September 17, 2020: The government announced a nationwide-lockdown for the three weeks of Jewish Holidays – Rosh Hashana through the end of Sukkot. All schools in the country were closed for frontal learning beginning the day before, Thursday, September 17th. All Hand in Hand schools transitioned smoothly to distance learning and many schools and teachers found creative ways to keep students engaged and active despite the lockdown:
Our Max Rayne Hand in Hand High School in Jerusalem is working to continue curating cultural opportunities and experiences to inspire our students. Every school day, they pause zoom lessons for half an hour for a “culture break”, bringing live performances of Arab and Jewish artists straight to students’ screens. This picture captures a recent culture break featuring famous Israeli and Palestinian musicians – Sha’anan Streett and Apo & the Apostles!
Our teachers and staff at our Haifa and Galilee schools created a bilingual, multicultural booklet full of creative exercises, games, and even yoga activities for the students to take home with them. The Haifa municipality was so excited by the booklet they hope to distribute it to students from other schools across the city!
September 1, 2020: Our staff worked above and beyond to open all six of our schools in accordance with COVID-19 regulations. Israeli Ministry of Health regulations currently allow regular in-person learning for preschools and grades 1 and 2. Students in grades 3-6 are required to combine onsite and distance learning. However, by finding creative solutions for acquiring more space both on school grounds and in nearby locations, our schools ensured that students will be able to learn onsite for at least 4 days a week, and many schools acquired enough space to enable students to learn on-site every school day.
June 10, 2020: Unfortunately, three cases of Covid-19 were found in the Hand in Hand Jaffa Preschool and the “Kulna Yachad” Elementary school, and all families were sent into quarantine for two weeks. Thankfully nobody in our community is currently seriously ill in any way. The school will be fully back in session by June 24th.
May 31, 2020: As of May 31st, all six Hand in Hand schools re-opened at the normal capacity in accordance with the Ministry of Education guidelines. We are still attempting to practice social distancing measures at school in classes and at recess.
May 19, 2020: As of May 17th, the entire elementary school returned to regular learning. The middle and high school students also began returning to school in mid-May, however, their schedule is divided between frontal and distance learning: grades 7-10 come to school twice a week and return to distance learning 3 days a week. Students in grades 11 and 12 each have their own personalized schedule based on their areas of study and final exams. Below are some photos from our Bridge on the Wadi and Jerusalem school day openings.
May 10, 2020: As of Sunday, May 10, Kindergartens have tentatively opened with shortened days, and safety precautions. Again, we also are working closely with families who do not feel safe yet sending their kids to school given the situation. Entrance into school was done carefully and safely, and we will continue to put health and safety first, while making sure each child gets the education they deserve.
May 3, 2020: As of Sunday, May 3, grades 1 through 3, as well as 11 and 12, have been allowed to open tentatively with a slighter shorter school day, using precautions such as masks and safe distancing. Hand in Hand kids across the country were excited to come back to class, but we also are working closely with families who do not feel safe yet sending their kids to school given the situation. Entrance into school was done carefully and safely, and we will continue to put health and safety first, while making sure each child gets the education they deserve.
See opening day pictures from our Bridge on the Wadi and Galilee schools:
March 20, 2020: Our schools have had to make a huge, unprecedented transition to making all learning, emotional support, and community connection, online. Our teachers have been working tirelessly the last two months to make sure kids are still getting the quality education and encouragement they need and deserve. From puppet shows and surprise parties, to bilingual story time and ceremonies around national holidays, our educators and community organizers are at the frontlines of upholding our children’s wellbeing. Bilingual online story timeSurprise birthday party
Online family meet-ups
Remote Ramadan celebrations
Memorial Day ceremony