Diversity in the Teachers’ Room

Integrating teachers from the Arab community in Jewish schools in Israel’s school system

The program is a cooperation between Israel’s Ministry of Education, the Office for Social Equality and the Merchavim Institute – the Institute for the advancement of shared citizenship in Israel

Background

The Israeli school system is made up of four separate branches (Arab, Ultra-Orthodox, Conservative Jewish, and Civil). This separation prevents interaction between the different communities and presents a challenge for social cohesion in Israel.

The program advances the employment of unemployed teachers from the Arab community in Jewish schools which are looking to hire teachers. The result is a win-win which also creates social and cultural diversity in Israel’s education system.

The integration of teachers from the Arab community leads to a meaningful interaction with positive role-models from the Arab community, for each school’s students, teachers and parents.

From an educational and economic perspective, the program provides a solution for the current dearth of teachers in Jewish schools through identifying qualified teachers from the Arab community.

We cooperate closely with education programs and colleges throughout Israel to develop relationships with students working towards their teaching certificates from the Arab community. The Merchavim Institute is in direct contact with the colleges and communicates the program at events and other opportunities. Additionally, Merchavim runs a class worth two academic points at the University of Haifa, about the cultural integration of Arab teachers in Jewish schools. We hope to extend this class to other academic institutions.

The Program includes:

The Program’s Accomplishments

Teachers interested in applying

Teachers interested in applying

FAQ on the Program

  • Anyone with a teaching certificate.
  • Students studying towards their teaching certificate, in the third or fourth year.
  • Teachers in all subjects (excluding special education, kindergarten and Arabic).

Those interested in joining the program need to apply through filling out the application form. We will contact relevant candidates and invite them for a personal interview with the Program’s team. After the interview, we will update candidates and continue the process with those who were accepted, to integrate them in the Jewish school system.

  • The Merchavim team will try as much as possible to place teachers in the geographical area close to their home.
  • 355 teachers in the program.
  • 175 participating schools.
  • 150% lower dropout rate for teachers in the program, in comparison to the overall dropout rate in Israel.

Testimonials

The program provides a supportive community for teachers. In addition to the professional guidance from the program managers, we have a Whatsapp group of teachers in the program from throughout Israel. We share ideas and consult with one another.”

Saja Veted
Teacher and program leader of the “Growing Together” program in the ecological school in Ein Shemer

“I start every computer class with a puzzle that requires creative thinking. The students come to class and immediately sit down to solve the puzzle. The kids today are actually waiting for this class. I got lots of great feedback, but more important of all, I see the smiles on the faces of my students and their shining eyes. It feels me with pride and motivates me to work even harder to find ways to get students to enjoy class and succeed even more.”

Sundus Terabia

“Over the past couple of years I’ve received a lot of appreciation and respect in the school in which I teach, from parents, students, the teaching staff and management. I try in any way I can to help my students and to always be there for them, and to advance the study of the English language at the school.”

Lina Ganayim
English teacher, Eshkol, Acre

“When I think of how I succeeded in my school I think of my coach from Merchavim – Samach. My school is great, the principal is the best and we all help each other – I feel like the team has my back – but what really pushed me to integrate in the school was my coach…. I used to be ‘quiet Amani’ who always sits off to the side, but since the guidance I received from Merchavim I discovered that I have in me a strong woman with a lot of initiative.”

Amani Halayla
Math teacher, Galil bilingual school, Kibbutz Ashval

“This is my second year teaching in a Jewish school. There have been a lot of heartwarming moments. The teaching team is amazing, we are always there for one another. I remember in Hannukah the department head invited me to her home for a holiday dinner. I went with my daughters, we sat together and sang songs, lit candles and had a lovely time together, it was an evening I will not forget.”

Marva Halaila
English teacher, Misgave primary school
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The program in numbers

355

Teachers in the program

175

Participating schools

150%

Lower dropout rate for teachers in the program, in comparison to the overall dropout rate in Israel.

חומרי למידה בנושא תוכנית "שילוב מורים ערבים"
מאמרים ומחקרים בנושא תוכנית "שילוב מורים ערבים"

חדשות

The people who make it happen

Kamal Aggbriyah
Head of Arab Teacher Integration

Kamal was born in Yafo, Israel and continues to live in Yafo. He holds a BA in Political Science. He is an experienced group leader and has extensive experience in leading empowerment groups and Arabic/Jewish leadership development. He previously served as the Chairperson of the Student Council of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Currently, he serves as the Chairperson of the Ajami neighborhood of Yafo. Kamal specializes in the process of instruction and preparation for cross-cultural integration of Arab teachers in Jewish schools. He joined Merchavim in 2004.

Contact Kamal at kamal@merchavim.net

Kamal was born in Yafo, Israel and continues to live in Yafo. He holds a BA in Political Science. He is an experienced group leader and has extensive experience in leading empowerment groups and Arabic/Jewish leadership development. He previously served as the Chairperson of the Student Council of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Currently, he serves as the Chairperson of the Ajami neighborhood of Yafo. Kamal specializes in the process of instruction and preparation for cross-cultural integration of Arab teachers in Jewish schools. He joined Merchavim in 2004.

Contact Kamal at kamal@merchavim.net

Samah Seh
Teachers’ Instructor - Arab Teacher Integration in Jewish Schools

Samah lives in Arraba, located in the Lower Galilee in the Northern District. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and has taught the English language for over six years. Previously, she taught in Kuseife, a Bedouin town in the Southern District of Israel and in the Jewish education stream at the Nitzanim School in Karmiel. Today, in addition to her work at Merchavim, she teaches English at the Al- Zahraa School in Arraba. She joined Merchavim as a teachers’ instructor in 2019.

Contact Samah at samah@merchavim.net

Samah lives in Arraba, located in the Lower Galilee in the Northern District. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and has taught the English language for over six years. Previously, she taught in Kuseife, a Bedouin town in the Southern District of Israel and in the Jewish education stream at the Nitzanim School in Karmiel. Today, in addition to her work at Merchavim, she teaches English at the Al- Zahraa School in Arraba. She joined Merchavim as a teachers’ instructor in 2019.

Contact Samah at samah@merchavim.net

Simon Statfeld
Manager of Principals Relations

Simon was born in Cyprus and today, lives in Bat Hefer. He is a civics teacher, an educational consultant and group facilitator. He holds a BA in Psychology and a MA in Educational Counselling. Simon has extensive experience facilitating groups in conflict, crisis groups and groups undergoing organizational changes. Simon has been with Merchavim since 2007.

יליד קפריסין, מתגורר בבת-חפר.  בעל תואר ראשון בפסיכולוגיה ותואר שני בייעוץ חינוכי. בעל ניסיון רב בהנחיית קבוצות קונפליקט, קבוצות במשבר – ובהנחיית שינויים ארגוניים. במכון מרחבים החל משנת 2007.