Ein Bustan:Arab-Jewish Education - Background: How did this initiative start?
Sowing Seeds of Hope and Peace
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Home >> Background: How did this initiative start?
The founding member and visionary is Amir Shlomian. Amir, who is both a peace activist, musician and educator, was trained in theLondon Waldorf Teacher Training Seminar. His personal search for an educational framework for his own son, that would reflect his values as well as provide the tools for living in the complex multicultural society in Israel, led him to a realization that such a framework does not currently exist in our area. Therefore, Amir started to look for partners amongst the Arab and Jewish communities in our area, in order to establish such a kindergarten.
Following his meeting with Samer Zubidat, a dedicated social worker and community activist in the neighboring Arab village of Bosmat Tab’un, an informational home meeting was held to present the idea. Before long, several Arab families from Bosmat Tab’un, as well as additional Jewish families from Tivon who heard about the idea, were eager to join. Amir shared his idea with two Jewish and Arab kindergarten teachers with a Waldorf background that he was acquainted with. The teachers received the idea with enthusiasm, agreeing to take upon themselves the pioneering role that such a project demanded. In the course of looking for a suitable building for the kindergarten, the teachers found themselves in the nearby village of Hilf. Word about the special new Kindergarten being formed soon spread, and 4 families from Hilf joined “Maayan Babustan”.
The Arab and Jewish parents have been meeting regularly since January 2005, and formed a registered Amuta (non profit organization). The Kindergarten's activities up until September 2005 consisted of preparations for the opening in the fall, including discussions, curriculum planning and dialogue regarding the Kindergarten's philosophy and approach towards education, parent-teacher meetings and home visits, the making of toys and furniture and the renovation of the building and yard. The nearby “Shaked” Waldorf School in Kiryat Tivon and the Anthroposophic community in Kibbutz Harduf serve as important resources for support and cooperation.
The parent's hired the two Kindergarten teachers mentioned above, rented a structure and renovated it. Most of the work was done on a volunteer basis, with kindergarten teachers, parents, and local volunteers from the community working tirelessly throughout the summer to plaster, paint, sand, build and prepare the kindergarten to make it suitable for preschool activities. The Kindergarten officially opened on September first of 2005.
The kindergarten activities for the children are based on traditional artsand crafts, holidays and customs celebrated in bothcultures. The children engage in gardening, musicalactivities, games, singing and hearing stories, all basedon Waldorf, humanistic and multicultural principles ofeducation.  Both teachers are bi-lingual (Arabic and Hebrew) and both languages are in daily use in conversation, storytelling and songs.


         Maayan Babustan (Ein Bustan)  POB 206, Kiryat Tivon 36011 
 Tel 972-53-3657027 (Adi)  Fax 972-4-9833688