School principals and social coordinators are called upon to act in heterogeneous and complex environments, where diverse religious, national, political, gender, and socio-economic groups meet, to resolve conflicts, instill a benign school culture, and impart values of shared society to students. The challenge increases when school activities include Jews and Arabs, whether students or teachers, in outside activities or as permanent or temporary faculty. In these situations, senior staff rarely has adequate preparation to deal with issues that can arise.
This pilot program provides mediation and conflict resolution training for principals, deputy principals, and social coordinators in schools that include mixed faculty from both Jewish and Arab societies, schools with mixed student bodies, and/or schools that operate or are interested in running joint social programs and bringing staff and students from the two societies together.
The participating education leaders attend a mediation course developed and delivered jointly by the faculty of the Israeli Congress and the Menomedin Center for Jewish and Democratic Law at the Faculty of Law at Bar Ilan University. The 60-hour course, recognized by the Gadot Committee, conveys mediator certification, with content tailored to the school communities and the challenges surrounding charged encounters at the ideological and national level.