8th Grade Learns About Israeli Arab Perspective


At a time when we face political and religious extremism in our society and in the world at large, it is so encouraging and gratifying to meet Mr. Mamoun Asady of Deir Al-Assad, Israel. This week, Mr. Asady, a friend of Krieger Schechter Day school parent, Dr. Desmond Kaplan, met with the eighth grade class to inform them about his life as a Muslim Arab in Israel. Mr Mamoun described how he and his family have inhabited the village near the city of Carmiel in the upper Galilee for centuries. He explained that his roots are in Israel and that even if a Palestinian state would come into existence, he will remain in Israel because it is his home. A firm believer in coexistence, Mr. Asady transmitted his warm feelings for Israel, yet also pointed out that there are areas where improvement between the two peoples is necessary. For example, Israel offers jobs at a time when Arabs in surrounding countries do not always have work. On the other hand, he pointed out that some of the anti-Arab sentiment expressed by some Jewish extremists needs to be addressed and contained. Mr. Assady also condemned terrorism and said that it accomplishes nothing.

Mr. Asady reveled in his children’s positive educational experiences, where two of his three children studied music at the conservatory in Carmiel, and the third became a lawyer.

Students asked many questions about his life and his interactions with Israeli Jews and heard much about his positive attitude towards Israel. As he walked through the hallways of Krieger Schechter, Mr. Asady remarked that he felt very much at home, especially in the Hebrew wing where so many posters of Israel, visuals and Hebrew language material are featured.

What a great experience this was for our eighth grade students who will travel to Israel in May. We join Mr. Mamoun Asady in his desire for cooperation, and we extend our deepest thanks to him for visiting us and bringing his message of Shalom, Salaam.