The course “Educational Initiatives” was inaugurated in the spring of 2019 and led by Dr. Miri Shonfeld. It is under the auspices of the graduate program “Educational Technology” at Kibbutzim College of Technology and the Arts, headed by Dr. Betty Shrieber. The course comprised students who participated in the program together with graduate students from ‘Talpiot College’, a teacher-training college catering to the Jewish religious sector, students from the Arabic-speaking sector, studying towards their graduate degree in English in ‘Kiryat Ono’ College, and students studying English at Kassel University in Germany.
Through this endeavor, diverse groups from four academic institutes were formed, that incorporated different cultures and languages. Each group met online throughout the semester in order to create an educational initiative whose aim was to promote this multicultural domain worldwide.
At the end of the process, the students from Kibbutzim College visited Kassel University. During this visit, the students from both Germany and Israel presented their projects. Each initiative was accompanied by an internet site built by the students in order to expose their initiative. Kassel University President welcome the students, as did the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and cultural studies. It was clear that the collaborative course proved unique for them as well, and served as a source of great pride.
The visit to Kassel University included a wide range of activities, for example a tour of Berlin, a visit to a public school that housed mainly immigrants, a visit to a bilingual private school, Kassel University, and more.
The combination of the inspiring gathering, the English presentations of the projects at the university, the visits to the schools, and ingathering of culture and academia left a significant impression on the students, and we hope that it will have an impact on educational endeavors in the multi-cultural arena.
The project was inaugurated together with Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner, Foreign and Second Language Learning and Teaching Research & Intercultural Communication at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Kassel. The cooperation between Dr. Shonfeld and Prof. Finkbeiner started in 2013 together with Dr. Einat Rozner and has involved several hundred participants and more researchers since then. The team at the University of Kassel includes Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner, Dr. Madeleine Agnes Olson and Wiebke Sophie Ost.