These have been a very difficult few days for our community in Israel. Together with my colleagues, Yasrin Dakwar, Principal Al Carma Science School, Lilach Shani Romano, Principal Ironi Gimel High School and Mendi Rabinowitz, Principal, Hebrew Reali School, we formulated the following statement.
As educators, committed to the helping our students create a peaceful, exciting, and positive future we felt that we must give voice to what so many are feeling. I am gratified that more than 99% of Haifa area High School principals affirmed this important message.
I hope you will join and our entire Leo Baeck Haifa community in prayers for peace and healing.
CLICK READ MORE TO SEE THE JOINT ARAB JEWISH STATEMENT
In recent days, we have witnessed an increase in voices of hatred, polarization and division in the social fabric of our country in general and in our city in Haifa in particular, between Jewish citizens and Arab-Palestinian citizens.
We, the undersigned, Principals in the Haifa Municipality Education system, of all religions and cultures, who live and experience daily the diversity and value of shared existence, see the education system as a significant force that has the power to produce a different discourse in Israeli society, one of mutual respect and pluralism that is able to manage conflict and accept disagreements
The last few days has brought deep challenges upon us. We are dealing with the many conflicts, and voices of racism, harassment and violence.
The role of education in our eyes is to remind students and communities of our shared destiny, and the power and beauty of living together.
We in Haifa know how to live together in our schools and in the city’s neighborhoods. This should be remembered even now as the flames increase. Soon the flames will be forgotten and we will all remain, to continue our lives together.
Our role as educators is to raise the younger generation to be independent, critical thinkers, with values; and to be a generation who will create knowledge, opinions, narratives and culture; and who respect the other’s opinion, and who believe in the values of equality and human rights. This is true anytime, anywhere, but especially now and in Haifa in particular.
It does not matter at all what our individual identity is, whether we are religious, secular, men or women, Christians, Muslims, or Jews. As the educational leadership in the city of Haifa, these are the values that should always be a guiding light for our work. This is a constant challenge. Delicate and complex. Sensitive and not obvious. This is the reality that is meant for us. Our destiny – bound together. In Haifa, we know how to live together. Successfully living together is in our souls.
We condemn any and all expressions and manifestations of violence whatsoever and we will continue as Principals to uphold our duty to demonstrate tolerance and respect. This will be the proper educational response to the difficult reality we are witnessing unfortunately these days.