Monday, February 08, 2010

More information about Hagar!

How can Jews and Arabs find common ground if they cannot talk to each other? In Israel, Jewish and Arab children attend separate schools, creating space for fear, stereotypes, and inequalities to grow. These children, who might even be neighbors, grow up in two parallel worlds that rarely intersect. In order to change this reality, parents and community members in Beer Sheva have played an active role in developing a future of tolerance and respect for their children and their community.

The Hagar Association provides a bilingual, educational institution, attended by Jewish and Arab students together in the same classrooms and is supported by community outreach programming. The school serves as a spring-board for social change in the relationship between Arabs and Jews for both the children – who study and learn together — and their parents — who share the common objective of optimizing their children’s educational opportunity and of creating a shared space for coexistence and peace to thrive.

The Hagar Association of Beer Sheva, Israel respectfully requests your support.

About The Hagar Association

The Hagar Association was founded in 2006 by Jewish and Arab parents, teachers, community organizers and other concerned residents from Beer Sheva in order to create successful relations and equal opportunities for Arabs and Jews in the Israeli Negev.

· The Hagar Institute (currently pre-k, kindergarten, and 1st grade) is dedicated to academic excellence for each student to reach his or her potential. Class enrollment is balanced between Jewish and Arab children. Two teachers (one Jewish and one Arab) are present in each classroom guaranteeing both the Hebrew and Arabic languages and their respective cultures equal status. Religious diversity is taught using holidays for both celebrations and educational moments. By design, classes are small, the school day is extended, and a nutritional lunch is served.

· Our community outreach program offers activities to members of the wider Beer Sheva community. These activities include: spoken Arabic classes, joint Arab-Jewish holiday celebrations, bilingual shows, and family workshops.

As a grassroots organization, Hagar members seek change from the ground up. We call on innovative methods for education, bringing together Arab and Jewish children and fostering relationships built on knowledge and trust. Despite being part of the geographical and socio-economical periphery in Israel, Hagar offers top education and creates a supportive community for our students to become productive members of society.

In the past three years, we have grown to sixty-five students in three classes, supported by eleven educational staff. An additional grade level will be added each future year as our students matriculate upward.

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