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The vision of the program is to promote a process of knowing “the other”; which serves as the foundation of a society that provides for a multicultural existence and reciprocity and shared society.

Teachers’ Lounge is a yearly advanced training course for the different educational sectors in Jerusalem and is recognized by the Ministry of Education. We consider teachers to be key figures and cultural heroes that lead by example in their respective sector and the larger community.

Teachers possess the ability to make real change in the way their students treat “the other,” especially regarding racism and prejudice.

Throughout the training, teachers will experience a personal encounter with “the other.” This first-hand experience will create an awareness of their own prejudices and will then be instrumental in promoting tolerance. This will eventually change the climate for promoting mutual existence in Israel.

Throughout the program we have established an active community of teachers that builds bridges between different communities while implementing values of respect, tolerance, and hope for a shared society.



Teachers’ Lounge (in memory of Shira Banki) was established in 2014 in Jerusalem at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Over 150 teachers and 50 schools from around the city have participated in the program.

Teachers’ Lounge (in memory of Shira Banki) is offered to 15-20 teachers per group. Throughout the school year, each group meets ten times, guided by two moderators from the different sectors (one Arab and one Jewish).

During the course, teachers go through a deep process of self, professional, and cultural exploration and discuss educational challenges. The experience of knowing “the other” is created by using theater, art, and photography, including several tours in Jerusalem.

The meetings create an atmosphere of real communication and shared narratives, warm and friendly closeness, and a feeling of a joint educational task.

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