A Church of Scotland school, right in the heart of Israel’s mixed Jewish-Arab city of Jaffa, is proving to be a place where children of all faiths learn to respect one another.


For some it’s Christmas, for others, Hannukah, while some are also celebrating Eid Al-Adha – whatever the holiday, children at the Church of Scotland school, located right in the heart of the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Jaffa, are celebrating together this season.

Set up originally in 1863 by Scottish woman Jane Walker Arendt, to provide education for Jewish, Christian and Muslim girls, Tabeetha School has evolved into a top educational institution and safe haven where children of all faiths learn to respect each other and each other’s cultures.

Tabeetha School principal Antony Short tells ISRAEL21c that there are more than 39 nationalities represented at the school in Jaffa that caters to children from kindergarten to grade 12. Each class comprises 25 children, with 20 spaces allocated to local children of all religions, and five reserved for international students.


The school, which teaches Christian values, with an emphasis on respect for all religions, is run by the Church of Scotland, which took over the school on Arendt’s death. It is unique in its dedication to creating a non-political place of study that transcends the differences that can divide.

Short says that all the age groups, creeds and nationalities – that include Jews, Muslims, Christians and Hindus – work together and “are focused on learning in English and learning from each other.”

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