The National Teachers Centre in Bet Yatziv celebrated one decade since the release of the Kremnitzer Commission Report, “Being a Citizen”, through an international Seminar dealing with questions of the essence of citizenship in the 21st century and the role of the educational system in creating an appropriate infrastructure for democratic societies. …

The seminar joined together 57 experts from all over the world – countries such as Australia, Taiwan, South, Central and North America, from eastern and western Europe and more. The Israeli participants included representatives from government and the academia and NGOs. Many materials were pre-prepared, most of which can be found on the seminar website. The fundamental questions which the seminar dealt with were: the place of religion and spirituality in democracy, a question that requires a different approach than the one created in the West which separates religion and state; the way that the concept of Common Good, the axiom of democratic theory and Social Justice – the foundation of equality and fraternities – are spread in the Global world, in which the law of the right to own propriety is applied in very brutal ways; and the effect of personal identity, localism, multiculturalism, and the nation-state…  

excerpted from remarks by Dr. Israelit Rubenstein and Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dror

Seminar of the National Teacher’s Centre for the Study of Judaism, the Humanities and Society

Beersheba , Israel May 21-26, 2006

By Marcus Bussey

A group of more than sixty academics, teachers and policy workers met in the Israeli city of Beersheba to reflect on the state of citizenship education in Israel ten years after the Kremnitzer Report (1996). Dada Shambhushivananda, Marcus Bussey (Australia) and Radhika Shany (Israel) were amongst the participants and all presented information on Neohumanist Education and its potential to engage the problems facing Israeli society and education.

Dada Shambhushivananda gave a keynote speech entitled “Global Citizen in a Global Era: a neohumanist perspective” and Marcus Bussey gave a workshop on Neohumanist Futures Education. In these two sessions the focus was on developing the spiritual potential latent in the dynamics of the Israeli situation. P.R. Sarkar’s dictum of ‘subjective approach through objective adjustment’ is most relevant in a society divided amongst ultra orthodox Jews, orthodox Jews, secular Jews, Muslims, Palestinian Arabs and the Druz. Only such an approach allows for the layered and accommodating approach that would create a space for tolerance without diminishing any of the parties.

Dada had the group doing kiirtana and kaoshikii and created quite a stir, in his orange, amongst both participants and other visitors to the centre – especially the young Bedouin boys. The openness of the organisers and their desire to allow for multiple spiritual representation was impressive as there were with dada numerous rabbis of various persuasions, a Christian minister and a Druz elder.
Dada’s opening remarks are included next. They were followed by a slide presentation and talk on the subject.