Two worlds meet

Reporters on the Job: When I went to cover a meeting of Arab-Israelis and Jews who have children in the same kindergarten (ready the story here), I wasn’t sure what to expect.

At the beginning of a dialogue session, Jews and Arab parents divided into separate groups. I sat in on the Arab group, despite the fact that my Arabic is pretty limited. What surprised me was how many Hebrew words peppered their conversation. When I sat in on the Jewish group, there were no Arab words used.

That’s not unusual, given that they all live in Israel and Hebrew is the dominant language. Israeli Jews don’t tend to know Arabic because they don’t have to.

But it also indicates that even in a bilingual kindergarten, in a supposedly equal atmosphere, the parents are coming from unequal circumstances. For the Arab parents, this joint venture offers them the best education they can give their kids. That made them supercommitted. But some of the Jews have other options, so they may be less committed to this project.

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