Courses 2006-2007

Gender and Human Rights – Between Criminology, Victimology and Social Action

Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian
Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Fourteen students enrolled in this innovative course, jointly offered by the School of Social Work and the Criminology Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and taught by Dr. Katalin Katz and Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian. The course integrates theoretical study of human rights advocacy methods and critical concepts with four hours of volunteering at a range of governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Jerusalem municipality, the Israel Association for Child Protection, Elem – Youth in Distress, and more. Some of the projects in which the students are involved include: workshops for women on sexual rights, coordination of a coalition of organizations on the protection of children on the internet, advocacy for Sudanese refugees, and more.

Human Rights, Community, and Planning Policy in Israel 

Dr. Haim Yacobi and Dr. Neve Gordon
Department of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University
Twelve students are enrolled in this course, offered by the politics and government department at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva and taught by Dr. Haim Yacobi. The course highlights the connection between human rights as a concept and a tool for social change, and planning policy as a practice engaged in organization of space and allocation of resources. In addition to their coursework, students volunteer for at least five hours a week at a human rights or social justice organization, culminating in an analysis or policy document that they write for the organization. The course places special emphasis on disadvantaged communities in the south of Israel and issues of employment, environment, and health.

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.
Community Interpreting
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.

Women Leading Change – Workshop for Studying of and Volunteering in Women’s Social Change Organizations

Dr. Hanna Safran
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Emek Yezreel College
The course will be held in the form of a workshop, and will include volunteering in a women’s organization. The first section of the course will be devoted to study of the organizations’ actions in the community, through the mapping of and acquaintance with third sector organizations and their work methods. The second section will be devoted to volunteering in a specific organization, including the study of the organization and its ways of action. In the third section of the course, the students will describe their experience in writing, referring to theoretical materials, present their work to the class, and learn to give and receive feedback.

Bureaucracy, Governmentality and Human Rights

Prof. Yehouda Shenhav and Adv. Yael Barda
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel Aviv University
The course is a seminar combining theory and practice. In addition to Prof. Shenhav's lectures, Adv. Michael Sfrad, the legal advisor of "Yesh Din" will accompany the course as a guest lecturer. Every two weeks, the students will take part in Yesh Din's project of observers of military courts, and in Machsom Watch's project of assistance at the District Coordination Offices in the Palestinian territories. Under the direction of these organizations, the students will be involved in documentation, advocacy and coordination while maintaining a journal documenting their activity. The students will be guided by Adv. Yael Berda, both individually and in groups.