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News from the Center for Humanistic Education

Dialogue workshop for specialists in family medicine

How does a clinic handle expressions of racism? How do we maintain good working relations during times of tension? Does speaking out contribute to staff unity, or is it better to remain silent?

These are just a few of the questions dealt with in the workshop for specialists in family medicine at the School of Medicine of the Technion. The workshop was led by the Center for Humanistic Education (CHE) staff, and is a continuation of a program that began last year.

The groups of specialists are comprised of a wide diversity of societal groups, but the principal “line of tension” is between Jews and Arabs. In clinics and hospitals they encounter complex and sensitive situations. During tense security and political periods, reality can penetrate into the workplace and affect the staff. The leaders of the specialists’ training and the CHE staff have created a unique program, which focuses on coping with the tension through in-depth interpersonal and group dialogue.

Conclusions of both the participants and the management reflect great satisfaction with the program, and more can be expected. Heads of the training program have told us that an article they submitted about the process has been accepted by a prestigious international scientific journal dealing with training physicians in multicultural societies.

 Ministry of the Economy Project in Arab schools

What began last year as a pilot program has become a strong and stable activity comprising a large part of the CHE's educational work.
20 of the 25 Arab trade schools under the authority of the  Ministry of Economics have chosen mandatory study of the Holocaust through the Center’s framework.  The schools are located from the Triangle region all the way to the North.

Students in their sophmore and junior year of high school come to the Center for three days of study about the Holocaust.  Registration data reveals that by the end of the school year, 4500 students will have participated in the program.

The program, which includes workshops and museum visits, is designed and led by Arab facilitators of the CHE, aided by the experience they gained through the Center's workshops on the Holocaust and its significance. Educational supervisors in the Ministry of the Economy and the CHE management are currently working on a training program for all teachers in these schools.

Spring Dialogue Seminar

The tradition of dialogue seminars at the CHE continues – which is not to be taken lightly considering the current climate in the region.  Some 100 young people from schools in the Druze, Jewish and Arab sectors gathered for three intensive days for the spring seminar.  The seminar is the culmination of an ongoing process, beginning with weekly workshops about “the Holocaust and its modern significance”.

The seminar dealt with a wide range of issues covering Jewish-Arab relations in Israeli society.  The focus of the program was a unique process in which participants shared their family stories with the group, through which they became acquainted with the rich historical and cultural mosaic represented in the room.  This in-depth knowledge that brought them closer served as a foundation for profound discussions on what they shared and what divided them as Jews and Arabs – close yet distant neighbors.

A stranger encountering the emotional farewells at the end of the seminar would not have understood what those who only see the chasms and not the bridges between us are talking about.  There are bridges, and many good people are crossing them.



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