Lena Odgaard has been a regular contributor to the American independent radio station, Free Speech Radio News (FSRN) since January 2013. Additionally, she has reported for international outlets including Radio France International (RFI) and Monocle24. 

Radio in Danish

Jewish and Arab parents push for integrated schools for all religions, cultures in Israel

February 3, 2016 | FSRN

While tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have surged in recent months increasing ethnic cracks in Israeli society, a group of Jewish and Arab parents in Jaffa are fighting to open a school that pays equal respect to all its student’s religions and cultural traditions.

TEL AVIV - A group of around 70 Jewish, Christian and Muslim parents and children gathered in front of City Hall in Tel Aviv chanting “Hand in Hand,”  first in Hebrew, then Arabic. The children wore stickers on their jackets and sweatshirts with the words “Jaffa demands school for all: bilingual, equal and public.”

The parents want the municipality to allow them to open a public school in neighboring Jaffa under the auspices of Hand in Hand, an organization that runs bilingual, public Arab-Jewish schools throughout Israel.

“That’s what we are fighting for. We want to be able to give our kids education based on equality that is bilingual, multicultural. That will expose our kids to all types of populations, nationalities, religions and backgrounds,” explains Honey Shamy, a Palestinian Christian mother, has two young daughters, the oldest of whom is ready to start elementary school in the fall. Both girls attend a kindergarten run by Hand in Hand and this has given her hope in better future.

Find the original report here