Courses 2007-2008

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.

Education with a View Towards the Community

Dr. Tamar Hagar, Adv. Yael Efron, Tufaha Saba and Nava Shay
Department of Education, Tel-Hai Academic College
Fourteen students are enrolled in this program at Tel Hai College's education department in Israel's far north, taught by Dr. Tamar Hagar. The program includes four courses: Education and the community; Critical thought, gender and activism; Human rights – leadership and change; and Jewish-Arab dialogue. In addition to these academic courses, students volunteer for four hours a week at formal and informal educational initiatives, including a new community center for the Southern Lebanese community in Kiryat Shmona, the Tel Hai center for developing readiness for higher education among disadvantaged groups, a project for helping women in Kiryat Shmone find employment facilitated by the Yedid organization, a kindergarten for autistic children, and more.

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.

Art and Activism

Eldad Cidour, Lea Mauas, Diego Rotman and Eytan Shouker
Bezalel – Academy of Art and Design
This popular course at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design is taught by Eytan Shouker, Eldad Cidor, Lea Mauas and Diego Rotman. Between 20 and 32 students will be enrolled in the course this year. Throughout the year the students study the work of artist activists, discuss art in the social, political and economic contexts, and meet local organizations, activists, and artists. In the summer, each student devotes approximately 180 hours to developing a new or ongoing project in conjunction with a local community. Examples of such projects include creating areas for meeting and leisure in the village of Issawiah through recycling projects, building a platform for open conversation between city residents in the center of Jerusalem, and planning and developing a park in an area that was initially designated as a major road.

Teaching Geometry in Social and Cultural Context

Prof. Daoud Bshouty, Dr. Igor Verner and Khiria Massarwe
Faculty of Education in Technology and Science, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Eight students are enrolled in this course, offered by the Dept. of Education in Technology and Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and taught by Dr. Igor Verner and Prof. Daoud Bashouty of the Technion's faculty of mathematics. In the course students study and experience geometry teaching through geometric patterns of cultural significance. Students study Indian, Aztec, Ancient Roman, Jewish, Muslim and Christian geometric art and how such art can be used to teach geometry. In addition to their studies, students volunteer for four hours a week teaching and creating geometric art with Jewish and Arab students, to increase young people's interest in studying geometry, and to promote inter-cultural understanding through geometry and art.
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.

The Artist as an Agent of Change

Dr. Michael Klinghoffer
Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance
Students travel every two weeks to work with children and teenagers at conservatories or community centers at several locations: Ofakim, Merhavim, Yokneam, Migdal, Eshkol and Jerusalem. In addition, concentrated activity days are held during each year in Jerusalem. The students work with the children individually as well as in groups, guiding them in several music ensembles and in different styles – rock, jazz, and classical. They contribute to the growth of the community centers and conservatories. The program works to create a community of musicians, encompassing students, children, teenagers, and music professionals. It aims to change the discourse at the peripherally located music centers and community centers with which the program is implemented, to lead towards discourse of excellence, and embody an encounter for children and youth with higher education. The program's premise is that the encounter of students participating in the course with youth at peripheral areas will change the youth's outlook on musical studies, and their access to certain methods and knowledge. It hopes to change their perception of themselves as musicians, inspire in them confidence and passion for music.  

Citizen Artists in a Community of Immigrants

Dr. Shulamith Lev-Alagem and Rimona Lappin
Department of Theatre Arts, Tel-Aviv University
This course combines theory with practice and provides an advanced model for community-based theatre. The course invites students from the theatre department as well as from other departments and schools all over the university. The aim of the course is to train citizen-artists. A citizen-artist is a committed artist who chooses to create in, for and with a given community. The encounter between the citizen-artist and the community generates a cultural intervention, which combines art with action, aesthetics with pragmatism, and social involvement with intentions to produce change.

Green Engineering

Dr. Adi Wolfson and Dr. Dorit Tavor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Shamoon College of Engineering

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 inHaifain 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.