Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam Pupil Assistance Fund
Supporting Israeli children (Jewish & Palestinian-Arab) who learn together in equality and peace at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam’s bilingual binational primary school in Israel. Where there is financial need for children to begin and continue their education, we provide bursaries and other assistance.
September 2015 - August 2016
Oasis of Peace UK (British Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam - NSWaS)
Jewish and Palestinian-Arab children in Israel do not attend the same schools. Yet, a bilingual binational school fosters understanding between two peoples that is much needed in the region. Even when parents wish to send their children to such a school some may not be financially able. For example, Dyam, a 3rd Grade pupil who loves school and does well in Arabic and Mathematics, attends the school at NS/WaS with her brother, but the family needs financial support for the fees.
The bilingual binational primary school at NS/WaS has been bringing Jewish and Palestinian-Arab pupils together for over three decades. The Arab-Jewish student body (currently about 200 students) learns, in Arabic and Hebrew, about each other’s language, cultures and religions alongside the core subjects (such as maths and science). So that all pupils can take part in this important educational enterprise we have been raising money to provide bursaries for pupils in need.
Providing all pupils with an education in both Hebrew and Arabic.
Activities» Hire extra teachers so both languages can be taught in classrooms; salaries are not covered by the Education Ministry so tuition fees are needed.
» Extra-curricular events to complement our bilingual framework, e.g. inviting an Arab-Jewish theatre company to perform a play in Arabic and Hebrew.
Success will be high achievement in language acquisition of both languages by the students as well as high achievement in the key stages of core subjects.
Maintaining a diverse student body.
Activities» Providing bursaries for children from economically deprived villages and towns nearby (for example the Arab-Jewish city of Lod/Lydda).
Success will be achieving an equal balance of Palestinian-Arab and Jewish students, by including those from deprived areas.
Ensuring that all siblings in a family can attend the school.
Activities» Providing bursaries for pupils with siblings in the school.
» A parent-teacher association opens lines of communication to ensure good parent-school relations.
Success will be families with more than one of their children attending our school.
Children who attend the primary school are exposed to the narratives, cultures, religions, and language of children from the ‘other’ side of the conflict. By learning together in this unique educational model they develop critical thinking and openness to other views that they carry throughout their life. Previously we have collected interviews with graduates of the school about the positive influence the education had on them and their current aims and views.
There is always a risk of conflict in Israel, which can cause tension in an Arab-Jewish school. The school staff are prepared for such cases, having continued through the wars with Lebanon, the second intifada, and the recent wars with Gaza. These tensions are dealt with through discussion and creative self-expression activities.
Donors to this project will receive a newsletter each term on events at the school and development of the pupils who benefit from the assistance fund.
Budget - Project Cost: £10,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £8,000 Year's tuition for 8 students Funding is calculated according to individual needs of pupils. £2,000 Textbooks & other essentials Funding is calculated according to individual needs of pupils.
The primary school is based in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam in central Israel, the only community where Jewish and Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel (20% of the population) have chosen to live together in peace and equality. Most of the pupils come from the surrounding area, from mixed cultural and economic backgrounds. No matter where one lives in Israel they are affected by the conflict.
Both Jewish and Palestinian-Arab families who believe in our educational project and wish to send their child to such a school but lack the means to do so will benefit from this assistance fund. Their attendance at our school will benefit all pupils because it ensures the diversity that is key to our educational aims, and raises their prospects. It will also benefit the communities of these pupils as they introduce them to the values they learn at our school. Family involvement is encouraged.
Oasis of Peace is the only charity in the UK to provide support for this project; the first Arab-Jewish school in Israel, with years of experience in bilingual binational education. To mark its 30th anniversary, the school held a reunion this May, attended by many graduates. Its location in an Arab-Jewish village provides a unique setting of peace and neutrality. According to researchers the NS/WaS school has a major effect on the language acquisition of pupils (Fragman and Mor-Sommerfeld).
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Current head teacher, Carmella Ferber, has made it a priority to ensure students in financial need can attend, and continue to attend, the school.
Reem Nashef and Raida Aiashe-Hatib are both long-serving members who are key to the running of the school and providing pastoral care.
The parents' committee ensures a good line of communication between the school and parents with financial difficulties.