Seminar for Student Activists in Jerusalem

Seminar for Student Activists in Jerusalem, Jerusalem, December 27-28, 2007
The Seminar for Student Activists in Jerusalem was an initiative of the Academy-Community Partnership for Social Change, the Hebrew University Student Union, and partner organizations.
The seminar constituted a setting for learning about the social, economic and political situation in Jerusalem. It aimed to provide broader background to the specific social engagement of students in the city. This was done through acquaintance with Jerusalem, and with specific social problems in Jerusalem. In this way the seminar exposed students who are currently not engaged to specific social issues, with the aim of provoking them to become engaged. It allowed students to become acquainted with various organizations working in the city. We hope that the inter-organizational relations formed as part of the seminar become a platform for cooperation on various levels.
Over 100 students, from a range of disciplines, organizations and programs, participated in the seminar, which was successfully concluded. Most of them had not participated in similar activities previously, and in this sense the seminar was particularly successful – it exposed its audience to new information about social issues in the city.  
Student feedback concerning the seminar was positive and enthusiastic. They noted the seminar was enriching, thought provoking, and exposed them to questions and issues that they would not have encountered through other frameworks.
The seminar consisted of concurrent study-tours and workshop sessions, a lecture by Dr. Efraim Davidi, Academic Director of the Social Economic Academy, on the importance of student action for social change, and a concluding session which integrated presentations by representatives of several organizations – introducing the organizations' work and possibilities for student engagement.
Seminar program
Thursday – December 27th

Gathering and registration
Opening – Noam Wizner and Najwan Khateeb
Environmental Justice in Jerusalem
Avi Dabush, Environment and Community Project Coordinator, SHATIL
Art as an Agent of Social ChangeArtists for Social Change – Musrara
Volunteer-work in Jerusalem – Means or Objective?Brera Center
  The Education System in Jerusalem
Edna Darnell, Director, Educational Welfare in West Jerusalem and Abed Al-Karim La'afi, representative of the Parents' Committee in East Jerusalem
Poverty in Jerusalem and the Wisconsin Plan Lubna Masarwa, Community Action Center, and Tammy Gross, Community Advocacy, and participants in the program
The Question of the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem
Carmit Ben Meir, with the participation of an opponent and an advocate of the parade
Lecture: the Importance of Student Engagement for Social Change – Efraim Davidi, Academic Director, the Social Economic Academy
Workshop and Night Tour – Youth in Jerusalem introduction to the issue of youth at risk, following David Grossman's book, Someone to Run With, and an encounter with youth at Zion Square – guided by the Law Clinics and ELEM.

Friday – December 28th, Musrara School for Photography, Media and New Music (Shivtei Israel 22)
Concurrent study tours around town were held, followed by concluding sessions in four working groups. Each group discussed the work of organizations active in a specific field, how students may become involved in their efforts, and included presentation of projects and a possible continuation program.

Study-tour 1: The ecology of JerusalemGavri Asoulin, Green Course
Study-tour 2: Access for the Physically Disabled in the City-Center
Brera Center, House of Wheels, and the Center for Independent Life
Study-tour 3: East Jerusalem and the Separation WallGilad Meishar, and Maya Kantor, Bat Shalom
Study-tour 4: From the Black Panthers to the Social Gallerythe Social Gallery, Musrara School
Study-tour 5: Tour of the Haredi Neighborhoods and acquaintance with the Haredi model of community
Refreshments and gathering of all tours at Musrara – Social Gallery
Summary – Environment
facilitated by Lior Gelbard, Green Course
Summary – Education facilitated by Guy Aloni, Mahapach-Taghir
Summary – Poverty, workers, and social and economic rights
facilitated by Salwa Alenat, Kav La'Oved
Summary - the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Jerusalem
facilitated by Adi Livni and Maya Kantor, Bat Shalom

Students completed feedback and evaluation in which they expressed interest in similar activities in the future. The partner organizations will continue to update the students and interest them in further activities. In light of the great demand, the Student Union will hold an additional study tour to East Jerusalem. The partner organizations are interested in initiating a continuation training program that will include training meetings for student activists – to provide practical tools for social change.
For further details please contact Moran: 02-5881389,
Organizations that took part in the seminar:
Legal Clinical Education Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mahapach-Taghir, Student Union of the Hebrew University, Brera Center, the Social Gallery – Musrara, the Social Involvement Unit of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bat Shalom, Green Course, Bema'aglei Tzedek, Beit HaGalgalim (House of Wheels), the Center for Independent Life, Artists for Social Change – Musrara, Kav La'Oved (Worker's Line), SHATIL, Student's Coalition, Community Advocacy, the Other 10%, the Open House, Community Action Center, Association of Civil Rights in Israel, Halom – Halacha ve'Ma'ase, the Social Economic Academy, ELEM (Youth in Distress in Israel), Commitment for Peace and Social Justice.

 To view pictures from the seminarpress here.