The students of the Primary School at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam are trying to get your attention! They have been learning about democracy, and how organizing protests and generating awareness can lead to change in their community. Taking this lesson to heart, they surprised the school administration with a petition to expand the school to include middle school and high school. In the petition, they expressed their strong desire to continue their education, learning in peace and cooperation with their Jewish and Palestinian friends. The students know that once they graduate from the Primary School, they will not be learning in an integrated, binational setting until college because it simply does not exist.
The Primary School at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is a school that defies categorization. It is the only school in Israel where Palestinians and Jews learn together, in each other’s language, about each other and celebrate holidays together, in peace and cooperation. It’s literally one of a kind. Unfortunately, its uniqueness is a hindrance when it comes to government funding. In Israel, there is no ideal category for a mixed status of Jewish - Palestinian school in Israel. Schools must be either "Arab" or "Jewish". In order to keep the costs of tuition fees low enough to attract diverse socio-economic groups, The Primary School has been working with the Ministry of Education to gain recognition and to carve a path to guarantee that a cooperative, binational, education will continue to be possible and accessible to students and families who seek peace and cooperation between the two peoples.
One of our current projects has been to produce a fully documented syllabus for teaching in a bilingual, binational school environment. This is a work in progress (and something that we have been working on for many years). Our goal is to introduce a semi-formal teaching framework for the various cultures, languages and national identities of the people in the region. Eventually, this will help us to spread our curricula to other schools. This year, the school staff is focusing on building a model for language education and looking at the best ways to integrate bilingual educational goals into a school’s every day life.
We are dedicated to the continuing education of Jewish and Palestinian children as equals and their dreams of a future as friends, neighbors and citizens who want to live in peace and cooperation. With your support, we can make that dream a reality.