By Rachelle Lansky, Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rahat
When I thought about the idea of co-existence before coming to Rahat as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, I dreamed of a space where there were no boundaries, where all could be integrated through conversation as one collective culture. While I know this vision seems optimistic, what I’ve found while working in a Bedouin school is something that I never could have imagined before this experience.
“I am the only female walking to school who does not cover her hair or wear a Hijab. Yet, it does not matter.”
Despite the recent violence in Israel, I continue to wake up in the morning and feel blessed as I go to my school, Al Fardous, in Rahat, to teach with an open heart. To be able to see the excitement that the teachers and pupils feel while learning and speaking in English, makes my cup fill up with joy. Teaching English to my students in Rahat is one of the greatest gifts I have received since teaching yoga in America. Such opportunities are not granted to many people.
Each day I commute to a Bedouin city where I am the only female walking to school who does not cover her hair or wear a Hijab. Yet, it does not matter. Not only do I speak a different language, but I hold different religious beliefs too. Still, there are no ‘you’ and ‘me’ limitations between me and my school. I feel connected and included as a part of the school and everyone is happy to see me. There is vulnerability on both sides and, when it all breaks down, we are all in this experience together, sharing cultures and stories, and not caring what our background is, just creating oneness in a land that challenges us to do so. Every individual is one with their experience of being human and wanting to feel a sense of purpose.