Education for Democracy in a Divided Society - Foundation Office Israel
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On December 6, together with our partners at the Israel Democracy Institute, KAS Israel was proud to host the Education for Democracy in a Divided Society conference at the Van Leer Institute.
From Germany, Prof. Hermann J Abs, with of the Scientific Advisory Board at the Federal Agency for Civic Education had a conversation expert Dr. Tammy Hoffman on the German experience with civic education and bringing democratic values into the classroom. In her opening remarks, KAS Israel Director, Dr. Beatrice Gorawantschy explained the history and results of Germany’s civic education platform:
“Civic education was indispensable in building a liberal democracy in the Federal Republic after 1945 and in a reunited Germany after 1989. While there was an immediate link to the experience of totalitarian rule in the early days, civic education in Germany today is confronted by new challenges: how Freedom and peace are taken for granted, and people fortunately have no experience of life without them. Rather than take the foundations of our democratic order for granted, civic education must promote them again and again. “
The conference hosted a series of roundtables to discuss the perspectives of the diverse groups in Israeli society: Ultra-Orthodox education, Arab education, Secular state education, and religious Zionist education. Within these topics it was discussed how civic education can assist in cultivating these unique identities within Israel society and how to balance between their identities, the state and society, and the universal identity based on humanism. It is with civic education that the commitment of human and civil rights, the protection of a permanent minority, pluralism and tolerance towards other is promoted and maintained.