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The Primary School opens for its 31st year

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Monday, September 1: The Oasis of Peace Primary School opened its doors for another school year. As the children gathered on the front steps, forming a mini amphitheater, there was a mixed atmosphere of nervousness and excitement among them. For some it was the first time at the School.

This year there is an enrollment of 180 students, out of which 24 come from Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom itself. The remainder will be arriving every day from some thirteen towns and villages: Abu Ghosh, Ain Rafa, Beit Hashmonay, Gezer, Gizo, Harel, Mevaseret Zion, Karmei Yosef, Mishmar Yosef, Lydda, Ramle, and Modi’in.

The opening ceremony began with each of the 26 new first graders being led in, and introduced to the assembled pupils by a sixth grader. Each sixth grader presented the first grader with a gift and well wishes for the future. Wishes included “You’ll experience peace here" and "You’ll have fun at break times and make many new friends!" After all the new first graders had joined the rest of the seated students the second graders delivered their well wishes too.

Carmella Ferber, the new principal, then gave a welcome speech. Carmella joins us after five years as principal of a primary school in Bat Yam, and she brings with her over two decades of teaching experience, serving as a history teacher and department coordinator in various high schools and junior high schools across the country. She believes that a good school “is the beating heart of the community in which it sits, and which it serves, and in such a complex community of Neve Shalom the school must be maintained as a microcosm of coexistence”. More about Carmella.

In her speech Carmella praised the 30-year experience of the school as she turned to one of its co-founders, Ety Edlund. Ety was in attendance today as her grandchildren were among the pupils. As Ety has recently written on our website (in Hebrew) “Thirty years ago, we were daring and gathered eleven children, aged four to eight, and opened the first binational school in the country. How sad it is that not everyone is still with us today...”

Representatives from the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, the parents’ committee and the WAS-NS education committee also gave speeches praising the school’s history, and giving their well wishes to Carmella, staff, and pupils for the year ahead.

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