Galilee Galilee School
The Hand in Hand Galilee School is our northernmost community, drawing families from 27 surrounding villages, towns, and cities, amplifying our message throughout these communities and serving as a rare hub for shared society in Israel’s north.
Despite the fact that the Galilee is a relatively mixed region, no other institution in the area provides the kind of day in, day out, bilingual interaction as Hand in Hand. The Galilee School has been growing at an extraordinary rate of almost 20% each year. Parents’ interest in enrolling their children in the Galilee School has grown significantly over the past few years, so much so that we are exploring the possibility of opening a Hand in Hand preschool in the area, too.
Located in the pastoral, mountainous town of Eshbal, the school’s open-concept design embeds students in the Galilee’s breathtaking alpine scenery, allowing our students to be inspired by the rolling hills and snow peaks around them. The school’s student council helps plan activities and encourage a sense of ownership that we believe is vital for students to feel, fostering a sense of autonomy in their own learning. Hand in Hand’s Galilee School not only provides Jewish and Arab students with a fully integrated, bilingual environment, it also provides some of the most innovative pedagogical practices in the country.
The Galilee School is our network leader in Project-Based Learning, which teaches through a hands-on, student-led approach to spark curiosity and creative thinking. Subjects are taught ‘vertically’ across multiple classes, so that art, literature, and science, for example, are combines into a single, holistic project. The Galilee School offers small class sizes and over a dozen unique electives, like permaculture in a greenhouse, yoga, robotics, and cooking, each carefully designed to provide students with multiple paths to learning. This approach empowers students to discover and achieve success in a well-rounded, interdisciplinary, creative learning environment.
Hand in Hand’s multi-generational focus builds shared society for children, alumni, parents, and friends through a wide range of community activities. Hand in Hand’s Galilee community organizes activities aimed at deepening social ties and addressing social tensions. Our Galilee community supports dialogue sessions for adults, Arabic language classes, holiday celebrations, movie nights, photography exhibitions, and many more recreational and enriching community building activities.
Civic and religious holidays and commemoration ceremonies represent opportunities for our Galilee community members to share important moments with one another. Although sometimes challenging, commemorating and celebrating national and religious events increases our community members’ inter-cultural understanding and empathy, deepening the individual and collective bonds between them.
The Galilee community, for example, holds well-attended Iftar event at the school, a traditional meal that breaks the fast of the holy month of Ramadan. In recent years, the event has drawn around 550 people, and the preparatory work of both Arab and Jewish volunteers has brought together families and friends from many different towns around the Galilee.
Likewise, the community gathers each year at Peleh Kibbutz, home to many of the Galilee Hand in Hand community families, for a Sukkot holiday celebration. Families spend time with one another in a festive atmosphere, sharing in music, food, and craft activities.
Through its school and activity community events, Hand in Hand’s Galilee community will continue to amplify a powerful message to the public that “we, Jews and Arabs, refuse to be enemies” while demonstrating the viability of Hand in Hand’s model for attaining civic equality and inclusivity in Israeli society.