After eight years of operating in cramped, makeshift classrooms in the Denmark School in Katamon, the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School for Bilingual Education festively inaugurated its new and impressive campus last Sunday at the junction of the Pat and Beit Safafa neighborhoods in the presence of administrators, teachers, parents, children and distinguished guests from abroad. According to officials, the new campus, scheduled to open on November 1, reflects the school's growth and the success of its educational model. "We were located at the back of an existing school, and most classes didn't have a window. It made it hard to study in, very dense. We were afraid to add students every year," said co-principal Ala Khatib. The school is administered by two principals, one Arab and one Jewish. "It's also exciting to be in this new home because it adds legitimacy to what we are doing," said co-principal Dalia Peretz. The Bilingual School opened in 1998 in Jerusalem simultaneously with its Galilee branch to foster coexistence and mutual understanding between Israel's diverse social and religious strata. Over the years, the Jerusalem branch has grown from 25 students to 410 and even boasts a waiting list. The new campus is named after the late Lord Max Rayne, a British businessman whose generosity enabled completion of the $11 million complex. It features an early childhood facility, an administration building, a library, a sports stadium and a large playground. The Jerusalem Foundation provided additional financial support with funds from private donors from abroad as well as the governments of Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

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