past projects

2018

As part of the Get Involved project by Germany's Kreisau Initiative, 8 future trainers came together to learn the Betzavta method in the intimate setting of Trebnitz and its peaceful surroundings. Trainers were from Germany, Poland and the Ukraine, with trainers Tali and Iva. Participants had 3 days to work through the highs and lows of a Betzavta training, condensed into a shorter-than-usual time. Participants were already of a very reflective nature, but they still appreciated the space to work through the tensions and reliefs of a group process. Nov.19-22, 2018.

 

Members of the Labour Party in County Durham, UK, joined together for a weekend Betzavta training to explore issues around democratic participation.  These included communicating with 'the other', conversations about freedom, and social issues that inspire connection but can also cause division across political lines.  The small group created an intimate space, where they could share the trials and opportunities of political participation.  A very moving and reflective weekend! July 6-7, 2018.

 

The European Platform on Learning Mobility (EPLM) Seminar took place in Lille, France, and brought together practitioners, researchers and policy makers - the triangle of connection that is needed for high quality learning mobility projects. The name of the event was "Quality: From Good to Better", and the focus was on sharing resources and giving feedback on the quality framework, including a handbook and a future app! Tali and Joao facilitated this seminar, hosted by the French National Agency of Erasmus+. May 15-18, 2018.

 

International Young Nature Friends (IYNF) invited trainers Tali and Sofie from Mellem Education to facilitate a 5-day Betzavta training. The training brought 30 participants from Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey to Cecina, Italy, where they shared the highs and lows of the Betzavta experience. The week ended with emotional and moving testimonies from the participants expressing the meaningful and impactful week shared together. One of the participants wrote this post about the experience. May 7-13, 2018.

 

Betzavta, part II, took place in Trebnitz, Germany, with a group of former Betzavta participants who came back to try out the trainer role and discuss the inner workings of the Betzavta experience. The group was working on two levels - one as the trainers in training, seeing the Betzavta experience from the role of the trainers, and the other as part of the group, moving through its own reflective process, as the Betzavta experience always allows for.  It was a moving and intensive week, full of emotions, thoughts, dilemmas and dialogue.  Mar.10-16, 2018.

 

 Marking the fifth year, Mellem Education's Tali Padan served as a trainer for the FSJ Kultur program (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr) near Berlin, where young people who volunteer at different cultural institutions in Berlin-Brandenburg come together to get further training and evaluate their work so far. Tali offered a 3-day Betzavta training for two groups, who welcomed and (mostly) enjoyed the process of playing and reflecting through the activities.  They showed cooperation and struggled with dilemmas of the individual needs vs. the societal ones.  Feb.27-Mar.9, 2018.

 

Mellem Education got hired for a Corporate Training, consisting of one full day of workshops, reflections and discussions with top managers from the 2oo-person company Boligkontoret Danmark. Included in these activities were the Betzavta reflection cards and a few activities that allowed for a reflection on the habitual decision making processes. Employees got a chance to reflect on whether these habits were in fact always necessary and perhaps produce a pattern of sameness that they wish to transform and grow out of.  It was a productive and insightful day! February 21, 2018.

2017

2017 finished off with a bang, in a beautiful Betzavta seminar in Krzyzowa, Poland. Participants from Poland, Denmark, Germany, Romania, Croatia, Spain and UK got together for 5 days of intensive Betzavta work. Especially prominent in this training was the focus on process, and looking how often we are wrapped up in reaching results, that we dismiss and forget all the richness of the present moment.  Coming out of your own filtered perspective was also encouraged, and as one participant so simply but poignantly stated, "I learned that what I thought was objective was actually subjective."  A simple but very deep realization. The evenings included improv theater and a warm and inclusive social atmosphere. Dec.6-13, 2017.

 

A beautiful restorative circle took place in the North of Denmark, Jutland, which finished off the year-long Restorative Circles project for the year. This circle brought together a group of Israelis living in Denmark, whose politics and opinions were vastly different. This difference had created a battlefield dynamic on social media sites such as Facebook, and meeting in person provided the opportunity to let go of some of the rage too easily expressed without the face-to-face contact. The circle looked at personal values, past unresolved tensions, and of course the issue of Israel-Palestine, and how this topic is approached. As one participant finally expressed, “We got basic tools for a respectful dialogue based on listening in spite of disagreement. The most amazing part was the feeling of community and strong sense of belonging that was formed, even though no-one actually changed their opinions at all”. The project officially ended with a final conference in Budapest, Sept.21-24, 2017. To see more info about participation figures in the different cities for this project, click here.

 

Mellem Education found a new partnership with IYNF, International Young Nature Friends. This organization, dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues among youth, held a training to discuss and reflect on a slightly different area - the area of Refugees in Europe.  Tali was hired as one of the trainers, implementing Betzavta as well as other methods to challenge and support participants through this complex topic. The training took place on the beautiful Balaton lake in Hungary, and participants came from Germany, Portugal, Albania, UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Armenia, Hungary, Italy and Latvia. June 19-24, 2017.

 

Another successful Betzavta seminar took place in Krzyzowa, Poland, in partnership with the Kreisau Initiative in Germany.  This Erasmus+ training course brought together participants from Germany and the Balkan region, including Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia, as well as an intercultural mix from Germany.  The 5-day long Betzavta course included many reflections about intercultural communication, group dynamics, and how to resolve interpersonal conflicts, using a needs-based approach and the practice of reflection on process through Betzavta.  A fruitful and intensive week! May 13-20, 2017.

 

Mellem Education is a partner for a European project called Restorative Circles, using the method of the restorative circle and the talking piece to hold a conversation between people that are pro-EU and EU-skeptics.  This project, funded by Europe for Citizens, takes place over 6 weekends throughout 6 months, in 5 countries - Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Italy. Trainers from these countries have all been trained in the Restorative Circle and have held a series of circles in different cities in their countries.  Visit our website circlespaceurope.org for more info.

 

Now in its fourth year, Salaam Shalom Passover celebrated the Jewish holiday of Pesach/Passover on April 9 with an inter-faith, intercultural group of people from all over the world.  40 people originally from different parts of the world (including US, Israel, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Germany, Sweden, Czech, Hungary, Denmark) celebrated Passover together in a creative way, including interactive activities about Freedom, and asking questions.  There was some singing, eating, drinking, explaining, discussing and generally an evening to share and learn from one another. See the video here.  And photos by Marissa Klug here and by Jacob Holdt here.

 

Another round of FSJ (Freiwillig Soziales Jahr) trainings took place in Werneuchen, a small town near Berlin.  Every year, these German volunteers get together for further training and development, and one of the options they choose is a Betzavta training. This round consisted of two weeks, with two different groups, who experienced the depth of the Betzavta training and questioned and challenged themselves and their own awareness.  This is the fourth year that Tali has facilitated these trainings, and they get better every year! Mar.6-10 & 13-17, 2017.

2016

ubuntucirclearmenia2016Erasmus+ funded a project through Mellem Education but held in Aghveran, near Yerevan in Armenia.  The project "Democracy in Europe: Patterns of Inclusion and Exclusion" used the Betzavta method to look at ongoing issues of exclusion and inclusion in society but through the dynamics of the society of the small group.  This precious and intense week provided the space for a deep exploration into what makes us who we are, through our past experiences and our group belonging. The Betzavta method opened the door for participants to sit together in circle, share their experiences and get to know themselves through each other.  Participants were from Armenia, Georgia, Romania, Germany, Denmark, Belarus, Ukraine, UK and Spain. Oct.29-Nov.5, 2016.

 

betzavtajuneandoct-trebnitzMellem Education had a chance to work with the Kreisau Initiative to hold two Betzavta trainings with the same group - one in Trebnitz near Berlin in June and one in Tbilisi, Georgia in October.  The first was an introduction to the Betzavta methodology and the second allowed every participant to facilitate a Betzavta workshop and get feedback and support. A very unique opportunity and good experience for all! June 12-17 in Trebnitz, Germany and Oct 21-27, 2016 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

 

SalaamShalom2016Salaam Shalom hits Copenhagen with a year long partnership, funded by Erasmus+, to develop Jewish-Muslim relations across Europe and stand together in union. This partnership includes facilitating a variety of Salaam Shalom activities in Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark. Mellem Education, the host partner and applicant, had several meetings with inter-faith groups and initiatives and put together a series of events throughout the academic year of 2015-2016. This included an inter-faith Passover dinner, hosted by the Trampoline House, a community center for refugees and asylum seekers. Later on, there was also an international Salaam Shalom seminar for 5 days in Copenhagen, including all the partners and Salaam Shalom youth workers around Europe. Learn more about this project by visiting www.salaamshalom.dk.  September 2015-September 2016.

 

ArmeniaMarch2016Theory and practice came together in a collaboration called "Youth Work as a School of Democracy - Democracy Education revisited", which included a Betzavta component, facilitated by Tali Padan, as well as a more theoretical investigation into democratic toolkits, formed out of the experience of the participants in their NGO activities. The group involved participants from all over Europe, including Italy, Greece, Georgia, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Romania, Belarus and Moldova. March 12-20, 2016.

 

FSJ-Betzavta2016Tali Padan led two consecutive Betzavta trainings for young volunteers in Germany's FSJ program (Freiwillig Soziales Jahr). These were two week-long sessions, with two different groups, who together examined how they work together, impact each other, and delve into deeper questions and conversations, including "does everyone have equal access to happiness?", arising from a conversation about freedom and equality. This investigation was very thought-provoking and participants how impacted they were by this week. February 22-26 and March 7-11, 2016.

 

VshapeA training course organised by EFIL brought together volunteers and staff of AFS exchange programmes in seminar called Shaping Identities - Shaping Societies.  This seminar explored what our identity is made of, and how attachment to any type of identity might play a divisive role in our societies.  Tali Padan was there to support the seminar with some activities from the Betzavta methodology, as well as some other activities to explore and reflect on our own tolerance and acceptance.  Participants were very grateful for the new approach and saw the potential use in their own work. One participant wrote an article about Tali, which can be found here. Jan.25-31, 2016.

2015

 

GroupPicErasmus+ supported yet another Betzavta International Training Course, this time in the snowy mountains near Yerevan, Armenia.  25 participants came together from Spain, UK, Russia, Denmark, Germany, Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia to learn the language of democracy by learning (and unlearning) about themselves.  The participants connected deeply to the topic, and also learned a lot from each other. They expressed their ongoing commitment to this kind of learning and several said it was one of the most valuable learning experiences in their lives.  Dec.9-16, 2015.

 

 

BetzavtaCircleSome of our previous participants have been wanting to advance their training skills and also go deeper on some of their reflections during their first training course. Therefore, the Kreisau Initiative, with the help of Mellem Education, facilitated an 'advanced' training for those who have taken the first part of the Democracy Education course and wanted more.  This week in Poland was a chance for previous participants to come back, try out activities and also take the trainer role, with feedback and support from the training team. Nov.15-21, 2015.

 

 

teamJUBThe Dutch organisation, JUB, brought together 24 participants from Armenia, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Macedonia, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Turkey to share a week of combined methods in a training course called "Conflict Management Tools for Youth Workers". Participants worked with a variety of methods, including Forum Theater, and other role-play and simulation activities, as well as the Betzavta method led by Tali Padan. The group connected and appreciated this deeply enough to work on putting together more applications for future projects.  The work continues!  Aug.27-Sept.3, 2015.

 

GroupPic_LASupported by ReGeneration, Tali Padan was able to go to Los Angeles and hold a training for a small but diverse group of participants, many of whom were working on peacebuilding community projects.  This training, called "Creative Conflict Resolution", shared the Betzavta methodology with multipliers, who were very enthusiastic about this approach.  Some of their testimonials from the week can be found here. July 25-27, 2015.

 

 

groupPicSupported by Erasmus+, the city of Copenhagen welcomed 20 participants for a Training Course called "Experience Democracy: From the Personal to the Political". This training course brought together participants from Denmark, Germany, Egypt, Romania, Croatia and Tunisia. Participants explored themes going beyond the intercultural differences into topics that connect the individual with the collective, the personal with the political, and the practice with the theory. July 4-10, 2015.
A short documentation of this training course can be found here: https://vimeo.com/135148631

 

HiAlogoSummer of 2015 was a chance to work with a few different groups in the Humanity in Action fellowship program. Tali Padan delivered trainings for the European groups in Copenhagen and Paris, and then traveled to the US to work with the John Lewis Fellowshop group in Atlanta, Georgia. All three groups examined their group dynamics, and whether their behaviors are aligned with their ideologies. This experience-based learning gives room for self-reflection and growth. Rather than talking about social issues as an external phenomenon, we look at the group's "issues" as it mimics our external society. Do we walk the walk or merely talk the talk? Both 'walking' and 'talking' are necessarily for a holistic approach to societal change inspired by self-knowledge and reflection.

 

Salaam-Shalom-cph_logoThe Salaam-Shalom Copenhagen initiative was launched with an inter-faith Passover dinner.  People from many countries and different religions and beliefs were invited to share the Jewish tradition of the Passover Seder together.  The event brought 50 people together in Copenhagen, mixing Jews, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, Christians, to eat together and reflect on the theme of freedom.  Sofie Rørdam documented the event in a video, seen here: https://vimeo.com/124610096.  April 4, 2015.

 

betzavta1The Kreisau Initiative organised a Betzavta training in Krzyzowa, Poland, with 25 participants from Armenia, Croatia, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland and the Ukraine.  Participants gathered for five days to get to know each other and themselves, and themselves through each other. Interesting discussions were had in the topics of making decisions in big group and distinguishing between the process and the result of these decisions in order to look more closely at the group dynamics and at each person's role in the group.  Trainers: Nina Lueders from the Kreisau Initiative,  and Tali Padan from Mellem Education.  March 7-13, 2015.

 

fsj-game1Three  Betzavta seminars took place as part of the FSJ's week-long seminar.  FSJ (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr) is a network of young volunteers across Germany, who are placed in different one-year internships in the field of culture and politics.  The volunteers experienced the Betzavta method, giving an opportunity to reflect on their selves and their needs in a group.  The themes included being accepted in a group, how or whether to "fight" against those we call 'racists' and other topics in personal development and our connection to our existing societies and our social conditioning. Trainer: Tali Padan. Feb.24-27, Mar.3-6 and Mar.17-20th, 2015.
(pictured: a version of the "Chocolate Game", a Betzavta activity which became a version of shoots and ladders - creative participants!)

 

DIS-logoA short workshop for American students at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad took place in February 2015.  These students are members of the Social Justice House and were interested in social issues, including a commitment to equality and fairness.  The goal was to attempt to look at equality and fairness within the smaller group, not merely on the 'outside'.  February 21, 2015.

 

2014

 

betzavta-cph-2014A collaboration between 7 countries took place in a training called Democracy in Action with Betzavta in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Participants from Romania, Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, Ukraine, Denmark and Armenia came together to discuss the limits of democracy, freedom, and where one person's freedom limits another.  The focus was to look within and reflect on one's own behaviors and practices.  Participants also took an excursion to Christiania to examine how their decision making processes work and how it differs from the parliament's decision making process. October 20-24, 2014.

 

 

RUC-groupTali held a workshop at Roskilde University's International House, open to students from all disciplines, including mostly social science students.  Roskilde University's studies encourages a collaborative approach and all projects are done in groups.  The workshop explored the limits of each person's role in a group - when does it teamwork exist in practice as well as theory?  What can each person learn about themselves in the context of their group?  October 6, 2014.

 

 

betzavta-berlinA 5-day long Betzavta training was held in Berlin, organized by the Kreisau Initiative, with Nina Lueders and Tali Padan as trainers. This was a training with participants from Ukraine, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Germany, Denmark and Poland. The training went through the activities and dilemmas that arise in a Betzavta training, including what happens with conflicting needs and expressions. Sept.20-26, 2014.

 

 

guraH-studentsA workshop in Gura Humorului in Suceava, north of Romania brought together 15 students from a local high school to participate in a training about decision making in the classroom.  The dynamics of who makes the decision, how is freedom limited, and how can freedom be expanded were questioned and explored in this workshop.  July 1, 2014.

 

democratia-in-actiune-Tali2Mellem's Tali Padan trained two groups at Bucharest University, one in the Psychology and Education department and the other in a Civic Education class. Groups were graduate students in the topic of reforming education and also undergraduate students examining different approaches to civic education in Romania.  Find the two project links here:
http://topub.unibuc.ro/sesiunile-informative-democratia-in-actiune-aplicatii-ale-metodei-betzavta/
http://fpse.unibuc.ro/ro/cercetare-publicatii/evenimente-stiintifice/238-democratia-in-actiune-facultatea-de-psihologie-si-stiintele-educatiei
Mar.24-26, 2014.

FSJ1Two three-day long Betzavta seminars took place as part of the FSJ's week-long seminar.  FSJ (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr) is a network of young volunteers across Germany, who are placed in different one-year internships in the field of culture and politics.  The volunteers experienced the Betzavta method, questioning whether they were really as democratic as they previously believed.  The themes included responsibility, the importance of not giving up, focus on process as well as result and other topics in personal development and our connection to our existing societies. Trainer: Tali Padan. Feb.26-Mar.1st and Mar.11-14th, 2014.

 

MICC-logoTali led the Media Team in a simulation of the International Criminal Court (MICC).  Under the media team, participants documented the process of three trials, dealing with the past conflicts in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and Nazi Germany.  High school students from Germany, Poland, the US and Israel came together to simulate these trials in the roles of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and press/media.  The media team came out with a film and a newsletter about Human Rights issues then and now. Feb.16-21, 2014.

 

 

GroupPic-Feb2014 Another Betzavta training took place in Krzyzowa, Poland in partnership with Germany's Kreisau Initiative and partner organizations from Poland, Croatia, Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia.  The intercultural experience included a trip to Wroclaw, Poland, as well as an intensive 5-day Betzavta training, including themes such as democratic decision making, responsibility for participation, freedom in a group and personal as well as societal dilemmas.  Feb.2-9, 2014.

 

 

VtD-screenshotTali put together a Resource Pack for the British Council, consisting of nine chapters with the following themes: Media, Migration, Monoculture to Cultural Diversity, Mediation, Cross Community, Identity, Youth subcultures, Citizenship, Intercultural Competence.  Each chapter contains background information, including quotes, statistics and reflections about the topic, as well as 3 activities that can be used in a classroom setting.  Click here to read and download this Resource Pack.  January 2014.

 

2013

 

GroupPic-BetzavtaNov13As a partner organization for a Youth in Action project in Poland, Mellem Education's Tali Padan co-trained with Nina Lüders, from the Kreisau Initiative in a week-long Betzavta seminar.  Over 20 people from various countries in Europe (Georgia, Moldova, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia) came to Krzyzowa, Poland and experienced the Betzavta training.  Through collaboration, conflict and conversation, participants gained valuable skills and learned about themselves and others in an interactive and dynamic way. Nov.9-14, 2013.

 

 

DSC_0346Mellem Education hosted a Youth in Action funded full-week Betzavta training course entitled Learning the Language of Democracy with Betzavta for participants from Denmark, Croatia, Germany, Netherlands and Romania. Each participating country sent 4- 5 youth or youth workers to get trained in the experience-based learning of the Betzavta methodology.  Read more about this training here and watch a documentation of the week here.  Program took place in Copenhagen, Sept.29-Oct.5, 2013.

 

 

KYN_logo130Know Your Neighbours is a Youth in Action local initiative, which brought together friends and neighbours from many different communities in Copenhagen and engaged them in a series of intercultural visits.  A small local group knocked on their neighbors' doors and invited them to join them in visiting a Hindu temple, a Mosque, the Trampoline House, Christiania and a Friday night synagogue service.  A documentary was made about the project, for which you can see a preview here.  The series of visits took place August 11 - 16th, 2013.

 

 

Theis and groupFree2Choose Uppsala was a project organized through the Anne Frank House, which brought together Norwegians, Swedes, Danes and Finns in Uppsala, Sweden.  The project gave an insight into how human rights apply to the Swedish contexts, by sending participants out to the streets of Uppsala to interview people about local dilemmas in human rights. They then edited the films in the Anne Frank House's "Free2Choose" format and then used these films as debate starters in other educational contexts.  The films can be viewed here. The project took place Aug.4-10th, 2013 with a feedback and evaluation meetup in January 2014.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 14.44.21

Colegiul Național Bilingv George Coșbuc, Bucharest, Romania.  Students in years 6, 9 and 10 of George Coșbuc school in Bucharest experienced a training and conflict management workshop in the context of life in high school. They explored the various social pressures, and their role in their friendship groups. Each class came to terms with what they need as a class - what would benefit everyone in terms of behaviours and attitudes and how to achieve this change. June 6, 12, 2013 + Dec.12-19, 2013.

 

 

HIA_Logo_twitterHumanity in Action fellowship, Copenhagen, DK. The Humanity in Action fellowship program in Denmark took place June 2-26th, 2013.  The fellowship started and ended with a seminar from Mellem Education's trainers on democracy and its application in small groups.  The beginning seminar allowed the fellows to experience how equality and freedom, in practice, are constantly challenged and always have to be reflected upon.  At the end they analyzed the role that each person took in the group, including how much space each person takes up in the group, and how this affects others.  June 2-26th, 2013.

 

 

Bratislava

Stories that Move, Senec, Slovakia. The Anne Frank House, Anne Frank Zentrum, Milan Simecka Foundation are a few of the partners in a project to gather young people's stories of discrimination in Europe in order to build content for a future website that will be used as a teaching tool in the same topic.  Tali gave a workshop called "Multicultural Neighborhood", which examines the process of putting together different visions of a neighborhood. Participants were challenged on how much responsibility they should take in a group and how the dominant and passive participants in a group affect the decision-making process. May 23-26, 2013.

 

 

MemoryWalkMemory Walk, Kyiv, Ukraine. Mellem developed and facilitated workshops for the Memory Walk project, where young people explore the topics of memory and memorialization.  Who gets memorialized and why? The diverse group from all over Ukraine came with personal objects, which represented their personal stories.  Tali's workshop invited them to create their own monuments based on their personal stories.  A competition was held to see who would get the ideal spot for a monument, triggering a discussion about whether the process of creating monuments is a fair one.  The group then took to the streets to interview people about three separate events in Ukranian history - the Holodomor famine, Babi Yar and the murder of Georgiy Gongadze, and discussed memorialization for these three events. May 7-10, 2013.

 

 

Trampoline House BetzavtaBetzavta Seminar, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Mellem held a two-day intercultural conflict management and democracy training using the Betzavta methodology. 20 participants gathered in the Trampoline House, an international community center for refugees, asylum seekers and others who work together to try to change asylum policies in Denmark.  The training especially focused on where one person's freedom limits another and how the notion of equality is constantly being challenged through this limitation.  Exercises reflected our natural desire to win or take care of our own sub-group. Reflection sessions after the exercises allowed for a deeper understanding of our behavior and a greater awareness of our roles and responsibilities. May 4-5, 2013.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 16.30.24Human Rights workshop, Moldova. The Free2Choose-Create workshop in Chisinau, organized by the Tolerance Club, brought young Moldavians together to work on human rights topics that relate to their everyday lives.  Topics chosen included Roma inclusion, sexism in advertisement, government censorship and sex education.  In the midst of the process, Mellem Education gave a workshop to reflect on the group process.  In this workshop, participants were challenged on the gap between theory and practice.  Everyone believes in inclusion and acceptance but do they in fact behave that way?  Acknowledging these moments is not about feeling guilty but deepening understanding of ourselves and our roles and responsibilities to ourselves, our environments and to the larger society. March 24-28, 2013.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 16.37.27Kennesaw State University, Georgia, US. Mellem Education gave a professional development workshop to the staff of the Education Abroad Office of KSU.  This workshop let the group reflect on their inter-office dynamics.  What is missing from the team feeling?  When does the group's need for harmony in fact cause more hidden friction?  And how does this friction ultimately get expressed?  The group was challenged to let go of the need for harmony in order to express individual and team needs.
March 19, 2013.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 16.47.53Intercultural Management Institute, Washington DC. Mellem's Director presented at this conference and gave a Betzavta workshop. The majority of the conference was too comfortable to delve into issues of any depth. Mellem's workshop allowed people to see how dominant they are in the group process.  The simulation and reflection showed that people can be dominant with voices, body language or even with their silence.  It also showed the extent to which people would go to win, forgetting to think about the best way to achieve the task for each individual in the group.  March 14-15, 2013.

 

2012

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 16.54.37One World Film Festival, Bucharest, Romania. The One World Film Festival gathered young people from different schools around Bucharest to come together for a debate workshop.  Debate topics included dilemmas within Human Rights - when is the freedom of expression more important than the freedom to be freed from discrimination or vice versa?  Participants also applied these questions to their own lives - why do I have to attend religion classes? How do these lessons discriminate against gay people? What is my role in all of this, and how can I change such a system?
March 10, 2013.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 16.59.47The Trampoline House, Copenhagen, Denmark. The Trampoline House is a community center for Asylum Seekers, Danes and other people from around the world who are interested in changing the asylum policies in Denmark.  The space also provides a social relief from living in camps, a requirement of the Danish government for refugees.  Several Betzavta workshops were offered in this House, in the context of a weekly session called the House Culture Workshop.  One activity was to reflect on the process of making rules.  Why and when do we need rules?  When does it make a difference to be part of the rule-making process?  Another workshop assigned two teams two seemingly contradictory tasks and allowed them to figure out how to make a top-down assigned impossibility into something that will work for everyone.  Ongoing.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 17.12.25The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Based in Amsterdam but reaching across the world, the Anne Frank House develops programs and activities linking the story of Anne Frank to today's society.  Their workshops delve into Human Rights, teaching young people to critically reflect on Human Rights Law and building up their confidence and leadership abilities in order to make a positive difference in today's society.  Mellem Education's staff have contributed to these workshops, engaging young people with new media and delivering workshops on the relevance of Anne's story in today's world. Ongoing.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 17.16.27Communication & Conflict Interdisciplinary Conference, Salzburg, Austria. Mellem's Director delivered a Betzavta-based workshop in this interdisciplinary setting to give a taste of the nature of Betzavta workshops.  As the only interactive session in the conference and with limited time, participants only got a small taste of some of the insights that could occur with a full training.  Mellem also contributed a publication to this conference.

November 4-5, 2012.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 17.19.13Betzavta training, Krzyżowa, Poland. Organized by Germany's Kreisau Initiative, the Betzavta training was a two part series, each week-long part bringing together an international group from Denmark, Romania, Turkey, Poland and Germany.  The group was trained in the Betzavta methodology, working through conflicts and various group dynamics in order to better understand ourselves and our environments.  It was during this week that Mellem decided to make Betzavta a focus of its work, as Betzavta's interactive and dynamic methodology is a perfect blend of the political and personal, the theory and practice, the rational and emotional.  Workshops took place May 28-June 3, 2012 and October 7-13, 2012.

 

 

YPICYoung People in Conversation, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. This inter-generational and inter-faith trip to Auschwitz brought together young people from the many different communities of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  Participants got a first-hand view of Auschwitz extermination camp as well as learning more about the story of Schindler and his actions.  Workshops in the evening included discussions about discrimination in Newcastle and the tensions between communities.  The trip was part of an ongoing process which took place before and after the February 2012 trip.  Watch the video here.