Graduates lead the way
The “Incubator” track for Social and Educational Entrepreneurship at Seminar Hakibbutzim College, and the “Shvilim” (paths) track at Kaye College, both have a long tradition of turning out graduates of high standard who integrate into the education system with progressive educational mindsets and with an entrepreneurial agenda. We went to check where they had ‘ended up’, and we would like you to become acquainted with the next generation of social educators.
“Involvement with education during my studies turned me into an educator with a social mindset”
Ram Shefa – Chairman of the National Student Union and graduate of the “Social and Educational Entrepreneurship Incubator”.
- Ram what is the connection between studies in the ‘Incubator’ and what it is you do at present?
I went to the ‘Incubator’ because of the options the track gave me to continue to be involved in educational and social activities during my studies. In my present role I am trying to encourage tracks that allow working and Bachelors’ degree studies at the same time.
- What particularly impressed you during your studies?
I was very impressed by the opportunity we were given to have an impact on the track by means of the Student Forum; by the attention that was paid to us and the sense of belonging; the ongoing to improve, and listening to the student – which is not conventional.
- What do you take with you from your studies?
Continued engagement with education together with meetings at the ‘Incubator’ allowed me to understand the connection between studies and work in the field; it made me an educator with a broader social worldview.
- And something to end with?
During my studies I experienced a process of alternative assessment during the course of the democratic educational thought. It impacts my activities. We are now trying to promote the integration of alternative assessment through the Association – to allow students to influence the assessment of learning and the academic content.
“We took ideas from Shvilim and built a dialog village; democracy with the involvement of the students”
Tamar Kedem Siman Tov – Director of the “Bikurim” Youth Village for Excellence in Art and Music in the Eshkol Regional Council and student in the “Shvilim” track.
Tamar, tell us about the “Bikurim” boarding school
At the boarding school we create equal opportunities and enable youth with very little background in art or music, and with academic difficulties, to excel in these areas. Those who have the desire and the basic potential are given an opportunity – with the help of the special educational team – to break through the glass ceiling.
What do you do there?
The boys arrive here in Grades 9 or 10 and our goal is that within a few years they will reach an international level. The students receive accreditation for the Rimon School of Music. The experiment has already proven itself – they pass matriculation exams and are very proud of themselves and their achievements. Today the boarding school is recognized by the Experiments Department of the Ministry of Education.
What did you take with you from “Shvilim”?
The process of building the school and the boarding school was all done with the support of “Shvilim”. I dealt with questions such as ‘what is education’? We took ideas from “Shvilim” and created dialog circles like in the ‘Incubator’. We built a place for democratic dialog, with the involvement of the students. “Shvilim” is similar to my village, in its originality and in its pioneering spirit.
And something to end with?
The meeting at “Shvilim” with students who work as educators, the dialog and the encounter with professors inspired me, and enabled me to define what it is that I want. The integration with the work enabled me to do great things that have considerable impact on the teaching process. “Shvilim” supported me from the moment of establishing the boarding school until this very moment.
“Joint learning, activism and action are the flame that the Institute ignited in me”
Lior Gottesman – founder of the Social – Environmental Hub at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, and graduate of the ‘Incubator’
Lior, tell us about the Hub
The Hub integrates 70 organizations and agents of change, from environmental designers through urban farmers, urban planners, agro-tech and clean-tech start-ups and through to social entrepreneurs. This is a space in which meetings take place between fields that promote urban sustainability.
What fields does it deal with?
It deals with solutions for creating urban sustainability – smart towns, renewable energy, smart transportation, social justice, health and food, and interdisciplinary collaborations. The Hub also examines how the Botanical Garden is relevant to all of these.
How do you do it?
We hold events with content and offer a network of consulting hours and joint research projects. For example, a startup for storing rainwater, urban beekeepers and more. We map the enterprises that operate within the city and make connections between them and the various authorities.
What is the scope of your activities?
The Hub operates 20 community-based environmental programs, employment training, therapeutic gardening for the people with disabilities and those suffering from PTSD, youth leadership, training youth at risk in East Jerusalem as gardeners, and more.
And how does all of this connect with studies at the ‘Incubator’?
I could not have asked for a better B.A. degree. The environmental track introduced me to the connection between society and the environment, and led me to this present occupation. The Institute showed me the systemic and interdisciplinary approach that connects everything; it broadened my horizons and taught me critical thinking. Inspired by the ‘Incubator’ and the instructors I continued the studies for my M.A. degree in sustainable economy in England.
And something to end with?
I had the privilege of being part of the legendary “chavruta” incubator. This is a significant group in my life: together we took initiative, we dreamed, we established projects and we learned what we are capable of. The students in this track are the best in the country and this is a network that supports me to this day. Joint learning, activism and action are the flame that the Institute ignited in me.