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The Campus-Community Partnership was established to promote the mutual commitment of institutions of higher education, students, and the community – to act for social justice and human rights in Israeli society. The Partnership, hosted by the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, serves all institutions of higher education in the state of Israel.
We act to:
Engage Israeli institutions of higher education with the pressing social issues of the day;
Develop the intellectual and social change capabilities of a new generation of Jewish and Arab students who will go on to become active citizens and leaders for social change in their communities;
Bring academic knowledge into deeper engagement with community organizations.
We integrate the resources and capabilities of students, faculty members, institutions of higher education and social change organizations by:
Encouraging institutions of higher education to develop a policy of social engagement;
Supporting faculty members in developing community-engaged courses ("service learning courses") that combine theoretical study with student internships in community organizations;
Organizing workshops, seminars and conferences to exchange, develop and disseminate knowledge and experience regarding community-engaged learning and campus-community partnerships.
SCHOLARSHIP AND ACTIVISM
Since 2006, the Partnership has supported the development of dozens of community-engaged courses integrating Jewish and Arab students' action for social change, social justice and human rights. These courses have been implemented at 15 universities and colleges throughout Israel – from Tel-Hai College in the north, to Ben-Gurion University's Eilat campus in the south. They have encompassed a wide range of disciplines and fields of knowledge including law, sociology, gender studies, human rights, art, music, architecture, regional planning, social work, education, geography, political science, and environmental studies.
Community-engaged courses value classroom diversity, enabling rare interaction and dialogue among students from different social groups. The students participating in the courses come from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, and include Jews and Arabs, immigrants and native-born Israelis. For many of these groups the campus is the first and sometimes only site of encounter with the other. Community-engaged courses leverage on this encounter – to promote joint action for social change.
Community-engaged courses seek to broaden students' understanding of the social context of their academic studies, guiding them to develop skills for social change and to deepen their civic responsibility. Importantly, these courses promote the empowerment and active citizenship of marginalized social groups, by providing students from underprivileged backgrounds with access to opportunities of service to their home communities.
We have encouraged the Council for Higher Education in Israel (CHE) to adopt policies that enhance and facilitate the social engagement of students, faculty members, and institutions of higher education. Our efforts have led to the allocation by the CHE of resources for promoting the social engagement of institutions of higher education. Together with the CHE, the Partnership has held study days and conferences for heads of institutions of higher education, deans of students, and faculty members.
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE AND ADVOCACY
Our work throughout the years has involved the organizing of several venues that bring together faculty members, active students, civil society organizations, and representatives of institutions of higher education. The goal of these venues is to enable knowledge exchange and joint learning about the academy-community relationship, and to foster networks and cooperation among participants. Such venues include:
Workshops for faculty members teaching community-engaged courses or interested in developing such courses, to discuss topics such as service learning pedagogy, work with civil society organizations and evaluation.
Student seminars, both local and national, to encourage and enhance Jewish and Arab students' action in social change organizations, focusing on issues such as critical pedagogy, community organizing, legal aid, and human rights advocacy.
An annual conference for all stakeholders in campus-community programs, to present knowledge about engaged policies, best practices, and research of community-engaged courses.
Faculty of Law
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 9190501 Israel