The Social High school in the Krayot near Haifa is the first school of its kind in the country, combining education in a dialogical, open and democratic spirit with education for leadership, action and social justice. The school has 140 students and is a quality, small and homey place, which believes in freedom of choice, learning out of curiosity and enjoyment while developing personal and social responsibility.
The social high school operates in an intimate format of small classes - up to 20 students per class. Each class has two educators who, in addition to the class curriculum, also build personal plans for students as needed.
Zohar Avigdori is one of the educators at the school. Zohar lives on Kibbutz Eshbal near Carmiel. He grew up in Hod Hasharon near Tel Aviv. “The Social High School is trying to create an educational space that gives teenagers and adults an accepting and loving environment so they can tell the story of their lives as a success story and lead Israeli society.”
“The school gives the students the opportunity to heal previous wounds they have from the education system, the ability to make real connections, accept those who are deeply different from them and experience a loving environment.”
Zohar told us of one student who moved to the Social High School from another school. After half a year, the social worker in charge of this student came to visit the school and asked the staff if his tantrums had improved. “We didn’t know what she was talking about,” Zohar said. “When she realized he hadn’t had one tantrum since coming to our school she was shocked to tears and said she didn’t know how we did it.”
Zohar says that the school has a big impact on those who teach there as well. “It is a place where I can truly educate wholeheartedly with a group of partners who want to make a change with me and are also my friends. I’m totally in love with my 25 homeroom students!”
Idan Edri is a student at the school. He lives in Kiriyat Ata, where he grew up, with his family. He loves the people who go to school with him because they are different from him. He loves the way they study at the school and that it feels like home. “It is a safe space for me,” he says. “I was looking for a place that would be good for me and where no one would laugh at me. I was looking for a place that would accept me and wasn’t just a place to sit and learn in.”
Idan says that the school is a place where he can express himself without fear of what others will say - a place where he is free to be his real self. “There are nice people here and we have a good relationship,” Idan says. “They see me and worry about me if I’m bad, not just worrying if I’m in class or not. They care about me. I’m more than a student to them.”
Idan says his favorite project was when they made a sculpture called Solidarity and Social Struggles. “I really enjoyed making it. I stayed after school talking to people and listening to music together. I never thought I would make something like that.”
Looking to the future, Zohar says he wants to build an innovative set of English lessons on Jewish identity in which the students will learn about American Jewry and get to know Jews who immigrated to Israel.
The school is located in Kiryat Atta and accepts students from the Kiryat Atta, Haifa, Tivon and Jezreel Valley areas. The school operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.