Shared Life Education in Israel: Bilingual, Jewish-Arab Prim...

Shared Life Education in Israel: Bilingual, Jewish-Arab Primary Schools

May 18, 2016 8:45am

The Task Force and New Israel Fund hosted a breakfast discussion with:

Afnan Abu Taha, Executive Director
Hagar: Jewish-Arab Education for Equality

Orit Freiberg, Principal
Hagar: Jewish-Arab Education for Equality


Shared Life Education is increasingly recognized as key to fostering lasting stronger relations between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel. Among the various programs now available, bilingual primary schools are by far the most immersive. These schools emphasize strong mutual understanding between Jewish and Arab students and a well-developed sense of unique cultural identity as foundations for a shared society.

Afnan Abu Taha, Executive Director of Hagar: Jewish-Arab Education for Equality, a bilingual school in Be'ersheba, and Orit Freiberg, Hagar's Principal, spoke about the vision of bilingual schools in Israel and the communities that form around them.

See the Task Force Briefing Paper, Shared Life Education in Israel's Public Education System, to learn more

Event details:
Wednesday, May 18th - 8:45 am
New York City

About the Speakers

Adv. Abu Taha is the new Executive Director of Hagar. Previously, she was among the founding parents of Hagar in 2006 and served as the co-chair of the Board of Directors for the past three years. She currently has two daughters studying at Hagar's bilingual school. Afnan is originally from Kfar Qara, an Arab village in northern Israel, and holds a Master of Law degree (LL.M.) in Public Sector Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was the first female Arab attorney in the Southern District Attorney's Office and, over the years, has worked as a lawyer in both the district's civil and criminal departments. Afnan also has many years of experience in the field of peace-building. Her dedication to building bridges began in adolescence when she became an active member of the "Young Arab Movement," which participated in joint peace activities with other Jewish movements. More recently, she was selected to participate in the Mandel Leadership program for emerging leaders in the field of education.

Orit Freiberg has served as Hagar's primary school Principal for the past three years. She came to Hagar eight years ago as a parent, enrolling her oldest daughter in Hagar's newly established kindergarten. She became immediately involved as a community member, serving as a volunteer on the Pedagogical Committee, which helped hone Hagar's progressive, problem-based learning model. She is proud to have both of her daughters are enrolled in the bilingual school. Orit grew up in the South and obtained her BA in History and Art History at Tel Aviv University and her MA in History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. After years of work in the private sector. Orit became a teacher of history and citizenship for six years at a high school in Arad. She also served as the Class Coordinator and Head of the History Department.

Task Force and NIF