The Jerusalem Foundation: Learning Together, Every Day

Learning Together Coexistence Education2


The Jerusalem Foundation:

Learning Together, Every Day


The Need: Jewish and Arab school systems, community services and living spaces operate in tandem, but are largely separate, offering few opportunities genuine and lasting contact to break down stereotypes. Children, as our future generation, must learn and internalize the values of tolerance and respect for others for the future of the city.


Response: In order to make an impact on the city of Jerusalem it is imperative to support projects of varying levels of interaction. Sharing educational frameworks, in which Jewish and Arab children study together all day, every day, uniquely demonstrates full equality, serving as symbols that shared living on a daily basis is indeed possible.

  • The Erna D. Leir Peace Kindergarten at the Jerusalem International YMCA became the first multicultural, bilingual preschool for 1-5-year-old children in Jerusalem in 1992.
  • The Max Rayne Hand in Hand School for Bilingual Education was founded in 1998, and today the school runs from kindergarten through high school, the only integrated Arab-Jewish high school in Israel.
  • The Hattie Friedland School for the Deaf provides education services to some 80 Arab and Jewish special needs children in a bilingual, multicultural environment. It is open to all children between the ages of 6 and 21.
  • MICHA Jerusalem helps young children with hearing impairments integrate into normal hearing society by providing them with educational, medical, and rehabilitative services in the critical early years.


Population Served:There are 110 Jewish and Arab children at the Peace Kindergarten, 650 at the Hand in Hand school, 80 at the Hattie Friedland School for the Deaf and some 50 children at the MICHA Jerusalem day care center for Jewish and Arab young children with hearing impairments.


Impact: “The Hand in Hand School represents something very important for a lot of people that go well beyond the students and families of that school, that go well beyond even the city of Jerusalem… I leave Jerusalem [soon], and I leave more optimistic because I know there are places like this school,” former US Consul General Michael Ratney


Partners:Jerusalem Education Authority, National Insurance Institute


Funding Needs:NIS 200,000 per program per institution, including scholarships for needy students, community activities, and vocational activities.