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Project information

Encounters between Israel's Jewish & Arab children

Jewish and Arab children in Israel live separate lives. This project aims to bring kids, aged 11-12 together, often for the first time through paired schools giving the students unique opportunities to meet, and get to know each other in a positive setting, to build tolerance, cultural understan

September 2015 - July 2016

Charity information: The Abraham Initiatives (UK)

The Abraham Initiatives (UK) logo
  • Need


    Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel speak different languages, typically live in different towns, go to different schools, and have no daily interaction. Growing up, they have limited contact and know nothing about each other’s culture, religion, and everyday lives. This early segregation is problematic for Israeli society, and perpetuates the fragile relations between Israel's Arab and Jewish communities. They see each other through the lens of the media further entrenching negative views


    The project pairs schools allows students and school communities to get to know each other in a positive setting participating in educational workshops building tolerance, cultural understanding and mutual respect between Jewish and Arab children. It plays an important role in strengthening relations in Israel.The programme's activities also enables the students' teachers, principals and parents to build relations through interactions

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To create opportunities for primary school children from Jewish and Arab schools to meet


    » Pair Jewish & Arab primary schools to take part in the project and train participating teachers in the curriculum and in dealing with potential issues
    » Create a calendar of encounter opportunities where the children will participate in pre-designed, age appropriate workshops around shared society

    What success will look like

    In 2014/5 a total of 36 Jewish and Arab schools are twinned, affecting 1,500 children directly. Increasing demand to participate in the programme demonstrates the success.

    Aim 2

    Build tolerance, cultural understanding and a mutual respect between Jewish and Arab children


    » Joint fun, interactive cultural activities for the students on contemporary Arabic and Jewish-Hebrew culture including music, theatre & heritage
    » Deliver sessions where students work towards establishing a “shared-living planet”.

    What success will look like

    Positive testimonials from the principals, teachers and participating students who valued participating in the programme. Israeli Ministry of Education highly commend the programme

    Aim 3

    Ensure that the programme has a broad impact across the wider school community


    » Provide opportunities for students' teachers, school principals and parents to interact and understand each other through the activities of children
    » Through teacher training the Jewish & Arab teachers & principals work together and see value of educational cooperation, build, awareness & relations

    What success will look like

    By measuring the number of activities that take place amongst the teachers/ parents that aren't actually part of the programme but organised through their own initiative.

  • Impact


    Break down barriers between the Jewish and Arab communities of Israel, and forge cooperation and relationships between their children and educators.Build tolerance, cultural understanding, and a mutual respect between Jewish and Arab children. Strengthening Jewish and Arab relations in Israel by bringing their children and school communities together. Have a broader impact on broader attitudinal and behavioral changes in Israel. Long term success will be Education ministry adopting the project


    Conflict within the workshops as a result of already entrenched misunderstandings. The teachers are well trained in dealing with arising issues of this type. Encounters forms part of a wider project which integrates Jewish teachers in Arab schools and Arab teachers in Jewish schools to teach conversational lessons in their native language. These integrations are incredibly successful and our teachers are accustomed to overcoming any hostility and intolerance and turning it around.


    Our existing donors are accustomed to reporting to donors at the end of the academic year to update on number participating in the programme, evaluation of changes in attitudes by students, teacher, Principals. To highlight any extra positive achievements and evaluate where future changes are needed

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £16,604

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,774 Staff Project coordinator and Facilitator trainer for 2 school pairs
      £4,840 Teacher Training 2 Uni-lateral/ 3 bi-lateral meetings & Recognised continuing education required by Ministry of Educa
      £6,990 Children's encounters Materials, travel & cultural activities
  • Background


    The project takes place all over Israel, particularly in areas where there are a high number of Arab citizens in close proximity to Jewish areas. This is particularly relevant in the North of Israel - however the project is not limited to this area. We have pairs of schools all over Israel


    The children are 11-12 years old in non fee paying, mainstream (Jewish or Arab) schools. Overall, Arab population in Israel is less affluent that Jewish citizens and their towns are categorised by a lower socio economic status

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    TAFI’s encounters programme plays an integral part in The Abraham Fund’s wider Language as a Cultural Bridge portfolio., which also includes TAFI’s curriculum to improve the teaching of spoken Arabic in Jewish schools. Established over 10 years ago, and mandated by the Education Ministry in 5th/6th grade in the North of Israel, the “Ya Salam” curriculum is taught by specially trained Arab teachers, integrated in over 200 mainstream Jewish schools throughout Israel, reaching over 24,000 children

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Hazar Hussein

    Director of Education within The Abraham Fund Initiatives in Israel

    Amnon Be'eri Sulitzeanu

    Co-Executive Director of The Abraham Fund Initiatives in Israel


Cultural activities for a school for 1 year

I thought before the encounters that we could never be friends, but now I understood that I was wrong. I have a friend called Lilah and I value her.

Mahmoud, 5th Grade, the Latin school of Ramle (Arab)