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Project information

Improving Spoken Hebrew in Israel's Arab Schools

To create and implement a syllabus for 5th/ 6th grade school students in the Arab school system to improve spoken Hebrew skills, as an addition to the existing Hebrew language curriculum. This syllabus will be taught by Jewish, native Hebrew teachers who will act as authentic culture ambassadors.

September 2014 - September 2017

Charity information: The Abraham Initiatives (UK)

The Abraham Initiatives (UK) logo
  • Need


    Lack of Hebrew proficiency impedes the Arab population's integration in Higher Education and the workforce, and hinders ability for cross-cultural dialogue with the (vast majority non-Arabic speaking) Jewish population. there has been a marked degradation in the Hebrew proficiency of the Arab population. A cause of this degradation is the Hebrew instruction in the elementary school system where Hebrew is taught by non-native speakers, who lack the necessary academic and pedagogic training.


    By creating and implementing a syllabus for 5th and 6th grade elementary school students in the Arab school system aimed at advancing spoken Hebrew skills, as an addition to the existing Hebrew language curriculum. This syllabus will be taught by Jewish, native Hebrew teachers who will be trained and integrated specifically for this task. The projects will give the opportunity for peer and professional people to people interactions between Jewish and Arab children, teachers and principles.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improved the level of teaching of spoken Hebrew in Arab elementary schools


    » Develop and implement a new syllabus that will complement existing Hebrew instruction. Specially trained native hebrew teachers will teach it.

    What success will look like

    Student assessment and teacher feedback will illustrate improvement in the level of spoken hebrew as well as comparisons with attainment of students not in the programme.

    Aim 2

    To create opportunities for interactions between Jewish and Arab children and teachers


    » As part of the curriculum we will include opportunities for interactive encounters between Jewish and Arab children and teachers

    What success will look like

    By ensuring target of student and teacher encounter opportunities between Jewish and Arab children/ teachers are met each academic year.

    Aim 3

    To improve opportunities for integration in Israeli society


    » Hebrew language is the key to better work and higher education opportunities. Improving spoken skills will help Arabs to escape poverty
    » Through integration of Jewish teachers in Arab schools Arab children will learn about Jewish culture as part of the spoken curriculum

    What success will look like

    This will be a longer term test as the children in this programme won't be seeking higher education or employment opportunities in the near future.

    Aim 4

    For the Israeli Ministry of Education to adopt and expand the programme


    » We will continually monitor and evaluate the programme and as advocate with decision makers in the 3rd yr to take over the project in all Arab schools

    What success will look like

    The adoption and expansion of the project by the Ministry of Education after the initial pilot intervention of 10 schools

  • Impact


    Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate the value of this model of teaching spoken hebrew in Arab schools to the Israeli Ministry of Education. We would hope that they would after 3 years either take over a larger portion of project funding or adopt and scale the scheme for all Arab schools throughout Israel.
    Through integration in schools the Arab children will become desensitised to interacting with Jews - changing their perception and sharing their changed values with peers/ family.


    The potential concern of undermining the status of the original (Arab) Hebrew teachers. To prevent the teachers feeling that the new (Jewish) Hebrew teachers are challenging their role, we will be running a series of joint training sessions that aim to synchronise both of their roles.
    Also we are relying on the commitment of the Israeli Government to fund teaching hours. While we have a firm commitment there is no formal assurances. We will manage the relationship carefully to mitigate against


    We can produce bi-annual reporting that updates on the progress, participation and evaluates successes and areas that we identify that needs changing in response to activities.
    Towards the end of the 3 years period we will commission external evaluation that will be made available to partners.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £193,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £70,000 Staffing First year - includes - coordination, research, supervision develop
      £90,000 Development Curriculum development, training courses
      £18,000 admin and expenses office coordination and coordination/ conference expenses
      £15,000 communication communicating the programme in education
  • Background


    The project will initially be located in the North and central ISrael where there is a higher concentration of Arab citizens. Ultimately, it is expected that the project will be expanded to be accessed through out the national Arab education system


    Arab citizens of Israel, who traditionally are in a lower socio economic group than theJewish population and through improved spoken Hebrew skills will have access to better education and employment opportunities
    Jewish and Arab teachers who will have the opportunity to build professional and social relationships.
    Arab and Jewish children who will have encounter opportunities with Arab children and learn about each others culture and customs.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    For 8 years TAFI has been operating a mirrored "Ya Salam" teaching initiative which has changed and improved the way Jewish Israeli children are taught Arabic in school.
    TAFI have recently been awarded the top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s foremost evaluator of charitable organisations. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that our organisation adheres to good governance and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mr Dadi Komen - TAFI Director Of Education

    A former educator, Dadi has been running TAFI's mirrored YA Salam programme in Jewish schools for the past 8 years working.

    Amnon Beeri Sulitzeanu - TAFI Co Direcotor

    Joint CEO of TAFI (Jewish) and supervisor of project with a role in advocating the project to ISraeli Ministry of Education

    Dr Thabet Abu Rass - TAFI Co Director

    Joint CEO of TAFI (Arab citizen), joint supervisor of this project.