Obedience and Creativity

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Celebrating Six Years of the Niot Learning Project
March 4, 2018
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Sindiana Arab Youth Village for Leadership
June 30, 2018

As an organization concerned with youth and their growth, we believe that all partners in educational efforts must involve themselves in ongoing learning and educational research as part of their regular work. Our educators – principals, teachers, counselors and all the partners – are the beating heart of the SAE. They are the ones who have daily contact with students, meet their needs and cope with their difficulties. Their work is important, complicated and sometimes exhausting. Therefore, professional development and spiritual enrichment are very meaningful and contribute to continual improvement of educational achievement, both to the educators’ personal development and their sense of belonging.

This year, the management team development series will address the relationship between creativity and obedience, on the assumption that these are bound together in a relationship of influence, rejection and attraction. Together we will seek to examine the internal freedom we have as individuals, as teams and as institutions to investigate questions such as: What is creative activity? How does creativity generate action? What rules were imposed on us to obey (expressed or implied)? What rules did we create for ourselves to obey? Is there the possibility of disobedience? If so, where? Is alternative action possible?

The first meeting in the series was devoted to an investigation of the concept of “voice” through personal and collective expression. Voice is one of our most basic and first forms of expression as humans. Like us – it changes, develops, rises, falls and is silent. Sometimes the range of our voice contracts and sometimes it expands. The workshop explored voice in its concrete meanings and in the deeper sense of identity. This was done through conceptualization and study, and through an experiential workshop using listening, song, writing, melody, story and movement. The program opened with a lecture by Dr. Adva Frank Shoval, “The voice of the subject, the voice of authority: from metaphor to reality.” After the lecture, a variety of exciting workshops were held:

  • A storytelling workshop led by Inbar Amir, screenwriter, playwright and director, facilitator of writing workshops and storytelling teacher in the “home workshops” of Eshkol Nevo and Orit Gidali
  • A piyyut (liturgical poetry) workshop led by Yossi Ohana, founder and director of “Singing Communities” for promoting the tradition of singing and piyyut in Israeli Society and Erez Avdan, a composer of liturgical poetry in the Spanish-Jerusalem tradition and Qanun player.
  • A poetry workshop inspired by the central protest poets of the 20th century led by Anat Levine, poet, author and creative writing teacher.
  • A movement workshop led by Rinat Levy, workshop and group facilitator in music, movement, touch and discussion in the Rio Abierto system.

The exciting day concluded with a performance by the a cappella group “Quinta and a Half” and a wonderful discussion.