Hardly a day passes when we don’t come across a news item on the challenging state of affairs that exists in the Middle East and, in particular, as it concerns lovers and supporters of Zion, between Israel and her Palestinian Arab neighbors. The typical responses to this seemingly intractable dispute are to manage, hope and deny
Yad b’Yad is a ray of light in this sea of negativity and futility.
Yad b’Yad is committed to teaching Arab and Jewish children together in the same classroom in a bilingual program and with faculty staffing of each class consisting of Arab and Israeli co-teachers. Hand in Hand schools emphasize humanistic values including equality, human dignity, mutual respect and empathy for others. The organization’s network of integrated, bilingual, multicultural schools disrupts the status quo of separation and offers up a new normal of shared life. In each Hand in Hand school, students learn about their different cultures, religions, as well as how to think critically and talk about difficult and divisive subjects through dialogue and values education.
The basic idea is rather simple and straightforward: To teach Arab and Jewish children from a young age in a fully integrated program and start the process of communication on the most basic level at the earliest age possible.
This simple idea has turned into a phenomenal success as the number of schools has grown to six- one each in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Haifa, Kfar Saba, Wadi Ara, and the Galilee school which draws from 27 surrounding villages, towns and cities. In the aggregate, the schools enrolll 1,850 students from age 3-18.
The event on November 17 is a fundraiser for the school and an educational program to introduce the greater community to this opportunity. Attendees will learn about Hand in Hand through a brief audio-visual presentation and will hear directly from students, alumni and faculty. The program will be held at BAS, will run 5:00-7:00 PM and will be accompanied by a dessert reception..
Please find the time to attend this program to learn and lend support. And please open up your hearts and wallets and contribute $100 (or another amount). Our goal is not only to raise a large sum for the school but to get the widest possible participation from the White Plains community.
The event is co-sponsored by synagogue communities that represent Reform (KA), Conservative (TIC), Orthodox (HIWP) and Reconstructionist (BAS) Judaism. Is there a better message to send ourselves and the larger community: That the broad spectrum of affiliated Jewish communities in White Plains came out in force on November 17 in support of Yad b’Yad and her efforts to promote peace and understanding between two peoples in the land of Israel.