Academy-Community Partnership for Social Change
The Academy-Community Partnership for Social Change was established in 2006 to promote the mutual commitment of institutions of higher education, students, and the community – to act for social justice and human rights in Israeli society. The Partnership, hosted by the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, serves all institutions of higher education in the state of Israel.
We seek to:
· Re-engage Israeli institutions of higher learning with the pressing social issues of the day;
· Develop the intellectual and social change capabilities of a new generation of students who will go on to become engaged civic actors in their communities;
· Bring the academic knowledge, useful to social change efforts, into deeper engagement with community organizations.
We integrate the resources and capabilities of students, faculty members, institutions of higher education and social change organizations by:
· Encouraging institutions of higher education to develop a policy of social engagement.
· Supporting faculty members in developing community engaged courses that combine theoretical study with student involvement in community organizations.
· Organizing seminars for student activists for joint learning of the broader social, political and economic context of their work, and to advance associations between student activists and organizations.
The Partnership guides student activists to undertake action for long-term change of fundamental social problems in Israeli society: growing social and economic disparities, increasing poverty, diminishing welfare policy, little citizen participation in decision-making processes affecting their everyday lives.
The students, constituting the generation of tomorrow's leaders, experience first-hand Israeli reality through volunteer work. In this way, they gain knowledge and skills to act towards change, and further expose institutions of higher education to knowledge acquired in the field of action.
Dr. Daphna Golan, teaches the course "Human Rights in Israeli Society", and directs the The Human Rights Fellows Program, The Minerva Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Khuloud Aderis, Co-Director, Mahapach
Jaber Asaqla, Director of Arab Community Programs, SHATIL
Eyad Barghoty, Baladna
Dalia Dromi, Director, Bimkom
Haggith Gor Ziv, Director, Center for Critical Pedagogy, Kibbuzim College of Education
Iman Kassis, Director of Educational Programs, Sawa – Rape Crisis Center, Jerusalem
Enass Masri, SHATIL – Be'er Sheva
Nadem Nashef, Director, Baladna
Fadi Shbeita, Director, Sadaka-Reut
Carlos Sztyglic, Associate Director, SHATIL
Dr. Haim Yacobi, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Adv. Sharon Zionov Arad, Clinical Legal Education Center, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
At the close of 2001, a study group comprising academics, representatives of organizations and higher education institutions, and student activists was established under the auspices of the Minerva Center for Human Rights. The group began a learning process of the needs and challenges of action for social change, and considered the possibility of establishing a new organizational framework that will promote and support the social action of students in the community. Throughout the meetings, work done by different organizations in disadvantaged neighborhoods was presented, as well as the needs it surfaced. Further, the group discussed issue of training and guidance of students working in the community. The group guided, assisted, and supported groups of active students who engage in social action in different frameworks.
The study group developed into a steering committee, Students and Academy for Social Change, which initiated a mapping research of student social action. The mapping study, funded by the Ford Foundation, and implemented under the organizational frame of SHATIL (Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations) and The Authority of the Community and Youth in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, examined the modes of action and needs of student social involvement programs. The research included interviews with students and position holders at the various institutions, written questionnaires, and five student focus groups assembled at five higher education institutions across Israel. The research taught us about the extensive work done by students at different arenas, the strong desire of student groups to act, and about the existing complexity.
The research, completed in May 2005, was published in the mapping report: “Student Action for Social Change: Mapping the Present to Build the Future” and presented at a study-day at the Council for Higher Education, titled: “Student Involvement in Social Activity and Academy–Community Relations – Outreach Models in the United States and Other Countries” held at the Council for Higher Education. The keynote speaker at the conference was Ms. Susan Stroud, founder of Campus Compact, and currently Executive Director of Innovations in Civic Participation. Participants of the study-day included members of the Council for Higher Education, representatives of social organizations and higher education institutions, Steering Committee members, and university students.
The Academy-Community Partnership for Social Change resides at the Faculty of Law, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, yet works to promote the academy's involvement in the community on the national level.