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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Talking together and breaking down misconceptions

Friday, February 10, 2012

Recently Meg Munn MP was pleased to meet Shalom Dichter, Director of Hand In Hand Schools - a network of bilingual (Hebrew-Arabic) schools where Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel study together. On a visit to Israel a few years ago Meg had visited the Hand in Hand primary school at Kfar Kara, where she saw small children learning in each other’s languages, breaking down misconceptions because they could communicate with each other. 

 

While most Arab citizens of Israel understand or speak Hebrew, it is rare for Jews to speak Arabic. The schools try to foster a better understanding of each community, helping the children to face the realities of how they live. Each of the schools is headed by two principles, one Jewish one Arab, and each class is taught in both languages. The schools receive funding from the Israeli state equivalent to those of other schools, but as there is a need for additional staff to cover both languages, donations are required. Some British foundations provide some of this additional funding.

 

Based in an Arab village, Kfar Kara School has been operational for seven years. Shalom explained to Meg that since her visit the number of schools in the group has grown to 5 with more planned.  He also went on to explain that while it is important for children to grow and learn together, it is not right to put the burden for change in attitudes onto children. The development of activities for adults from both communities in the evenings has therefore become a key component to their work.

 

Meg said:

 

“I am pleased to hear that the positive work I saw in Israel continues, and that the success of the early schools has led to the opening of more throughout the country. More day to day contact and understanding between Israeli Jewish and Arab communities should be supported.”

 

For further details visit: http://www.handinhandk12.org/


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