Teaching, learning, and questioning have always, of course, been integral to Muslim, Jewish, and Christian traditions and practice. Some of Israel’s earliest and most grounding enterprises were in the realm of education.
The film Strangers No More tells the story of an extraordinary school named Bialik-Rogozin, located in the struggling Florentine neighborhood of South Tel Aviv, where children from dozens of countries, and of many ethnicities and faiths, gather to play, learn, and grow together. Former principal Karen Tal has won the Chalres Bronfman Prize for her work with the school. And Bialik-Rogozin itself was awarded Israel’s National Education Prize.
Bialik-Rogozin is a genuine tool for promoting peace—allowing youngsters to do what they do naturally—playing with one another, loving one another. The film takes us into the lives of some of the school's young students, many of whom are recent arrivals in Israel, as they encounter a new place, a new language, and new peers. It is inspiring to see how the school provides a community and a nurturing home for them.
Directed by Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman and produced by Lin Arison, the film had a major impact, receiving an Academy Award for Best Short Documentary in 2011.
These film stills are from the film Strangers No More, available with the purchase of The Desert and the Cities Sing: Discovering Today’s Israel.