Israel's Campuses as a Shared Space
University is the first time Jewish & Arab citizens are educated together. However Arab students suffer discrimination on campus from students & faculty staff. Campus Programme seeks to expand its cultural sensitivity training programmes on campuses to improve awareness of its of diverse populations
February 2019 - February 2020
Charity information: The Abraham Initiatives (UK)
Following a recent jump in Arab-Israelis studying on Israeli college campuses, there is a great need to develop more cohesive diversity and inclusion programming, raising awareness of Arab culture and norms. In terms of accessibility, inclusivity, and social cohesion, Arab students suffer alienation from the general student body and there is a higher drop out rate within Arab student population than Jewish. The potential to build better Jewish-Arab relations is also not maximized.
We are delivering training courses aimed at University faculty administration staff to build their skills and understanding of Arab society and Arab students’ needs on campuses in Israel. The programme provides staff with the necessary tools to serve all students equally - this includes awareness of Arab holidays that impact on timetabling and social cohesion, language barriers as well dealing with stereotypes that lead to discrimination. These courses will be run at 12 campuses in 2018-19.
Decrease on campus conflict fueled by campus employees’ lack of awareness of Arab culture
Activities» Deliver cultural diversity curriculum to university administrators to equip them with the necessary tools to serve all students equally
» Take University faculty staff on tours of Arab towns - to give them first hand insight into cultures/ similarities and norms
What success will look like
Fewer incidents of Arab students feeling discriminated. This can be measured via testimony following incidents of conflict and surveys (anonymous where necessary)
Decrease the number of Arab students that drop out of University
Activities» Ensure Arab students have equal educational platform ensuring multi lingual signage and cultural sensitivity regarding timetabling
» Educate staff to ensure that Arab student population feel equally welcome on campus and not feel socially/educationally isolated.
What success will look like
The % of Arab students completing their university studies is easily measurable, in addition we will run student surveys to measure perceptions of inclusion.
Improve Israel's university status as platforms for shared society
Activities» As above and also increasing opportunities to promote social integration and positive shared learning opportunities on campus
What success will look like
An increase in number of events / activities that are put on by universities that are well attended by Jewish and Arab students. Surveys of student body also demonstrates change
- University campuses in Israel to become incubators for positive Jewish-Arab relations.
- Universities to include Arab cultural competency training for all their staff.
- Increase in Arab students completing degree programs, benefitting themselves and their communities through greater economic integration.
The field of Jewish-Arab citizen relations within Israel, carries with it multiple risks. Tensions from the broader Israel-Palestine Conflict can seep into citizen relations within Israel. Local issues and discriminatory rhetoric in the political arena, can also become issues of national identity, splitting communities.
Within this specific project, these risks can be manifested in the politically charged student politics environment. We make every effort to distance this program from politics.
We will send mid and end of year reports, based on evaluation we will run and testimony from our activities.
Budget - Project Cost: £35,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £10,000 Cultural Competency Courses Holding 3 courses at University campuses £8,000 Tours of Arab towns Running 5 tours of Arab towns for University staff £5,000 Arabic Language Courses Proving 2 introductory Arabic language courses for University staff £6,000 Cultural Events Partnering with 3 Universities for cultural programming aimed at bringing Jews & Arabs together £6,000 Ramadan Tours Run 4 Ramadan tours of Arab towns open to students from 3 Universities
This project will take place at key universities throughout Israel. Including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa as well as other campuses who are focussed on creating more inclusive and culturally aware campus societies
The project will directly benefit: Faculty staff, student populations as well as wider society - as more Arab students will complete their studies, resulting in achieving better education impacting on their future employment status. This can improve Arab citizen's socio-economic status and the Israeli economy as a whole. Arab students who feel more welcome and included on campus may communicate this to their family, friends and peers - indirectly expanding the positive impact of the project
The Abraham Fund Initiatives has established credentials and relationships in the field of Education having, since its inception almost 30 years ago, focused on education initiatives to promote a shared society and language learning and cultural encounter opportunities between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizen populations. Run by Jewish and Arab Co CEOs and a diverse staff team we have meaningful relationships with Jewish and Arab influencers so can deliver authentic and impactful programming
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Amnon Beeri Sulitzeanu
As Co-CEO he will oversee the project and be involved with expanding to other campuses as well as advocating for government funding towards this work
Project Director - She has experience analysing best practices in tailoring campuses to Arab students from her time at the Van Leer Institute
TAFI staff member/ former Director of Arab Student Issues at the National Union of Israeli Students he lectures audiences on his personal experiences