Hand In Hand School

Hand In Hand School
These days Jerusalem is facing many challenges and the disquiet and uneasiness can be felt throughout the city.  Despite this, the Jerusalem Foundation is unwavering in its commitment to cultivating and developing a city in which all its residents can live peacefully.
 
This belief was accentuated last week at one of the Foundation’s flagship projects, the Max Rayne School for Bilingual Education, which again became the victim of xenophobic graffiti. “Death to Arabs” was sprayed on the outside wall of the school Wednesday night, after a particularly difficult night in which a Jewish activist was shot.  True to form, after the graffiti was cleaned up by Municipality workers on Thursday morning, students made their own sign,” Here there is partnership, love and friendship between Jews and Arabs," and hung it where the graffiti had been. (See Hand in Hand’s Facebook page for updates on their ongoing activities.)
 
The school was founded in 1998 and subjects are taught in both Hebrew and Arabic, and students learn both Israeli and Palestinian narratives. The school takes great pains to provide a safe place for both Jewish and Arab students to learn about their cultures, traditions and history. When tensions outside are high, students as well as teachers are given the opportunity to express their thoughts and fears in a safe, supportive environment.  This year there are over 620 Jewish and Arab children studying in grades pre-Kindergarten to 12, its highest enrollment yet. The Max Rayne School for Bilingual Education stands as an important testimony that Jews and Arabs can coexist peacefully in the classroom, school and in the wider community.