Maayan Babustan, or Ein Bustan established the first Jewish/Arab Waldorf kindergarten in Israel, and is situated in the small Arab village of Hilf, near Kiryat Tivon, in the lower Galilee. The educational framework, which is based on Waldorf Education, accepts both Arab and Jewish cultures equally. Currently Maayan Babustan operates two kindergartens, for children ages 3-6, and a pioneer bi-lingual (Arabic and Hebrew) school with children in Class 1 to Class 3 ( ages 7-9) The children of “Ein Bustan” (meaning “spring in the garden”) come from Kiryat Tivon, (a Jewish town) and the surrounding Bedouin (Arab) villages Hilf, Zbidat, Zarzir and Bosmat Tab’un.
The founders of Ein Bustan share a vision of a society in which Jews and Arabs live together peacefully in equality and understanding. In order to create this reality, we believe that there must be education that fosters true friendship, trust and shared culture and language. An educational system that separates children by their religion and nationality fails to take into consideration the widening gap between the two communities, which will take years to bridge and generations to mend.
Ein Bustan believes in building bridges between the Arab and Jewish population through a joint, multi-cultural educational setting based on the Waldorf approach. With an emphasis on encouraging the imagination and creativity of the child, humanistic values, social responsibility, nature, arts and music, we feel that the Waldorf approach is uniquely suited to Ein Bustan’s bi- lingual and multicultural populations. Ein Bustan’s kindergarten activities are based on traditional arts and crafts, and the holidays and customs celebrated in both cultures.
In addition to the early child care frameworks described above, Maayan Babustan (Ein Bustan) initiates and encourages additional activities that promote dialogue and understanding such as study groups, lectures and cultural events. This project, while small in scope, is having an influence that goes far beyond the kindergartens in Hilf- an influence that expands from day to day in ever-widening ripples in the surrounding Arab and Jewish communities, inspiring hope for peaceful coexistence of Arabs and Jews.
Ein Bustan has been running it’s educational programs since September 2005, and has received the official authroization from the Israel Ministry of Education for our kindergarten. Maayan Babustan, is a registered Israeli non-profit organization and able to accept tax exempt donations under article 46 of Israeli law.