, Denmark  

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