Learning to Understand the ‘Other’

Educating Toward Tolerance 2 Learning to Understand the ‘Other’


Need: The vast majority of Jewish and Arab populations send their children to uni-community schools and maintain largely separate daily lives. This lack of understanding of the ‘other’ can potentially have violent outcomes. Therefore, in order for our programs to have a far-reaching impact they must target a broad section of the population, those who do not seek out encounters with the other.

Response: In order to introduce values of dialogue and shared living to a wide spectrum of the population, the Jerusalem Foundation seeks to support the following programs:

  • Multicultural Teacher’s Lounge introduces excellent teachers into elementary schools who are of backgrounds not regularly seen in that school: Israeli teachers of Ethiopian descent into schools with few Ethiopian children, Arab teachers into Jewish schools, Jewish teachers into Arab schools, etc.
  • Language as a Cultural Bridge teaches Arabic language for communication and culture in Jewish schools, and Hebrew in Arab schools. Teachers are native language speakers.
  • Learning together in Jerusalem, based on a model developed in Northern Ireland, promotes dialogue and joint work between 20 Jewish and Arab principals and their teachers and nurtures joint educational activities and initiatives.

Population Served: Jewish and Arab children studying in the public school system, Jewish and Arab teachers, and Jewish and Arab principals.

Impact: “The program has secured positive change in the students’ attitudes toward Arabs in Israel.” Outside program evaluation, Language as a Cultural Bridge

Partners: Jerusalem Education Authority; the Ministry of Education