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Educating for social cohesion – the work of Merchavim and the Israeli Ministry of Education

Founded in 1998 by diverse educators, Merchavim is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing social cohesion in Israeli schools, communities, and society. The organization’s name translates to “spaces” in Hebrew, reflecting the belief that there is a place for every citizen regardless of their religion, ethnicity, gender, orientation, or any other identity.

HSS partnered with the Merchavim Institute and the Israeli Ministry of Education to promote the increased integration of Arab, Ethiopian, and teachers with disabilities in Jewish classrooms.

Courses were offered to teachers and principals to cover the following topics: identity, accessibility, fairness, areas of agreement, and active shared citizenship. This framework progresses from theory to practice, with the aim that participants not only develop an understanding and appreciation of diversity but also acquire practical tools that they can use to work toward creating a shared society.

Together we established a networking scheme for teachers to discuss common problems, goals and achievements creating a framework of cooperative working skills.