Hagar Association is proud to announce the launch of a truly groundbreaking project that will change informal education in Beer Sheva and even the whole country. In partnership with the Israel Scouts, the Beer Sheva municipality and AJEEC’s Garanei Midbar gap year program, we will be piloting the very first Arab-Jewish Scout troop in Israel. This troop will serve not only current Hagar students from third grade as well as Hagar alumni, but it will also be open to all youth in Beer Sheva, being the first informal education program to recognize the multicultural diversity of the city’s population and to offer inclusive programming to appeal to all.

Until now, despite pluralistic democratic values and great popularity in all sectors of Israeli society, Israel Scouts operated in segregated communities. Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze all operate their own separate Scouting movements that had similar values and even some joint activities, but they remained separate entities. The Adam troop, so called to recognize the commonality of this ancestor and to highlight the human values at its center, will be the first time equal numbers of Arab and Jewish children will come together in the same troop.

Activities will begin this fall with weekly meetings at the school. Initial youth leadership will come from volunteers from the Garanei Midbar program, transitioning to Adam troop leaders who will be trained of the course of the first year. Young people will participate in weekly scouting activities, summer camps and trips just like all other troops, but in addition, Hagar will bring its over a decade-worth of experience in bringing diverse people together in, mutual recognition and appreciation for the other’s language, culture and narratives.

With this step, Hagar further forges a shared space, a shared society, where everyone feels free to develop their own individual identity and can engage others to develop deep and lasting friendships so that living together, as equals in society, will simply be the way it is.

The establishment of this troop is a testament to the cooperation and hard work of parents and staff. Hagar is certain that through open communications and honest discussion among the parties, the Adam troop will be the model for building diverse troops and other informal education programs.

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