Hagar: Jewish-Arab Education for Equality

National Network

PO Box 3369
Beer Sheva

Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
Fields of Activity
  1. Youth and education
General Information
How can Jews and Arabs find common ground if they cannot talk to each other? In Israel, Jewish and Arab children attend separate schools, creating space for fear, stereotypes, and inequalities to grow. These children, who might even be neighbors, grow up in two parallel worlds that rarely intersect. In order to change this reality, parents and community members in Beer Sheva have played an active role in developing a future based on equality and respect for their children and their community through the Hagar Association. In 2010, approximately 140 children will participate in our educational program from nursery school through third grade (increasing from 72 children in pre-k to first grade in 2009). The school is fully accredited by Israel’s Ministry of Education. The Municipality of Beer Sheva has shown its support by awarding us a building for the kindergarten in 2008 as well as space in an existing school for our bilingual elementary school to grow. Partners of the Hagar Association Partners with the Ministry of Education, the Municipality of Beer Sheva and Hand-in-Hand (HIH), the Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel, Hagar benefits from community and professional support. As one of four bilingual schools in the HIH network, the Hagar School is unique because it is independently administered by our Association; this enables us to address issues exclusive to Beer Sheva and the Negev, being part of geographical and socio-economical periphery of Israel. Population Served The Hagar Association serves the Jewish and Arab populations of the Beer Sheva community, regardless of socio-economic status. While our school currently serves families with young children, our community outreach program enables us to reach members of the Negev community-at-large. Through Hagar, Arab and Jewish children and their families will learn about one another, creating a pathway to peace.
Mission and Objectives

HAGAR: Jewish-Arab Education for Equality’s bilingual coexistence school and community programming serve as a spring-board for social change in the relationship between Arabs and Jews for both children- who study and learn together- and parents- who seek to optimize their children’s educational opportunity and to create a peaceful future.

Main Projects / Activities

The Hagar Association was founded in 2006 by Jewish and Arab parents, teachers, and community organizers from Beer Sheva in order to create a community of coexistence based on equality for Arabs and Jews in the Israeli Negev. • The Hagar Institute (currently pre-k, kindergarten, and 1st grade) is dedicated to academic excellence for each student to reach his or her potential. Class enrollment is balanced between Jewish and Arab children. Two teachers (one Jewish and one Arab) are present in each classroom guaranteeing equal status of both Hebrew and Arabic. Religious diversity is taught using holidays for both celebrations and educational moments. By design, classes are small, the school day is extended, and a nutritional lunch is served. • Our community outreach program offers activities to members of the wider Beer Sheva community. These activities include: spoken Arabic classes, joint Arab-Jewish holiday celebrations, bilingual shows, and family workshops.

Contact (1) Full Name
Hannah Rendell
Head of the organisation
Uri Gopher