At the end of the school year, the Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam Primary School said goodbye to Carmella Ferber, its principal for the past seven years.

During her tenure, Carmella increased the student population so as to create two classes for each grade. She brought in children from villages and cities all over the area, and worked to create and maintain the balance between Jewish and Arab-Palestinian students, and between boys and girls. Under her leadership, a successful music program was instituted in all the grades, and a modern library and computer center was built for the school.

Perhaps the crowning achievement of her term was the publishing of the curriculum “HOTAM: Education, Culture, Tradition” for grades 1-6. Encompassing the issues taught in the primary school ̶ humanistic and universal values as well as each group’s national and religious holidays ̶ the curriculum presents the material in an age-appropriate manner and ensures that the teaching philosophy is consistent across all classes throughout the year. This pathbreaking work has set the standard for shared education in Israel and is now being used by educators throughout the country.

All at Oasis of Peace UK have greatly enjoyed working with Carmella over the past seven years and have watched with great admiration as she continued and developed the outstanding work of the school. We wish her well with her future career.

(l-r) Carmella Ferber and Neama Abo Dalu

We are also delighted to welcome the new school principal, Neama Abo Dalu, and look forward hugely to our future work together. 

Neama brings to the role 16 years worth of experience as an educator and guidance counselor in the Yad B’yad (Hand in Hand) bilingual school in Jerusalem. During her time there, she worked with children from the 7th grade to the upper levels, and she sees joining a school for younger children as the natural next step in her work. As a teacher, she underwent intensive training in teaching multicultural, bilingual material, and has gained valuable experience in working within a system based on these values. As a guidance counselor, she worked to nurture students and discover the unique potential of each, to help them on the scholastic, social, personal identity and emotional levels.

Neama's faith in and commitment to the values of the Primary School are attested to by the fact that all three of her children were educated in a bilingual school, reflecting her belief in the value of education that is multicultural, humanitarian and equalitarian for individuals and for society as a whole. “All my life, I have believed in shared living, built on honest relationships that arise from values of respect, empathy and dialogue,” says Abo Dalu. “I believe these values are important to all education, and they are crucial to our school. I stress the importance of personal relations, listening and being sensitive to cultural differences. I have always enjoyed good relations with students, parents and teachers, Jews and Arabs alike. Those who have come to me with various dilemmas have valued my opinions. I think my educational vision is strongly aligned with that of the Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam primary school.”