Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids

by American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam
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Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Binational School for Jewish and Palestinian kids
Making Matzoh to Mark Passover
Making Matzoh to Mark Passover

In keeping with the Primary School’s unique commitment to learning in two languages and several narratives, the students marked Passover and Easter together with an activity-centered afternoon outdoors.

Teachers and children were engaged in several activities ranging from crafts to quizzes to the highlight for many children: the chance to make their own matzoh.

This unleavened bread recalls the speedy escape of the Jews from Egypt, as they didn’t have time to wait for the bread to rise. The students formed the balls of dough into a round shape, and the teachers put the bread on a hot surface for them. After a few minutes, the bread was finished and tasty.

As they learned the exodus story, students asked about Moses: “Whose prophet is he?” “Which religion does he belong to?” This degree of curiosity, and freedom from assumption, is one small example of the impact of the School’s groundbreaking educational approach.

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Primary School 6th-Graders
Primary School 6th-Graders

Teachers like Reem Nashef help make the Primary School at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam a one-of-a-kind institution. A 14-year resident of the Village, Reem’s own children graduated from the Primary School. And while she works full-time at the school — she’s responsible for the 6th-grade class, and she’s also the school’s science and environment teacher — Reem is working toward her own master’s degree in education. She speaks Hebrew, Arabic, German, French, and English.

Reem is especially proud of her current crop of sixth graders, whom she also taught last year. She reports that, this year, they are more focused, more aware of what they want, and their ideas and opinions about life have crystallized.

One of the ways this happens at the NSWAS Primary School is through projects like the “history line,” in which students examine, first, what was happening personally in their lives at various periods. Then they look at what was happening in their community, region, and the world at those same times. The project demands a high level of discipline as these young people independently research and investigate these parallel histories.

There are 12 Jewish and 9 Arab children in the class. Reem Nashef describes them as strong minded and individualistic. It’s because of accomplished and ambitious role models like Reem that this year’s 6th graders will continue to thrive as they become young adults.

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