It's so simple to be wise.  Just think of something stupid to say, and then don't say it.     Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Be'er Sheva, in Retrospect

It's been awhile.... all good things:  Family wedding coming up, work presentation last Sunday, and other details I won't bore you with.

If you're a regular reader here (kudos to you!) you're aware of my in-service training last month at Beit Yatziv, a continuing education center for teachers, located within a historical neighborhood of the southern desert city of Be'er Sheva.  It was my intention to blog live from down there, but they kept us so busy (classes from 8 am to 10 pm), with some rest and lots of food in between) that I couldn't keep up.  It was also very clear at the time that those moments between classes, lectures and workshops were digestion time for the brain.  The few posts I did managed from there are available here, here and here.

Meanwhile (yesterday afternoon, in fact) we met to kick off this year's series of bimonthly workshops on multiculturalism in the work place.  I and several others were pleased to learn that the emphasis of our discussions will not be limited to Jewish-Arab -- and other religion- and race- considered -- relations, but will also focus on organizational issues and the discrepancies between the hospital/medical organizational culture and our own educational culture within it.

Not all of the staff participants of the bimonthly meetings were present at Beit Yatziv, and the opposite, but as we begin this new series of meetings, the experience in Be'er Sheva remains at the forefront of my mind, with the field trip to the surrounding Beduin areas at the locus of that experience.

I'll begin with where we did not go.  We did not enter any private homes or tents.  With the exception of school children, we did not meet "ordinary" Beduins.  We met some of the exceptions;  the role models, the risk takers, the mould breakers.  All of them are well known in their respective communities, respected by some and resented by others, for daring to go against the grain and change the status quo.  In the next few days I'll introduce you to them, one at a time.  Stay posted.

Keep the balance,


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