During the first week of September the Heschel Center hosted an alumni gathering that included a two day seminar for in-depth learning in which 40 graduates of Heschel programs participated, and an Alumni reunion that took place in the evening with over 90 participants.
The seminar was organized to support the fellows’ expressed interest in continuing the shared learning, and it focused on new trends in the world of sustainability emphasizing solutions in the field of community and its relation to commoning.
The seminar was led by Heschel facilitators Dr. Lia Ettinger, Dr. Jeremy Benstein, Yoav Egozi and Shachar Kahanovich.
The first day of the seminar opened with a fascinating lecture by Dr. Ettinger that spoke about the need to create change in light of the environmental crises, presented models that analyzed these processes and shared various solutions and initiatives that are inspired by “commoning”.
The seminar continued by delving deeper into the concepts of commoning and ended with group discussions. The second day of the seminar focused on exposing participants to various participation tools: Sociocracy, Theory U and the Dragon Dreaming.
The Seminar ended by collecting insights and conclusions about world trends, and resulted with the creation of a working group to promote the concept of the commoning.
“A Heschel seminar is something that always brings me home and reminds me where I should be heading, like a lighthouse,” a seminar participant wrote in her survey.
In the evening, the Alumni reunion took place in Caesarea overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The evening was part of an overall effort aimed at helping the Heschel Alumni create a network and build a community with annual activities.
Upon arrival, participants were asked to place themselves on a board based on their occupation. The idea behind it was to make the network accessible graphically, and this activity was followed by both social and structured mingling.
“I left with phone numbers and names of innovators and a number of ideas. It was great fun and I’m sure it will have continuity,” an alumnus wrote in his survey.