Informal Education and Social Change
Dr. Dalya Markovich and Dr. Hagit Kilvansky
Program for Community Organizing and Administration, Beit Berl College
The course aims to form a connection between the field of non-formal education and active civic engagement. It discussed the non-formal education field as a potential sphere for civic activism and social change, and the different ways in which non-formal education leverages diverse social action and human rights. The experience in the field is designed to provide students with tools and skills for civic activism. The theoretical and practical study is intended to reflect and analyze some of the dilemmas, contradictions and new horizons characterizing this distinct sphere.
The classroom consists of Jewish and Palestinian faculty and students, who through joint action and study throughout the year learn to bridge over initial differences and work together towards a common goal.
Legal Feminism and Social Change
Adv. Dana Myrtenbaum, Odette Falach and Dr. Noya Rimalt
Faculty of Law, Haifa University
The program is a unique cooperation between the Haifa University’s Faculty of law and Itach-Maaki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice, a Jewish-Arab feminist legal advocacy organization. The program’s vision is to promote access to justice for women from disadvantaged communities and marginalized individuals, as well as to challenge the existing power structure in the legal world and its gender and cultural blindness. Through this unique program Jewish and Arab law students have the opportunity to openly and critically engage with questions of intergroup relations, power, and accessibility.
The program aspires to impact future lawyers by exposing Jewish and Arab law students at the University of Haifa to women’s struggles and strength, and to the power of the law in the process of social change. Along with the law students, a group of Arab and Jewish women from marginalized communities go through an empowerment process as they are trained to be “legal leaders” whose voices will be heard in the public sphere and who are committee to issues of gender and status shared by all marginalized Israeli women.
Pairing together women leaders and law students, the program’s participants act together in designing and implementing seed projects to enable marginalized voices of women and disempowered communities to be heard and seen by decision-makers, the legal system, courts, media, the general public and more. The model, co-coordinated by a Jewish attorney and an Arab-Druze psychologist, equips a multi-cultural group of women activists and law students with effective social change tools and guides them in their quest for long term social change.
Projects developed by the program include: empowering Arab and Jewish women in providing legal assistance by making accessible the Family Court in Haifa; promoting and advancing the rights of Arab-Druze women in the divorce process; construction of a rehabilitation program for women involved in prostitution and raising public awareness to their situation, and more.
Legal Clinic for Representation of Youth
Adv. Sharon Sionov Arad
Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
19 students are enrolled in this course, which is offered by the Law Faculty at Hebrew University and taught by attorneys Sharon Zionov, Reut Rosner and Shiran Reichenberg. Through this course law students gain practical experience in representing youth and in providing legal aid and representation. Students study a range of topics including legal aspects in the lives of children and youth, how bureaucratic systems treat young people, how social gaps and inequality affect the lives of youth, children and young people as a disadvantaged group, international aspects of children's rights, and more. Students commit to working at the clinic between 6-10 hours a week, staffing the clinic, providing representation, conducting workshops and marketing the clinic to young people. The clinic works with a range of social organizations as well as with governmental and non-governmental agencies and the Israeli courts.
Prof. Miriam Shlesinger and Dr. Michal Schuster
Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies, Bar-Ilan University
The course in community interpreting trains bilingual students to leverage their knowledge of a second language for the benefit of those who have difficulty accessing various public services because they do not speak Hebrew. It addresses such issues as the role of language in creating – and reducing – power imbalances, the ethics of intercultural mediation, advocacy and empowerment, and the rights o language minorities in a multilingual society.
Students – speakers of Arabic, Russian, Amharic, Spanish, French and English (in addition to Hebrew) – spend 4 hours each week volunteering as language mediators (translator/interpreters). Their assignments vary widely and include hospitals (primarily mediating between Arabic-speaking patients, many of them from Gaza, and the medical staff); rehabilitational facilities (assisting therapists in diagnosing and treating children who have undergone trauma); NGOs (such as Physicians for Human Rights); well baby clinics; immigration center; and municipal services and social security offices. The students’ language skills are curial in easing tension in these very charged settings and promote an understanding of the importance of language access, while enhancing public awareness of language in the context of human rights. Importantly, the course brings together students from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom have never been exposed to the other before. As a result the students undergo an intense process of tolerance building, understanding, and transformation of previously hostile relationships.
Rights of the Palestinian Arab Minority in Israel
Dr. Yousef Jabareen and Dr. Ilan Saban
Faculty of Law, Haifa University
The course examines the legal status of the Arab citizens of Israel, and questions the capacity of the law to serve s a tool for social change. Its framework creates a setting for Arab-Jewish student partnership, modeled by the course lecturers. Students in the course create Arab and Jewish work teams. Student intern and aid six human rights organizations advancing the status of the Palestinian minority in Israel.
The faculty members, course coordinator and representatives of the organizations outline students’ projects in advance, to ensure that they address key issues, while the course aims to imitate at least one independent project annually. Students in the course have been assisting in the preparation of an appeal regarding the conditions for admittance to institutions of higher education. Today, universities and colleges require an arbitrary minimal age that predominantly discriminates against Arab citizens. A team of students has been working on the preparation of an appeal regarding profiling in public places, which results in discrimination based on nationality. Other teams have been working to connect school sin the unrecognized villages of the Negev to electricity and running water, and have begun to draft an appeal regarding discrimination practices in acceptance to newly established community settlements in the Negev.
Active Involvement of Education Students in Women's Rights Organziations
Dr. Nira Reiss and Ornat Turin
Communications Department, Gordon College of Education
School-teaching today requires a democratic attitude as well as leadership skills. One of the primary goals of teacher training programs is to empower future teachers by promoting autonomous thinking andpractical contributions to an egalitarian society. Teachers have a crucial role as agents of socialization of young girls and boys. The importance of empowering teachers as women, combined with the role of these teachers in gender education, lead us to look for ways to engage women students of education with feminist thinking and practice,as part of their training.
The course will involve a group of education students at Gordon School of Education in Haifa in the activities of women's grass-roots organizations working for women's rights, in order to familiarize these students with the principles of the women's liberation movement in the 21st century, to empower them as women, as teachers and as citizens, and to broaden their understanding of social change. The course is designed for third and fourth year students and will include theoretical aspects of human rights and of feminism alongside guided volunteer work in one of the women's organizations.
The students will volunteer in one of the following organizations in Haifa:
The Shelters for Victims of Domestic Abuse, Isha Le-isha (Woman to Woman) Center, Kayan, and Itach-Maaki. Guest speakers from these organizations will introduce their organizations during the first few sessions of the course.