Hand in Hand

Pears Foundation is a true partner to Hand in Hand, having stood with us from the very early days. Knowing that we have such good friends, who share our values and deeply understand the importance of shared society, gives us confidence as we plan for the future.”
Shalom Dichter, Executive Director, Hand in Hand
Hand in Hand is one of a number of Pears partners that creates opportunities for children from different backgrounds to meet and learn together in a meaningful way. This has a transformative effect on the children themselves as well as their families and communities, leading to new friendships and a stronger, shared society.”
Amy Braier

The Israeli education system is divided into secular Jewish schools, religious Jewish schools and Arab schools with the result that Jewish and Arab children are often educated separately. Hand in Hand believes that enabling children to learn together can break the cycle of misunderstanding, hostility and negative stereotypes and teach them to relate to each other with mutual understanding and respect.

There are currently six Hand in Hand schools educating over 1000 Israeli children including Muslims, Jews, Christians and Druze. Students learn both Arabic and Hebrew with lessons taught in both languages and a strong commitment to academic excellence. Differences in culture, religion and historical narrative are discussed openly in an atmosphere of respect and coexistence.

While most Israeli schoolchildren study democracy as an academic subject, Hand in Hand students live it! Through their daily interactions, Hand in Hand students learn how to negotiate difference, complexity and contradiction. They develop the ability to be flexible, solve problems, make themselves heard, and listen respectfully to others.

The schools aim to create communities that extend beyond the classroom to parents, families and neighbours. Over 6,500 adults are currently participating in community building activities.

Pears Foundation has partnered with Hand in Hand since 2008, supporting the core costs of the organisation to enable it to grow and provide a strong example of shared society in a divided society.