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Bethlehem from Tantur, with the wall between the Jerusalem and Bethlehem areas.

Fr. Tim Lowe heads the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, and he taught English at the Ramallah Friends School for a year. He told me a little bit about how religion instruction is (or was, when he was there) structured in the Palestinian Authority. He said that all schools, whether private, parochial or public,  are required to teach religion, and that Muslim students are taught the Muslim PA curriculum by Muslim teachers and Christian students are taught the Christian PA curriculum by Christian teachers.

So for curricula so far, we’ve got: secular Jewish Israeli, medium-religious Jewish Israeli, ultra-orthodox Jewish Israeli, Palestinian with Israeli citizenship (differentiated between Christians and Muslims? – I hope to find out), Palestinian Muslim, and Palestinian Christian. I understand supporting kids in their core religion. Still, I believe one could design a class that all these students could take that would broaden their understanding of religion and of the other folks around them without undermining their own tradition.

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