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"Communities in Partnership" program
Jewish and Arab "Communities in Partnership"- A Springboard to Shared Society
Our core model of work is driven by a holistic, multi-community approach, that works on several levels simultaneously, thus creating ever-widening circles of influence, sustainability, and impact. It works with students and parents. Empowers educational staff, providing them tools to develop their own multicultural projects, and involving the community leaders, both municipal and regional, including mayors and the heads of educational departments.
Its methodology is based on pairing neighboring communities that live side by side with separation, conflict, or instability, but has a big potential for shared multicultural collaboration and prosperity. We are connecting them by twinning different Arab and Jewish schools in one joint cluster of work, bringing them together for a long-term, meaningful, and experiential process. This process is multi-staged, starting from separate preparatory workshops to examine stereotypes and fears and learn about the “other's" culture and carry on into a long multicultural process that includes familiarity encounters, dialogue sessions, and multicultural collaboration building workshops.
School communities and students are at the heart of our work. Firstly, because there is a high need to work with the future generation to have a new outlook on the “other” and the skills needed to succeed in multicultural collaborations.
Secondly, the formal system is a great framework for long term structure change, most of our workshop takes place within schools, enhancing the "normalcy" and formality of the joint process. Thirdly, school students play as a magnet for the entire community – parents, teachers, principals, municipality teams, and mayors, highly involved with the children's education and development. This is how our model expands the cycle of influence to the entire community and creates a systemic change that grows bottom-up as a grassroots movement that extends itself over time.
Our pedagogical approach is highly effective in breaking down barriers and creating multicultural collaborations. We bring the informal into the formal system, utilizing tools from a variety of disciplines like theater, music, arts, sports, active listening, and volunteerism. We work in small groups, using both languages simultaneously, and highlight that learning will come from self-experience.
Our model is built with a strong economic perspective, whereby 50% of the costs are covered by the participating communities, enabling self-sustainability and higher obligation to the process.
For almost all the participants, both Jewish and Arab, the program provides the first-ever opportunity for such meaningful interaction.