At the end of January, the fellows of the Mandel Program for Local Leadership in Baqa al-Gharbiyye met for a two-day retreat at Kibbutz Dalia in northern Israel. The aim of the retreat was to inspire and encourage creativity, and to develop the fellows' ability to view reality (and especially their own areas of practice) through different and diverse perspectives.
The first day began with a voice training workshop – "Becoming an Echo Chamber" – led by Yahli Toren, a professional opera singer, voice coach, and music therapist. The workshop acted as an icebreaker, and helped the fellows attain impressive vocal capabilities.
Next, the group met with the poet Yonadav Kaplan, who led a workshop based on the haiku poems of the Japanese poet Basho. The group learned about the haiku technique, and about how this form of poetry reflects the experience and vision of the individual, helping the individual reach a new and invigorating understanding of self. At the end of the workshop, the fellows wrote some impressive haiku poems expressing various aspects of their life experience and their social and public activity.
The second day was devoted to processing and learning from the workshops of the first day. The fellows created pictures that showed how the workshops had informed their different worlds of practice and influenced their own individual visions.
This is the second year of the Mandel Program for Local Leadership in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, which is being run in partnership with the Baqa al-Gharbiyye municipality. The directors of the program are Mandel Center for Leadership in the North faculty members Shahira Shalaby and Dr. Yosef Turgeman.