Alongside the campaign to rebuild its premises, the School for Peace has enjoyed one its busiest ever summer programme schedules.

Helping Community Centres 

Following the dreadful events of May 2021, there continues to be much concern in the country over the conflicts between Jews and Arabs in mixed cities. Record numbers of organisations have requested advice and guidance from the School for Peace.  At the beginning of August over 50 directors from the headquarters of the Israeli Association of Community Centres came to the school seeking help in understanding how they can develop an inclusive approach in working with the Palestinian community. The Association is a nationwide network of 700 Community Center branches throughout the country. They worked with school staff in a day-long workshop which opened the door to a new perspective on Palestinian and Jewish relations which will help them develop an effective approach to their work. 

 

New Change Agent Programme

For the first time, the School for Peace recently ran a change agents programme for performing artists. It sees the performing arts as an avenue to reach out to a larger diverse population through political theatre and cinema. The graduates of the programme organised an arts festival with video art, theater, and plastic arts, in the unrecognized village of Al-Araqib, which was attended by hundreds of participants.

    

               Residents of the village of Al-Araqib attend the festival              Actress Riki Hayut and Qayed Abu Latif performing the theater piece they created

Binational Educators Forum

As a result of the school’s programme for leaders in mixed cities, with its support a group of Jewish and Palestinian educators have come together to begin developing a Binational Educators Forum. The forum has begun identifying specific issues in the Jewish and Arab educational system and how this has led to increased conflict between the two groups. The forum will create a platform for sharing binational issues of teachers, researchers, and teaching staff from a variety of backgrounds and professions. The goal is to begin developing content that will contribute to educator's ability to help their students understand the other.

 

Conference: Social Workers as Change Agents in the Jewish-Arab Sphere 

At the end of June the school held a conference with a hundred social workers from around the country addressing the conflicts between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel and the role of social workers as change agents. The head of the social workers union, Inbal Hermoni spoke on the limits and possibilities for professionals to influence change. Research was presented by Dr. Romain Jamal looking at multi-cultural social work and Ruth Sofer presented the challenges of being a social worker in a society living in conflict. One of the ideas that came out of the conference was the need for a separate social work union for Arab social workers.