As the school year came to a close, students who participated in Mabat’s programming put on a multi-cultural event for the entire student body. Mabat’s programming was integrated into the college’s ‘Israeli Society’ course offered to BA students for Behavioral Studies in the Kinneret Academic College in northern Israel. Further, Mabat worked with a group of students living in the college dormitories.
The objective of our work with the students was to allow for experiential learning, and to foster significant insights and experiences regarding multiculturalism. In addition, it allowed for a demonstrative practice, in which cultural differences, encounters and conflicts were not only discussed, but actually experienced.
As part of Mabat’s program, students were asked to organize an end-of-year event—students were tasked with coming up with creative and fun activities that would reflect the themes and subjects discussed during the course.
As expected, the students’ introspection into their identities and relationship to other cultures translated into well-organized and creative activities! Mabat’s participants were excited to exhibit what they’ve learned during the year to the entire student body. Here are some of the activities that took place:
Students and staff participated in a sing-along of a famous Israeli song—‘Ani Ve Ata (Me and You will change the world) in three languages, relating to our main themes – hope, change and peace.
Dillema Café was an innovative activity in which students were invited to take part in a meal and a conversation with people they have not met before. The students were given two menus- a food menu and a questions menu. The questions were paired with the meal— the entrée was paired with introduction questions; the main course with substantial questions about multi-cultural life on campus; and desert was paired with questions about the future and our role in shaping it. One Arab and one Jewish student led the conversation.
Playback Theater put on a dynamic show based on selected stories told by students during the year. The actors brought the stories to life, in a touching and interactive way. One story was truly touching- it retold the story of one Arab student who had difficulties in her acceptance interview for the college, brought on by cultural and language barriers. The scenes allowed for a window into some day-to-day difficulties some minorities face, which would otherwise be invisible to the Jewish population. Understanding is the first stage to acceptance.
We ended with a musical performance by a Druze artist, which was a great way to bring a day full of activities and multiculturalism to a close. Mabat’s students were ecstatic to give the college’s student body a peek into the process they underwent throughout the year, and we were happy to witness how far the students have come, and bear witness to their creativity.