Courses 2008-2009

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
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.

Education and Social Change

Dr. Dalya Markovich 
Informal Education Track, 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.


Human Rights and the Israeli Society

Dr. Daphna Golan
Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Founded in 1999, this course brings together fifteen graduate and undergraduate students from a range of academic departments, who are interested in and committed to human rights. The students participate in a bi-weekly seminar that integrates theoretical study with ten hours of weekly volunteering at a human rights organization. The course reviews various aspects of human rights in Israeli society with an emphasis on the role of human rights organizations on processes of change. The first part of the course discusses the universality of human rights: international conventions, international enforcement mechanisms, and international human rights NGOs. The next, central part of the course focuses on human rights in Israel: security needs vs. human rights, rights of the Arab minority, women's rights, children's rights, rights of people with disabilities, foreign worker rights, and human rights in the Occupied Territories.
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.

Marginalized Populations, Human Rights and Social Change

Dr. Edith Blit-Cohen
School of Social Work, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
This course deals with civil and social rights and the relationship between the violation of human rights and the creation of social exclusion, exploitation and oppression. During the course, the students examine the phenomenon of social exclusion among different groups. In addition, the course deals with different ways of combating social exclusion, such as community organizing, consciousness raising and social change. A special part of the course is dedicated to discussing the relevance and the role of social workers in creating responses for socially excluded persons at the different levels of intervention: the micro , the mezzo, and the macro level. Throughout the course, students become engaged with civil society organizations concerned with socio-economic gaps, with an emphasis on Jews and Palestinians in Israel.

Education for Social Justice, Environmental Justice and Peace Education

Haggith Gor Ziv, Galia Zalmanson Levi and Gal Harmat
Center for Critical Pedagogy and Education for Social Justice, Kibbutzim College of Education
This teachers’ training program of four years for B.Ed aims at building the teachers’ capacity to educate children toward social justice and peace, raising their awareness to gender inequalities and other forms of discrimination in education. The students practical training is performed in organizations for social change, and in schools at disadvantaged communities, including Jewish-Arab student activist organization Mahapach-Taghir, Arab-Jewish projects in Jaffa, and the Jewish and Arab Women’s Association in Rosh Ha’Ayin. Students are required to implement ideas of alternative education, and innovative relevant pedagogy for children from marginalized groups.
The group of students participating in the program reflects in itself the various segments of Israeli society and provides an unparalleled space for intergroup dialogue – Palestinian and Jewish, migrant workers, disabled students, young and old, from the center and from the periphery. Students speak seven different languages and affiliate with four religions. The program offers courses on Israeli society, human rights and children’s’ rights, gender equality, critical pedagogy, and more. In addition the students specialize in one educational discipline – math, science, literature and language and Jewish and Arab culture. They are taught how to integrate social justice and peace education into the existing required curricula.

Leadership and Social Change – Awareness and Initiative in Public Action

Dr. Ariela Bairey Ben Ishay and Moti Gigi
Public Policy and Public Administration Department, Sapir College 
This course deals with two main issues, on both theoretical and practical-experiential levels: individual and social change in a diverse and changing society, and social initiative and leadership. The course exposes the students to mainstream and innovative approaches to leadership as social action that occurs in a historical, social and political context. The course examines leadership as aprocess that takes place from the bottom-up and laterally, and not only from the top-down. This approach allows every individual in the room to actively examine his or her ethnic and national identities and take responsibility for who they are as members of their social and political environments. Students learn to use their strengths, privileges and shortcomings as they better understand their role in either perpetuating or interrupting social processes, and learn to take action as conscious and responsible agents of social change.
The method of instruction is engaged-critical pedagogy, in which students are challenged to read diverse theoretical approaches, respond to them and interact actively with each other on intellectual-cognitive and personal-emotional levels. As students participate in eh course and are active in organizations for social justice and human rights, the course staff offers a forum for reflection in action, within which consciousness, awareness and action are encouraged as a flexible process of orchestrating group resources, as processes of individual and social change are underway.