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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > February Newsletter > Beit Berl Launches Certification Program for Shared Society Education Leadership

Beit Berl Launches Certification Program for Shared Society Education Leadership

​​​In partnership with the UJA Federation of New York, 59 Jewish and Arab students commenced training to serve as future shared education leaders in Israel.

When leadership from the UJA Federation of New York visited Beit Berl last year, they were so impressed by the College’s dedication to and advancement of education for a shared society that they selected Beit Berl College as their partner for advancing this subject. In December, 59 Arab and Jewish Beit Berl students – the first cohort of The Shared Education Leadership Certification Program – embarked upon a program specifically designed to train them as leaders of shared society education in their future capacities in the formal and informal education systems. 

The Program provides students with experience in diverse academic and social activities to expand their knowledge in the field of shared society – the make-up of Israeli society, issues surrounding the crystallization of their identity, majority-minority relations in sociological and psychological terms, and principles of a liberal-democratic system – by means of courses and workshops enabling experience in inter-cultural encounter, as well as study tours exposing them to the diversity they are studying. The program also seeks to equip these students with educational tools such as experience with different educational approaches as a basis for promoting a meaningful encounter between the different sectors, activities that strengthen democracy, and ways educators can tackle controversial issues. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate in Leading Shared Society Education, alongside a degree in their chosen educational specialization. 

We want these students to be leaders. It is not enough to expand their knowledge – they have to practice this knowledge by applying the concepts and understanding to real situations,” noted Dr. Wurud Jayusi, the Program’s Manager and co-Director of Beit Berl’s Center for the Advancement of Shared Society. “It’s important that they believe in it and are personally involved. The students must be able to implement what they learned from the program in real life, in schools or informal educational settings.”

We are building a group of leaders and giving them the skills to apply what they learn,” summarizes Dr. Ilana Paul-Benjamin, Founder and Co-Director of the Center. 

This is one of the many innovative initiatives conceived by Beit Berl’s Center for the Advancement of Shared Society. The Center – the first of its kind in Israel – was inaugurated four years ago in order to educate the next generation of Israel’s educators in the values of democracy, tolerance and respect. By raising awareness to and knowledge about the diverse tapestry of Israel’s heterogeneous society, future educators will be better equipped to promote and nurture a shared society. 

In addition to this new flagship program, the Center for the Advancement of Shared Society works with students and faculty, on campus and in the community. Students are offered a course specifically on shared society, spoken Arabic to better familiarize themselves with the language and culture, as well as study tours to meet different sectors of society, from the ultra-Orthodox city of Mea Shearim to the divided Arab town of Bara. In addition to students, the Center provides programming for faculty to train them with the tools to teach heterogeneous classrooms and curriculum reflective of all Israeli society. On campus and in the community, the Center conducts social and educational activities and programming, reaching hundreds of students, pupils, teachers, principals, and families. 

Under Israeli President Rivlin’s Hope for Israeli Academia, other academic institutions have also begun working in this field, though Beit Berl’s Center continues to be at the forefront in this field and a leader in terms of the scope and innovativeness of its activities. 

Read more about the Center for the Advancement of Shared Society here​.

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