The IZS holds Hebrew classes for residents of Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem in Tzur Baher ,Issawiya, Jabel Mukaber and Abu Tor. It began at the request and in coordination with Arab community leaders, the classes are a major success. Hebrew language is the gateway to opportunity for these residents, enabling them to work, communicate and advocate for their rights. Beyond the empowerment Hebrew proficiency provides, the classes themselves build bridges and break down walls. For the teachers, Israeli volunteers, and the students, this is the first time they will interact in more than a cursory way with people they have been taught to distrust. The impact is clear and immediate as they see one another as people and not as “the other.”

A quote from Roni, Our teacher

Teaching here is one of the most exciting things that has happened to me lately. The Jerusalem noise stops as soon as you enter the classroom and we create a bubble of warmth, knowledge and familiarity. I had a wonderful connection with the students and the exams they passed at the end of the year are most indicative of their progress in the Hebrew language and the tools they now have to look for work.

In the past Academic Year of 2018-2018 5 classes were held 5 times a week for women, young adults and youth. The youth classes are important beyond communication, as police tell us that where our classes are held, violence is reduced. We provide youth with an alternative to camps full of incitement against Israel and give them a vision of the future that holds success, not despair.  So far, 100 students have graduated our classes.

At the academic year of 2019-2020 we plan to open 10 classes.