At 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, don’t miss the opportunity to hear Dr. Merav Ben-Nun speak about her work in establishing Hand in Hand, a network of integrated, bilingual schools for Jewish and Arab children in Israel ( She will speak at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1432 Washtenaw Ave.

Dr. Merav Ben-Nun, former Deputy Director of the Community Department at Hand in Hand, spent most of her childhood in Haifa, the third-largest metropolitan area in Israel and one of the country’s few mixed Arab/Jewish cities. She first became aware of the historic complexity of the Arab/Jewish conflict during her mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces Education Corps and realized how deep and destructive those historic complexities have become.

Merav wished for her young children to grow up in an integrated Arab/Jewish school system. Since such an educational framework did not exist there at the time, she set out to create one. With help from other Arab and Jewish parents, the first Arabic/Hebrew preschool class of 14 children was born. Today the integrated, bilingual Hand in Hand community in Haifa boasts a thriving public elementary school with an enrollment of well over 150 students and growing!