Joint Training for Jewish and Arab Educators: Learning Together in Jerusalem

Jewish And Arab Educators


Need: The diverse communities of Jerusalem often exist side by side, but residents live parallel, non-intersecting lives, in school and in the community. This lack of understanding of the ‘other’ can potentially have violent outcomes. Dialogue programs that bring people from different communities together to get to know one another often do not affect a large segment of the population. At the same time, improving quality of education is of vital importance to all teaching staffs, both Jewish and Arab.

Response: The Learning Together in Jerusalem seeks to improve educational programming in Jewish and Arab schools, and by bringing Jewish and Arab principals and educators together to do so, to advance understanding and partnership. The program is based on a highly-successful model developed in Northern Ireland, in which Catholic and Protestant educational staffs worked together to improve specific academic subjects in their respective schools, also learning to work together.

In light of the success of the pilot cohort in 2015-16, the Jerusalem Foundation, together with the JEA, seeks to continue to develop the program, which includes:

  1. Develop and implement a training course for principals and senior members of the JEA - 9, in-depth 4 hour workshops, an east Jerusalem Study tour, 2 overnight Seminars (February & May). Earlier cohorts of principals will continue to meet and reflect together on the implementation of learning initiatives, 6 meetings are planned once every 6 weeks. These activities will foster mutual understanding and build educational partnerships according to affinities and common needs and interests.
  2. Hold training courses for school teachers each year to initiate in-depth dialogue and creative thinking about joint curricular initiatives - 8, 4-hour workshops (co-facilitated dynamic encounters and lectures), an east Jerusalem study tour, and an overnight Seminar (July). Earlier cohorts of teachers will continue to meet and reflect together on the implementation of their learning initiatives thus far. Two-three initiatives will be implemented in in the first year, either in participating schools on at neutral institutions. Eight monthly meetings are planned. On-site planning and monitoring with program staff, teachers and principals will take place monthly between the partner teachers.
  3. Develop teaching resources in Hebrew and Arabic for preparing the pupils before the learning initiatives start. This content will reflect various points of view on the city of Jerusalem in line with instruction from the Ministry of Education.
  4. Plan and implement a study tour to Northern Ireland in March 2017/8/9 for a 5 day study tour (in partnership with Queens' University in Belfast). In 2017, this study tour will be filmed in order to raise awareness of the initiative.

Population Served:

  • 25 X 3 (75) Jewish and Arab school principals, plus the 23 principals in cohort 1 (total, 98)
  • 5 senior Ministry of Education officials
  • 100 Jewish and Arab teachers per year x 3 years (300), plus 60 teachers of cohort 1 (total 360)
  • 60 X 25 (1,500 per year) X 3 years (4,500) Jewish and Arab pupils who will participate in a joint learning initiative in at least 5 of 8 partnerships of schools.


  1. Its size and potentially broad impact. By targeting 25 principals and 100 teachers, the beneficiaries are potentially several thousand children – who would otherwise never have any contact with programs of this kind - each year.
  2. Potential paradigmatic change in the city vis-à-vis education toward Shared Living. This program aims to adapt and mainstream the joint learning methodology across educational streams in order to impact positively the way, educators and pupils of Jerusalem envision their future.
  3. The ripple effect of these programs on the children’s immediate environments – schools, families, friends – will be even greater.

Partners: Jerusalem Education Authority; Ministry of Education, Center for Educational Technology