Different Together: President Reuven Rivlin Joins Students from the Branco Weiss Institute in a Celebration of Common Citizenship


500 teachers and 10th grade students from schools belonging to the Branco Weiss Institute took part in ceremony at the Bible Lands Museum to celebrate their common citizenship on May 30th. The event capped a year long program, launched with the support of the Sobell Foundation, called Different Together. Over the course of the school year, students from the wide variety of Branco Weiss schools – Arab and Jewish, religious and non-religious, studied their own identities as individuals and Israelis.

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In Israel, young people receive identity cards in tenth grade. The Branco Weiss Institute took advantage of this milestone and distributed identity cards to all those present, symbolizing their coming of age as citizens, responsible for Israel’s future as a cohesive, tolerant, democratic society. In his remarks, President Rivlin said:
“Those of us present in this room have many disagreements. But I ask you all to promise me one thing: Never forget that Israel is a common home for us all, a home where we all live together as equals. Just as we should never deny our differences, neither should we give up on the search for what brings us together as Israelis.”

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The ceremony concluded with a performance by a joint Arab-Jewish choir consisting of students from the Branco-Weiss Schools in Bet Shemesh (Jewish) and Ein Naquba –Ein Rafa (Arab).

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