The Center for Peace and Democracy at Tel Hai College

The Center for Peace and Democracy at Tel Hai College

Tel Hai College, situated on Israel's northern border, established the Center for Peace and Democracy in 2007 in order to turn the College into a truly multi-cultural institution that gives equal opportunities and a feeling of belonging to members of all of Israel's diverse population groups, while developing deepened understanding of the issues that both aid and hinder this process. The Center for Peace and Democracy realizes this mission by meeting the following aims:

  • Creating institutional frameworks that ensure equality and respect among all members of college faculty, staff and student body;
  • Furthering dialogue, cooperation, and shared cultural events between Arab and Jewish students.
  • Granting academic and emotional support to Arab students who often experience great difficulty during their college years, due to language, educational and cultural gaps between them and their Jewish peers.
  • Conducting research on multicultural societies in a reality of conflict.
  • Developing and publicizing a model for a democratic, pluralistic college campus that can be replicated elsewhere in Israel and worldwide.

The Center for Peace and Democracy meets its goals through a variety of activities, including the following: Ongoing work takes place with all departments of the College in order to increase representation of Arab students, faculty, and staff, to introduce Arabic language studies as well as translated course materials, and to integrate non-Jewish holidays into the College calendar. An accredited Jewish-Arab dialogue course is offered in the Department of Education, devoted to an experiential and critical study of Jewish-Arab relations in Israeli society. A variety of cultural activities take place throughout the year, such as an Arab-Jewish theater group, film, book reading and lecture series on campus, and the "Festival of Festivals", a celebration and study of Jewish, Christian and Moslem holiday traditions. Providing equal opportunities for Arab students is accomplished through a Hebrew expression and rhetoric course for first-year Arab students, tutoring in English and additional subjects, and the center's student mentoring program, in which experienced Jewish and Arab students accompany first-year Arab students in weekly sessions that combine academic, social and emotional support. Finally, academic research is conducted on a variety of themes relating to Arab-Jewish relations, and forms the basis for the multicultural college model that the center is developing.

The Center for Peace and Democracy at Tel Hai College