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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > January 2020 Newsletter > Joining Forces in Education - En route to a Shared Society

Joining Forces in Education - En route to a Shared Society

​Dr. Wurud Jayusi, Head, Center for Advancement of Shared Society;  Prof. Tamar Ariav, Beit Berl College President; Riad Kabha, Board Member, Beit Berl College & Givat Haviva; Prof. Mohammed Amara, Beit Berl lecturer and Sikkuy Co-Chair.
A conference recently co-hosted by Beit Berl highlighted best practices and policy issues in shared society education.

Looking to boost best practices in shared society education, the conference brought together 150 policy makers, researchers, educators and educators-to-be to discuss models for integrating and advancing shared society pedagogies in Israel.  The conference, “Joining Forces in Education―En route to a Shared Society,” was held in partnership with Sikkuy (the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equity) and the Israel Association of Community Centers.  

Current students and alumni of Beit Berl’s Shared Education Leadership program, sponsored by the UJA Federation of New York, contributed immensely to the conference. As a result, representatives from Beit Berl and the Ministry of Education will soon meet to discuss policy change: creating new roles in shared society education and enabling the program’s graduates to serve in the education system. “These students are trained in shared education and they can work as shared society coordinators in schools, as well as in other frameworks,” explains Dr. Wurud Jayusi, Director of Beit Berl’s Center for the Advancement of Shared Society.

The conference highlighted research conducted at Beit Berl on models from the field. Models included: “The Language Café,” whereby Jews and Arabs from Jerusalem meet at community centers on a weekly basis to learn Hebrew and Arabic and hold discussions; and the Mishwar program that familiarizes senior staff from Jewish community centers with Arab culture and society.

Two important conclusions emerged from the round table discussions. The first is the need to extend shared education in Israeli schools – a field in which Beit Berl has been forging groundbreaking initiatives. In particular, the College plans to expand its program whereby Jewish and Arab Education students teach Jewish and Arab 4th graders subjects such as Math, English and Science in joint groups. 

The second is the need to provide good pedagogical material in Israeli schools familiarizing Jewish children with Arab society, and vice versa. In the Jewish sector, few children learn Arabic and the curriculum does not include content about Arab society. Beit Berl intends to play an active role in developing and implementing relevant inter-cultural pedagogic material.

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