For the first 12 years of the network’s existence, each school was co-directed by Arab and Jewish principals, and each classroom was co-taught by Jewish and Arab teachers. Starting in the fall of 2010, with the baseline values of equality and multiculturalism firmly established, the schools moved to a single-principal model. This enables Hand in Hand to maximize its administrative budget and improve its academics. A staff equally balanced between Arab and Jewish principals and teachers remains a core value.
Peace education, conflict resolution and leadership development are fundamental to Hand in Hand’s innovative curriculum. The ongoing conflict in Israel is integrated into discussions and lessons that help Jewish and Arab children effectively communicate and understand one another, without necessarily agreeing with one another. Hand in Hand students, teachers and families learn the sophisticated skills of listening to and understanding diverse viewpoints and narratives, and of becoming friends and colleagues with people different from themselves.