Johannes is an Eritrian refugee from Ethiopia who comes to the school at age 12 with no prior education or knowledge of Hebrew. Having spent most of his life in and out of refugee camps across the Middle East, Johannes' father is now struggling to obtain a long-term work visa in Israel, and is grateful for the chance to have Johannes attend school for the very first time. At first, Johannes is shy and seems lost due to the language barrier, and is taken under the wing of Smadar Moers, who teaches him Hebrew. After a slow start, Smadar realizes that Johannes is nearly blind in one eye and brings him to an eye clinic, where he is prescribed corrective lenses. Within three months, Johannes is thriving - translating into Hebrew for new students, riding a bike that Smadar gave him, joking with classmates, and eagerly travelling to school each day.
Esther came to Tel Aviv with her father after the tragic shooting death of her mother in South Africa. When she arrived at Bialik-Rogozin, Esther was welcomed by elementary principal Nehana Shapira with clothing, food and counsel. Grappling with the loss of her mother, she shares a close bond with her father, but has trouble expressing her grief. Her teachers have tried to relieve the trauma for Esther, who still holds on to a belief that her mother will return. Encouraged by her new support system at school, Esther began writing as an outlet for her grief. After chatting in the hall with other students, Esther reflects that there was no school like this for black students in South Africa. At Bialik-Rogozin, on the other hand, "It's like all of the world meeting together, and there's peace."
Mohammed is a 16-year-old from Darfur, who fled to Tel Aviv three years ago after seeing his father and grandmother shot to death. His sharp mind and tremendous determination enabled him to make up the years of study he never had. Mohammed finished several years of course work at Bialik-Rogozin in only one year, and will soon graduate. A few days before the ceremony, Principal Karen Tal marvels at Mohammed's progression, proudly telling him, "I think climbing Mount Everest would be easier than the journey you've made here." After graduation, Mohammed received a college scholarship; he plans on returning to his village to establish a school there, to pass on what he has learned from Bialik-Rogozin.