Daniel Stern, left, Toronto director of the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada, is pictured outside the First Narayever Congregation with Rebecca Bardach and Mohamad Marzouk (Photo: Barbara Silverstein)

Hand in Hand Schools Promote Jewish-Arab Coexistence in Israel

Mohamad Marzouk has focused much of his work on the advancement of civil society in Arab communities in Israel, as well as on peace education between Jewish and Arab Israelis. When the oldest of his three children was ready to attend kindergarten in 2000, Marzouk was participating in a group promoting Jewish-Arab dialogue. The members decided the best way to build lasting relationships between Arab and Jewish Israelis was to create a school attended by both groups. After hearing about Hand in Hand Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel, an organization that had started two bilingual (Hebrew and Arabic) schools for Jewish and Arab Israeli children, Marzouk’s group founded a third branch of Hand in Hand in Wadi Ara. He sent his three children there.