Integration of Arab Israelis and Jews in Schools in Israel
Author: Uri Shwed, Yossi Shavit, Maisalon Dellashi, Moran Ofek
December 17, 2014
Israel’s citizen population in 2014 is about 75 percent Jewish and 20 percent Arab, but in most areas of life there is a sharp separation between the two groups.
An absolute majority of Israelis live in homogeneous Jewish or Arab localities, work in separate workplaces and attend separate schools. Nonetheless, the reality of separation is changing, and more integrative spaces are being created in various fields. This chapter focuses on the education system in Israel, examining past and present separation and integration between Jews and Arabs, and the reasons for and challenges posed by such. Part 1 surveys the genesis of the separation between Israel’s Arabs and Jews in the school system over the course of the twentieth century. Part 2 presents contemporary data on the slowly accelerating trend of integration over the past decade. Part 3 deals with the motivations of parents when it comes to choosing an integrated school for their children, and the conclusion touches briefly upon the challenges that integration poses to the designers of education policy.
This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, State of the Nation Report 2014, Dan Ben-David (editor).