The Centre for the Study of Multiculturalism and Diversity was established at the Hebrew University in order to develop multicultural sensitivities and tolerance among its students. The centre’s activities aim to increase students’ knowledge of society, teach them how to critique power relations within it, and to be aware of the variety of points of view in Israeli society.
The centre explores issues of multiculturalism and diversity on both an academic and practical level, emphasising Israeli society’s diversity. A unique interdisciplinary Clinic for the Study of Multiculturalism and Diversity is operated by the centre in cooperation with the Clinical Legal Education Centre. The clinic aims to develop new strategies for battling discrimination and incitement to racial hatred. It will also work to advance workplace diversity, to advocate for a multicultural public space, and to increase the cultural accessibility of health and welfare services.
During its first year, the 2015-16 academic year, the centre initiated and took part in several conferences including a conference on the role of multiculturalism in universities with the participation of the President of the Hebrew University; a conference on racism with the Centre for Clinical Legal; a conference on “The New Gender Order: An Optimistic Outlook” with the Lafer Centre for Women and Gender Studies; cooperated with the faculty of education in hosting a psychologically-focused debate about multicultural identity, and more. The 2016/2017 report includes more information about the centre, its activities, conferences, and debates.
The centre also supports research and academic discussion investigating questions such as the relationship between national, religious, and civic identity, between majority and minority, and between multiculturalism and shared society. Here you can meet the research fellows of the centre for the 2016-7 academic year.
As part of the centre’s goals to promote a pluralistic, inclusive, and open academic campus, meetings are being held with deans and department heads throughout the university to promote the issue of diversity within each department.