Purpose of the Project is to build – in cooperation with the Emeq Yizre'el College, the Levinsky College for Education and the Haifa University, a hard core of young Israeli Jewish and Arab teachers and students, who will use as agents for spreading values of human rights and democracy in Israeli school system. The process will take 6 X 13 sessions of 4 academic hours each, in which a total of 120 participants (60 Jews, 60 Arabs) will develop an inter-cultural dialogue about their identity, racism, meaning of democracy and human rights – and ways and methods to educate toward these values.
Although the Project originally meant to focus also on women identity and empowerment, this subject is emphasized only in 2 courses of the Emeq Yizre'el College and on lesser extent in 2 courses of the Levinsky College for Education. 2 courses in the Haifa University focus on "Sociology of Occupation".
All courses of the project will focus on coping with growing racism, anti-democratic attitude and violence in the Israeli society, on feminine way for peaceful conflict resolution, on search for common ground to cooperate on basis of mutual respect and real equality and on methods to educate young people toward them.
1. The problem to be addressed
One of the most severe problem in the Israeli society is the character of it’s relations between the Jewish majority and the Arab - Palestinian minority. Jews and Arabs live in Israel side by side, but socially they are almost completely separated. The relationships that does exist are actually reflection of general relationships between the Arab and the Jewish people, living in the Middle East, (even though on somewhat milder level ) and they can be characterized in terms of alienation, ignorance and fear. The violent events of October 2000 inside Israel proved, that future of relationships between Israel and the Arab world as well as between Israel and the Palestinian People are strongly connected with the ability of Jewish and Arab - Palestinian citizens of Israel to live and cooperate in peaceful and respectful co-existence. The Jewish - Arab relationships inside Israel can be regarded as a “test case “ for Jewish – Arab relations as a whole.
The Arab minority in Israel, being inseparable part of the Palestinian people, with which the State of Israel live in a state of violent conflict, suffers - in addition to "usual" discrimination as a minority - from legal and popular discrimination - justified by "security" reasons. In Israeli context every struggle for strengthening democracy, human rights, civil society and combating racism means above all promoting equality for its Arab minority. Although problems on this scale have to be coped by political establishment, promoting anti-racist attitude through deep going work within civil society and educational frameworks may have far reaching impact on inter-ethnic relations. Implanting values of human rights and democracy into the Israeli school system, especially through mediation of young teachers – most of them women - devoted to this issue, may have an enormous impact on change in public atmosphere. We are convinced, that young educators have a key role in disseminating these ideas in the society - especially on the educational and local community level.
2.Detailed Description of the Project:
Goals of the Project are: to build a hard core of young Israeli Jewish and Arab educators, who will spread ideas and values among their pupils against racism and prejudices. The project will focus on combating the growing racism and violence in the Israeli society, with emphasise on feminine way for peaceful conflict resolution, education for human rights and democracy, on women and minorities empowerment, as well as on finding ways to cooperate between all national, ethnic and cultural groups of the society, on basis of mutual respect and real equality.
a)To prepare Israeli Jewish and Arab teachers and students for education, to know, understand and respect differences between their cultures, while recognizing and nurturing what is in common between them. To bring them to rejection of all forms of intolerance.
b) To emphasise unique feminine approach to inter-ethnic dialogue, through presenting interests of women in the society and their role in social change. Women empowerment is vital part in every social change.
c)To enable the Project's graduates to use the means and ways they learned in the "Young Educators for Peace & Human Rights" Project in their schools, among their pupils and fellow teachers, in order to spread the idea of tolerance, respect for the “other”, equality and peaceful conflict resolution.
d) To spread the idea of interpersonal interactions and cooperation with educators of the other community.
3. Work plan
Semesterial academic courses, run as joint enterprise of Friendship Village and partner Institutes.
A - The Courses in Emeq Yizre'el Academic College will include the following chapters:
1 – Socialising process and gender roles in different human societies.
2 – Development of personal, genderial, group and national identity.
3 – Psychological and sociological development of Egocentism and Ethnocentrism
4 – Xenophoby – fear of strangers: is it a built in part of Human nature?
5 – Violence in society – particularly against women: aggression encouraging factors, versus aggression blocking factors.
6 – Stereotypes and prejudices – ways to change them.
7 – Feminine Power: Place and role of women in society, religion, culture.
8 – Education for Multi-culturalism. Impact of different formal and informal educational factors on development of relation to the "other".
9 – Israeli society: its structure and impact of the conflict with the Palestinian People.
10 – Ways to encourage values' internalization. Friendship and fraternity, accepting the "other", tolerance, equality and peace.
11 – Exploring models and projects abroad, of building understanding between people – especially women - of different cultural background.
12 – Implementation of projects to promote Jewish-Arab peaceful coexistence & cooperation.
B - The Course in Levinsky College for Education will include the following chapters:
Multi-cultural approach to Israeli Society
1 - Analysis of the relationships between dominant and dominated sectors, majorities and minorities, gender relationships, ethnic and cultural groups.
2 - Understanding of processes of identity formation in modern and post-modern terms.
3 - Acquaintance with the central struggles over control of symbolic and organizational sources and the ways of creating social, political and cultural commitment in Israeli society.
4 - Developing acceptance and respect for the Other.
Main topics of Discussion
A - Identities (personal, religious, national, genderial).
B - Power and culture (history, ethnocentrism, stereotypes, exclusion, violence).
C - The structure of Israeli society (borders, controls, tensions, processes of change).
D - The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: interpretations and implications.
E - Discourse, anti-discourse and multi-discourse in Israeli society.
F - The stranger and the “Other”, as a reverse mirror of ascription and identification: rejection and confrontation.
C - The Course in Haifa University will include the following chapters:
1 – East in eyes of the West. Colonialism as conflict between the "others". Orientalism.
2 – Zionism – as Jewish revival movement – and as a colonialist project.
3 – Psychology of encounter between conqueror and the occupied.
4 – Class aspects: exploitation of colonies. Economic relationships between conquerors and natives.
5 – Class aspects b': Relationships in the past and in the present between Jewish dominancy and Palestinian subjugation. Proletarization of Palestinian minority in Israel.
6 – Role of the army in Israeli society. The nature of militaristic society.
7 – The occupation. Differences between Palestinians of '48 and '67.
8 – Collective consciousness, collective memory. Holocaust and "Nakba".
9 – Media as reflecting – and creating reality.
10 – Gender and occupation: double oppression.
11 – Natives versus settlers. Economical oppression. Embedded conflicts.
These issues will be spread over 13 weekly sessions of 4 academic hours each. In each session, the following scheme will be used: 2 hours of lecture by lecturer of the Institute, or external one, 2 hours dynamic workshop to discuss over and elaborate the issue that has been presented in preceding lecture. The workshop will run by facilitators of "Friendship Village".
In each Academic Institute two consequent courses will be accomplished: in the first and in the second semester; a total of 6 courses in the three Institutes we cooperate with: Emeq Yizre'el Academic College, Levinsky College for Education and the University of Haifa.
4 - Evaluation plan
1 - Every activity will be followed by consultation of College coordinators and Friendship Village facilitators. Conclusions will be applied in following activities.
2 - During the activity feedback papers will be submitted. These papers will be elaborated by the Coordinators after Project's end.
3 - When the project will finish, a feedback session and questionnaire will give proper picture about the Project's success to internalise its message to the young female teachers.
4 - In cooperation with Partner Colleges a one year long follow-up program will study efficiency of the Project's graduates and impact on their pupils.
5 - Evaluation will be accomplished by the Project Coordinators.
September 2006 - June 2007
September - October 2006: preparation, recruiting participants.
October 2006 - June 2007 : running the Project (along two semesters)
July 2007 : - Summing up, evaluation.
Educational staff will be comprised of six professional facilitators that run last year's project too.
As our staff is comprised of well experienced facilitators, several short meetings and a one day long preparation will be sufficient to start the Project. As this year our facilitators run the “Women Educators for Peace & Human Rights” Project, they have already a thorough knowledge of ways running the "Young Educators for Peace and Human Rights" Project too.
Each Partner Institute will be presented by Project Director: member of the Institute's staff, responsible for all academic aspects of the Project and its proper accomplishment. Most academic lectures will be given by him, however in some specific issues external lecturers will be used.
7. Plan for dissemination
Cooperation with the Partner Institutes has a vital importance in disseminating methods of implanting values of human rights, democracy and peaceful conflict resolution into the Israeli school system. The Emeq Yizre'el, the Levinsky College and the Haifa University are important sources of young teachers in Israel. If the "Young Educators for Peace & Human rights" will be successful, our cooperation with them will be strengthened and the following years, the Project will be able to run even on a wider scale. We already are in touch with more academic institutions, in purpose to cooperate in running similar courses in them. On this way we'll be able to expand the Project, when the only limitation will be the financial one.
The Project presented in the Proposal is actually a continuity of our "Feminine Way to Peace and Human Rights", supported last year by you. That project which run already with unusual success for two years in the "Emeq Yizre'el Academic College", in the second year got the title of "Woman Educators for Peace & Human Rights". When trying to expand that project to more academic institutes, we made great effort to convince our new partners to adopt it, however they preferred to cooperate with us on different subjects. These were focusing on issues important for us – but we had to abandon focusing on feminine aspects of them. This we did unwillingly, however this was the only way to expand our connections and opportunities to spread our messages to more academic institutions. Moreover – as participants in the original project were exclusively women (as it still is with the course in the Emeq Yizre'el Academic College), we had to accept some male participants in courses, held in the other institutions. This year's experience convinced us to be flexible about subjects of the courses and gender of participants, however we stick to the basis of: 1 – working with present and the future educators, 2 – to emphasise in the courses our method of dynamic workshops*, in order to cope with emotional aspects of social and political problems, presented to students along the courses. 3 – in every case we mean to insist to suggest our main issue that looks at inter-ethnic dialogue through eyes of women, however this will be not a precondition for cooperation with academic institutes.
As a conclusion from this study year, we decided to change the Project's name to "Young Educators for Peace and Human Rights".
* - See annex
The unique approach of Friendship Village to Dialogue Projects of conflict groups.
Conflicts between people are composed of different factors: mostly this is conflict between material interests, struggle for power, for status, for respect and dignity. These components can be approached from their cognitive aspects (trying to understand the reasons of the conflict, learning its history, personal and group background, interests, thinking over and discussing possible solutions, etc.) or from their emotional aspects ( fears, hatred, prejudices, stereotypes, hostility, mistrust etc. that are embedded in each individual out of the involved groups).
When bringing together people from two (or more) ethnic, national or cultural groups that live in a state of conflict, both approaches has to be taken in consideration, while an effort is made to solve the conflict – or at least to bring it to degree that both side can live with.
Most activities working on the field of dialogue over the world, emphasise mostly the cognitive approach. In most seminars, workshops and other activities that are hold in purpose of dialogue development, the organized part of the project is devoted to lectures, discussions, simulations, joint activities and so on – as the organizers believe that the very meeting of the partners to conflict along the activity will by itself reduce the level of hostility, therefore no need to care about elaboration of the conflict's emotional aspects.
There is no greater mistake than this.
Emotions are maybe the most important components that can prevent any results in every effort to solve conflicts. Perhaps positive emotions can't solve objective conflicts of interests, but negative emotions can surely prevent every real and lasting solution. On the other side, open, emphatic approach of the sides can make negotiations more easy and help to achieve agreements and positive ways to live together. Unfortunately, this side of conflicts is all but too often neglected by dialogue programs over the world – especially in Europe.
In "Friendship Village" we use methods that are rather known and usual in Israel, but hardly known –
if at all – in other countries (with the exception of N. Ireland, where similar methods were developed independently). Our approach in our Inter-ethic Dialogue Programs is to treat both aspects of the conflict: emotional aspects of conflicts are emphasized – and treated on personal and group level, the same time cognitive aspects are not neglected either: their use mostly as basis to arise problems, which are elaborated, later on, on emotional level. We call this method "Dynamic Workshops".
The success of our two main Projects (Talk Peace – Make Peace and Young Educators for Peace & Human Rights) can be explained by the well experienced team that facilitate them – and by our unique approach that compose the cognitive and the emotional components of the conflicting situations that were arose along their course, on organic way. Our purpose is, beyond meeting points of view, narratives, problems and vested interests of each side by the other, to reduce level of hostility, fear, hatred and prejudices of both side toward each other, by uncovering the deepest feelings of each individual, concerning the other side, and their emotional elaboration further on.
If judging by feedback of participants and our partners to the Projects – it works, and works very well. Almost all participants (in both projects) changed their point of view about different aspects of the problems in discussion, adopted a more open approach to the other side and expressed their will to use the means trained along the Project, in order to strive toward respectful relationships between the two partners to conflict.
Cost: 56.000 Euro