“We’ll work together for a better future
Despite our differences
We’ll dream together
Together we’ll make a difference”
Part of a poem written by the leadership team from the Shared Encounters Seminar March, 2015.
The Ma’ase Shared Encounters Seminars brings together all of Ma’ase’s volunteer-year participants, to discuss identity and learn together about different aspects of the Israeli society. The two-day seminars are held twice a year, enabling young adults from all the programs to meet in mixed multicultural groups with both a Jewish and Arab group facilitators.
Shared Encounters, as its name implies enables, creates encounters between people, who would not normally have the opportunity to meet.
The goals of these encounters are as follows:
- Creating an opportunity for all participants in Ma’ase’s programs from different sectors and cultures, to meet, with the aim of finding common values whilst keeping individual identities intact.
- Identity building – Participants experience a process of examining internal values with like-minded people, and people from other cultures.
- Identifying common social challenges that cross over cultural borders (racism, periphery-vs-center, cost of living, equal opportunities etc.), with the chance to learn about the reality of other cultures
- Making a statement about Israeli society while remaining within clear discourse limits of mutual respect. Understanding and becoming involved in social activism with the emphasis on joint activism concerning a vital issue.
The first seminar of the year is held in November, at the beginning of the volunteering year, focusing on participants getting to know each other. A mutual value system is explored with each volunteer and sector, while maintaining their unique identities. The seminars enable each of the participants to express the uniqueness of their identity while focusing on aspects of a shared society and social cohesion. Social issues that cross over cultural borders are examined – issues that affect all sectors of Israeli society and are worth fighting for together. The goal of the first seminar is for volunteers and staff to leave with positive experiences of social cohesion and shared action.
The second seminar is held in April, towards the end of the volunteering year, and deals with putting social activism into practice, shared action and further exploration of cross-cultural social issues.
The seminars’ content is developed by the Content Development Unit together with a leadership team comprised of 15 volunteers from various Ma’ase’s programs. The leadership team plays a vital role in the development of the seminar.