Uniting Future Arab & Jewish Leaders for Common Goal
Future Arab and Jewish leaders seeking to promote social change recently convened for a workshop hosted by Carnegie Mellon University. All first-year fellows in the GaliLead program, the 21 students are working on projects aimed at improving the quality of life in the Arab and Jewish communities in the Galilee region of Northern Israel.
The workshop provided the students with the opportunity to garner feedback from Carnegie Mellon faculty in multiple disciplines on how to proceed with those projects. Participating faculty member included Denise Rousseau, Laurie Weingart, Brenda Smith, David Krackhardt and Richard Young.
According to Paul Goodman, Richard M. Cyert Professor of Organizational Psychology at the Tepper School of Business, the workshop was a success.
"At the closing dinner, people voluntarily stood up, Arabs and Jews, to express how important the experience was to them at Carnegie Mellon, and about the leadership program in general," said Goodman. "It was very moving."
The fellows are all working adults. Some have their own businesses; some work for school systems in Galilee. Prior to the workshop, the students participated one day a week for nine months in leadership training. Now, the task is to build the projects they've come up with to promote the social change they are seeking.
One project includes making art created by both Arabs and Jews available to people in both communities. Goodman explained, "It's sharing together artistic endeavors as a way to communicate about the work, the similarities and the differences between both cultures."
Another project provides an after-school setting for young students, Arab and Jewish alike, to continue their education and interact in a supportive environment.
The key ideas surrounding the program are leadership training, co-existence and social change. Goodman adds, "We'll know the GaliLead program is successful when visible community-change projects start appearing in Northern Israel, and new people are attracted to join the program."