The Ma’ase Shared Encounters Seminar for Youth
The importance of dialogue with people who are different from me – yet equal, is important at all ages in all social and educational settings. Ma’ase promotes a shared, civil society, by promoting encounters and dialogues between all sectors of Israeli society, whilst building individual identity, as early as school age.
Each year, Ma’ase engages around 7,000 youth from grades 7 to 12, in programs that advance social action and volunteering in the community, in order to enable encounters and dialogue between youth from all groups of society.
In order to turn the idea of a shared civil society into reality, Ma’ase holds an annual seminar where all participants meet for an activity packed day. During the seminar, participants meet up youth from all groups of society.
The seminar sparks discussions in groups, which are run by both a Hebrew and Arabic leaders, where the message is of a world that is dynamic, where people can change. The aim is not to form a shared identity, but rather to clarify the uniqueness of the different identities whilst creating momentary similarities and cooperation regarding certain topics.
The seminar is run by the Ma’ase Youth staff, together with young volunteers from the entire social spectrum. During the seminar, the participants encounter worlds that are both familiar and unfamiliar to them and learn to find the similarities between them.
To develop awareness amongst youth that they are part of a heterogenous society, that comprises different cultures, identities and opinions, and to have them examine their own personal views during the encounter.
Expected Results of the Seminar:
- Having participants leave the seminar feeling they have learnt new ideas and expanded their horizons
- Creating encounters between a variety of opinions and views.
- Creating among the participants the ability to listen to different views.
- Minimizing stereotypes regarding different sectors.
- Creating among the participants a feeling of belonging to something bigger than one’s self – to “Ma’ase” – that encompasses a variety of cultures, values and opinions with the emphasis on shared values, democracy and tolerance.