"Regavim " project
In order to establish a high quality group looking to study Torah, work the land and promote social ideals we, together with the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva have established the Regavim project. The students will be ninth graders who chose to integrate agricultural work into their regular schedule. The project is run by a joint staff of Mekor Chaim and Sadnat Shiluv and the workers are also a joint staff of Mekor Chaim and Sadnat Shiluv students.
The girls' class and Ulpanat Uriah create and dance together.
The girls' class is made up of girls with different disabilities. Our pedagogic belief is that every girl contributes in whatever way she can, and receives help from the other girls in areas where she is challenged. Most of the girls were in elementary school together and we tried to think of a way we could continue the arrangement into high school.
Ulpanat Uriah, a regional ulpana whose educational mission is to accept all girls who want to join, came to us to create joint projects. Their educational mission matched ours and the projects were launched.
The girls came together for 2 projects this year: the Lavi project and a dance project.
The Lavi project is an ulpana project in which 9th graders go out to volunteer once a week. Some remain in the ulpanaand wait for the Sadna girls to arrive and work on art together. We started with papier-mâché and the girls made bowls. Then we moved on to mosaics. The meetings occur once a week on Wednesdays. The girls come for two hours, from 8 to 10. The items created together are ones that can be sold.
For the dance project, girls from the ulpana's 10th grade dance class welcomed the girls from the Sadna. As a teacher, I hesitated and thought hard about the best way to carry out the integration, so that the girls of the Sadna and the girls of Uriah would get the most out of it. The main difficulties faced were the content of the lesson and the conduct of the Sadna girls within the normative framework of the ulpana. We decided together with the management of the Sadna that the art and dance lessons would be geared towards the high level (the students of Uriah) and thus they would feel they were participating in a real class, and not a charity lesson. We would provide whatever support the Sadna girls needed directly to them within the class. Dance was a high level course even for the girls of Uriah and so every girl did what she could within the lesson.
Integration is a complex issue, but the concept of a society where everyone has a place, is a very important value for me in my work with special needs populations. In addition, the importance of integration is no less significant for the general population. G-d created the world with varied and complex populations and our role as teachers and parents is to teach our children the truth and beauty of creation, and integration is, in my view, the essence of G-d's creation.