Achvat Amim’s learning process begins with the central belief in self-determination for all people in the place they call home. Importantly, Achvat Amim does not define “self-determination”, “people”, or “home”. We take the meaning of these concepts as a starting place for inquiry and exploration. Over the course of the learning process we go in depth into the topics of Home/Land, People/Hood, Self/Determinationthat together make up our learning arc. In the first weeks of the learning process, the cohort maps out their interests and questions related to these topics. This activity guides the speakers, workshops, and tours set up for various learning days. On these learning days, participants meet with activists, educators, lawyers, and community leaders who are experts on a given topic.
Through this critical educational process, we explore history, identity, politics, economics, spirituality and examine the interconnections between them. We build shared knowledge and understanding of the complex reality on the ground and envision our role in the struggle for a society rooted in justice and equality. Achvat Amim approaches learning from a place rooted in identity, and much of the learning is through a Jewish lens. We engage with Jewish history, thought, and culture from a multitude of perspectives as we build a diverse learning community and shared understandings.
A taste of some learning days:
Zionism and Diasporaism: Home in the Jewish Imagination
Narrative, Nationalism, and Nakba: Palestinian Identity formation
Environmental Racism, Food Systems, and Justice
Gaza Learning Day: Border Tour
Policing, Law Enforcement, and the Deadly Exchange
Hebron Tour with Breaking the Silence
Queerness, Gender, & Feminism
North and South Trips
Twice during the learning process we will have overnight trips (Thursday to Sunday). On our trip to the South, we will explore boundaries and borders in the Negev, sit with communities in the South Hebron Hills, and investigate the history of development towns. In the North, we will explore the concept of shared society in Haifa, discuss politics with members of the kibbutz movement, and discover how access to resources fall along racial and national lines. The overnights are also an opportunity to spend time as a group and enjoy one another’s company.
Skill Building & Leadership Opportunities
Skill building and leadership development are central to your Achvat Amim experience. Over the course of the 4 and a half months you will have various opportunities and containers for leadership and skill development. The opportunities are as follows:
Wild Card Learning Days: Participants will be paired up to plan a learning day. The process will start by deciding the theme of the day and clarifying what skills you want to develop (facilitation, moderation, planning, etc) throughout the process. The Educational Director will offer support and guidance as you develop the learning day.
Facilitating House Meetings: Participants will take turns facilitating house meetings and will practice the skills (mediation, time management, creating structure, facilitating) required in preparation for and during the meeting.
Skill Building Workshops: Over the course of the 4 and a half months there will be a handful of trainings including on media communications, direct action, sustainable activism, and on bystander intervention.
Thursday Afternoons: Participants will be given the opportunity to lead activities, workshops, and sessions on Thursday afternoons based on their skills, expertise, and desire to contribute.
Participants learn Hebrew or Arabic in small and participatory group settings which are geared towards interaction and creative language learning techniques. This takes place in the This is Not an Ulpan program. We will work with you to determine which language track your are most interested in pursuing as well as your language level in Arabic and Hebrew so that you are in a positive and passionate learning space. The language learning is based in critical pedagogy and interactive education.
Ruchani - Spiritual Learning
The Ruchani (spiritual-religious) component of Achvat Amim seeks to anchor justice work through exploring what Jewish text can teach us about liberation, our relationship with land, and our relationship with each other. Ruchani learning integrates with the learning arc, adding a new angle from which we can explore the theme of the learning day. Together we will meet with Rabbis and educators at the forefront of human rights Torah. Ruchani learning also includes additional opportunities for spiritual development and religious exploration.