Project information

Language as a Cultural Bridge

To encourage a positive change in attitudes toward Arab Society: institutionalise the teaching of Arabic as a mandatory subject in Jewish schools from elementary school to matriculation and instill knowledge and understanding of Arab culture and Jewish cultural activities for inclusion in schools

August 2013 - July 2014

Charity information

UK Friends of the Abraham Fund Initiatives

UK Friends of the Abraham Fund Initiatives logo
  • Need


    There is a widespread and persistent intolerance between Jewish and Arab Israelis. Jewish and Arab children in Israel attend segregated schools in separate school systems, living separate lives in which their exposure to each others' language an cultures. Living in separate towns surrounded by hostility and separatism, Jews and Arabs rarely get an opportunity to experience each other's culture first hand


    To break down barriers between the Jewish and Arab children of Israel. By reducing fear, ignorance, and stereotypes among students, teachers, parents and principals it will generate inter-group understanding, cooperation and mutual respect and strengthen commitment to democracy, tolerance and diversity including a greater acceptance of and openness toward the counterpart language and culture. This model is accepted as a positive activity which would be implemented further when Govt budgets allow

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build a sustainable and replicable model of spoken Arabic language and cultural instruction


    » Develop curriculum, train and support Arab teachers to teach Arabic language in Jewish public school system at yr 5&6 through Israel.

    By increasing numbers of Jewish schools taking part in the programme; through evaluation of the participating teachers and students; Israeli Govt are keen to adopt as model

    Aim 2

    To bring Jewish cultural instruction to the Arab public school system


    » Provide two workshops/ school on Arab music, traditional storytelling and theatre given by Arab teacher

    The increasing number of Arab schools taking part in the programme and the resulting positive changes in inter-cultural perceptions. The activities are evaluated by students/ staff

    Aim 3

    To facilitate encounters between Jewish and Arab students and teachers


    » Create opportunities for 11-12 yr old Arab/ Jewish children to meet at school and participate in and discuss group activities based on 'shared living

    Increasing schools wanting to participate and positively evaluating the experience and positive shift in cultural perception. Currently more schools interested than funds available

  • Impact


    Long term change would be the building of cultural and human bridges through educational interventions. Evaluations already demonstrate a positive shift in attitude amongst participating children and teachers. Long term goal and success measure will be the mandating and funding of the programme throughout Israel.


    Risks are around quality of the teaching or discrimination within the schools of the teaching staff / students within the programme. Robust training and monitoring is in place to ensure that high quality, sustainable teaching and activities appropriate to the children.


    We gather evaluation from all stakeholders in order that we can deliver evidence of the worth of this programme to policy makers. This research and participation statistics is available to donors

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £215,852

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      Amount Heading Description
      £40,991 Salaries Project coordinators nationwide
      £100,771 Training/ Educational semina Robust training in curriculum, methods for teachers
      £48,631 Cultural Activities Development and delivery of activity materials
      £25,459 Administration/ transportation Materials and accessibility

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Save The Children £100,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Israel - largely Northern region


    Arab Israeli and Jewish Israeli children and teaching professionals. Indirectly families of participators will increase their awareness of the other's cultures. In Northern Israel 50% of the population is Arab and the other Jewish. The Arab towns are generally less wealthy due to the lack of employment opportunities in Jewish employ. This education initiative is one step to remove distrust

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Established in 1989 The Abraham Fund has been developing policy initiatives that respond to need. We have close relations with the policy makers of all parties. Our organisation is co-directed by Jew and Arab leaders. We have already had success in mandating elements of the programme in Northern Israel and some of South

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dadi Komen

    Director of Education for The Abraham Fund Initiatives

Encounter Programme