“Maktabat al-Fanoos constitutes one of the largest enterprises in the world, relative to the size of the population, in providing children with books and encouraging reading at a young age…. It empowers and enhances the use of Arabic among Arab children across Israel. The program enriches children’s vocabulary and strengthens their affinity to their linguistic heritage and culture.

“The children of today are the future of this country. In order to cultivate a tolerant, empathetic society, we must generate a common cultural ground, teaching them good reading habits and, most importantly, good conversational skills — to promote wide, deep and respectful dialogue among children and between children and adults.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in a broadcast message celebrating programs of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation with the Israeli Ministry of Education

“Maktabat al-Fanoos is creating important change in Arab society. ”  — Fatma Kassem, Chief Inspector of Arab preschools in the Ministry of Education on the occasion of the distribution of the program’s 2 millionth book in 2017.

“This is such a beautiful and distinctive program. The books touch children’s hearts and support them emotionally and in other ways. We appreciate the program so much and thank you for it. Even we, the teachers, wait impatiently every month to get the next book.”  — Preschool teacher Taghreed Botrous on the program’s Facebook page.


PJ Israel