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Hakol Chaiís "Expanding the Circle of Compassion" Program for Arab Schools Promotes Humane Values






First Seminar

Second Seminar


First Classes

Talks by religious leaders about

Press Releases:

27 March 2013

21 October 2012

1 April 2012

Media Coverage:

Quaker Concern for Animals,
15 August 2013

Jerusalem Post,
10 May 2013

Reshet TV,
19 April 2013

Panet, 15 April 13

Panet, 6 April 2013

Panet, 21 Oct 2012

Karmel Portal, 22 October 2012

Kol Israel Radio interview, 26 May 2012

Kol Israel interview partial transcript, 26 May 2012

Ma'ariv, 30 March 2012




Tel Aviv, 21 October 2012


Hakol Chaiís pilot educational program "Expanding the Circle of Compassion," launched earlier this month in 21 classrooms of 8 Arab schools, is already reaping praise from teachers and principals monitoring the over 600 students participating in it. Respect, responsibility and empathy are the character values at the core of Hakol Chaiís program, which also fosters critical thinking and empowerment in students. Studies show that humane values, taught in the regular classroom for one year, permanently change studentsí attitudes toward animals and those attitudes are later transferred to humans when children become adults. Hakol Chai (everything lives) is the Israeli sister charity of the U.S.-based non-profit, Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI).


"The values in this program exactly match our schoolís vision for our students," commented Yasmin Khadar, principal of the Elbasilia elementary school in Shefaram, one of those participating in the program.


The pilot began in schools following Hakol Chaiís introductory conference for approximately 70 Arab principals, assistant principals, counselors and teachers. Students in the program learn that both humans and animals have emotions and intelligence and everyone deserves to be treated with respect and compassion. Critical thinking questions guide them to explore who they include or exclude from their circle of compassion and why, how they treat others, how they would like to be treated by others, and their responsibilities toward self and others. One student said he used to think animals were stupid and dirty and he was afraid of them, but now he understands that they are like us and that in some ways, animals actually have greater intelligence than humans.


One of the many benefits of humane education is that it helps teachers identify at risk children Ė those who need help because they are being abused or neglected and who may now or in the future commit violence out of rage at their own lack of power. When one teacher asked whether we should be responsible for animals and have compassion for them, a student told her he didnít feel compassion for animals, for humans, and not even for himself because no one cared about him. The teacher learned that neither parent was in his life, and acted immediately to get him help.


"All living beings want to live in habitat that is natural to them, in the family or social group of their choosing, with the freedom to experience their innate abilities as nature intended." said Hakol Chaiís representative, Michal Volansky. "This program, which we look forward to continuing and expanding to many more schools, helps children understand this and empowers them to act on it to create a better world for all." Teachers participating in the program reported that the children were excited and engaged in the classes and an observer noted that "When students were drawing their circles of compassion, there was a big HUM of excitement. It was clear that they really enjoyed this activity and the class, in general."


CHAI has a long history of sponsoring humane education projects in Israel, often together with Israelís Ministry of Education. CHAI and the Ministry co-sponsored the first country-wide Humane Education Contest in 1984, for example, and a decade later, a well-publicized conference entitled "Preventing Violence in Society Through Education," to introduce educators and officials to scientific evidence of the link between violence toward people and animals and the importance of incorporating humane education into the regular school system.