On Wednesday, October 30, Ms. Julie Fisher, wife of U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, visited an early childhood day care center in the Bedouin village of Abu Kaf and Hagar Association’s Jewish Arab bi-lingual school in Be’er Sheva. The center is part of Embassy partner Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation – Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development ‘s (AJEEC-NISPED) “Parents as Partners” program to empower Bedouin – a program recognized by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. The Hagar bilingual elementary school, which has continued to flourish and grow since its inception in 2007, is the recipient of monetary and in-kind support from the U.S. Embassy and the US Agency for International Development.
During the visit at the Hagar School, Ms. Fisher told the Arab and Jewish 6th graders: “I am pleased to see you, Jews and Arabs, learning together, playing together and trusting each other. Your school demonstrates that language and cultural differences do not have to be obstacles between people, but rather, they can provide opportunities to learn from each other.” As an educator, Fisher understands the value of bilingual education to developing open, tolerant and successful students who will help ensure a peaceful future.
Photo: Michele Dastin-van Rijn/ U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv