reGeneration advances peace building through innovative approaches to the education, development and resilience of young children in crisis zones so they are able to imagine and create a better future.
Children of all faiths, nationalities, and ethnicities growing up in crisis zones afflicted by conflict, poverty or natural disasters have a basic right to experience a wholesome environment that cultivates the empathic foundation, the motivational drive, and the personal and social resources to be able to create a sustainably peaceful, productive, and prosperous society as adults.
We do this by:
Cultivating Best Practices Early Childhood Education for Crisis Zones
- Support the identification, documentation and dissemination of best educational practices
- Back educational initiatives in areas of high need
- Co-sponsor annual conferences and think tanks
- Work with partners
Promoting Peace Literacy
- Organize workshops and other events teaching social technologies
- Partner with other organizations
- Share educational guides
Fostering Interfaith Relationships
- Participate as a founding member of the Southern California Muslim-Jewish Forum
- Organize Abrahamic Faiths Way of Council workshops and trainings
- Co-sponsor Hebrew speaking and Arabic speaking bi-cultural schools
- Developed with David Yellin Academic College and Caritas Switzerland Relief Agency the Jerusalem Conference on Educating Young Children in Crisis Zones and Disadvantaged Communities: Facing the Challenge – Sharing the Vision and the following year the extended conference series, Protecting the Spirit of Childhood in Times of Toxic Stress.
- Helped to establish a healing model for kindergarten and primary school peace education in Israel by financially supporting Tamrat El Zeitoun Arab Waldorf School until the Israeli Ministry fully recognized and began fully funding the school.
- Hosted a 10 day West Bank Waldorf Institute immersion workshop for 160 Palestinian kindergarten and primary schools teachers in Jenin and subsequently hosted another introductory workshop coordinated with the Palestinian Ministry of Education
- Ongoing co-sponsorship of two Jewish/Arab Waldorf kindergartens in Israel.
- Developed and now share multi-lingual versions of 10 Steps for Peace Education with Alliance for Childhood.
- Currently producing a documentary on the transformative power of early childhood development and education as a life-changing humanistic response for crisis zones and disadvantaged communities.
- Founded Southern California Muslim-Jewish Forum in cooperation with local Jewish and Muslim leaders to counter anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
- Established the City of Angels Network for Abrahamic Faith Educators
- Hosted Creative Conflict Resolution Training for the local interfaith community
- Organized and conducted Restorative Justice Community Building Circle workshops for educators from the Abrahamic Faiths
- Brought together 40 Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations to produce The Concert for Possibility at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills where acclaimed musician Yuval Ron was artistic director.
- Co-coordinated The Elephant in the Room, a daylong workshop on Israel/Palestine for members of the Southern California Muslim-Jewish Forum
- Co-coordinated with artistic director Craig Taubman of the Pico Union Project, Together in the City of Angels, an interfaith concert launching the Southern California Muslim-Jewish Forum
Memberships and Affiliations
Abrahamic Faiths PeaceMaking Initiative
Alliance for Childhood
Alliance for Middle East Peace
Caritas Switzerland Relief Agency
Conejo Valley Interfaith Association
Early Childhood Peace Consortium
LIFEWAYS North America
InterAgency Task Force on Israeli-Arab Issues
International Association for Child Education
International Association of Steiner Waldorf Education
Rudolf Steiner Community Center
Rotary World Peace Conference 2016
Southern California Muslim-Jewish Forum
United Religions Initiative
Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America
reGeneration’s initially sponsored conflict resolution training for faculty and teens in Israel, a high school peace leadership program in the Galilee, and the introduction of Waldorf education* to Palestinian kindergarten teachers.
The high school program was a two-pronged educational model promoting Jewish and Arab shared participation in Israeli society while addressing the high drop out rate and low performance for matriculation of Israeli-Arab high school students from a public high school. Though the high school program in itself was successful, we made two critical observations. One observation was that we saw that the educational gap between Jewish and Arab high school students was too large to try to effectively remediate at such a late stage of development. From this observation we decided it was far more productive to support an equal education for both Jewish and Arab students from the earliest years. We also observed how important it was for the Jewish and Arab communities to share a common goal in which they could work together to achieve.
Returns on investing in quality early childhood education
What reGeneration learned through experience is consistent with the perspective of Nobel laureate for economics James Heckman who writes that for every dollar invested in quality early childhood education makes a $7 to $10 return.
Early Childhood as a foundation for peacebuilding.
Additionally, reGeneration’s focus on early childhood education as a foundation for peacebuilding is consistent with the latest research. In September 2013 the United Nations Children’s Educational Foundation (UNICEF) launched the Early Childhood Peace Consortium. The ECPC was founded on the idea that we must address the root causes of violence and conflict and that children can be agents of change for peace.
This groundbreaking moment which brought global attention to “create a legacy of sustained peace through the transformative power of early child development” brought together 140 partners from civil society, mass and social media, government officials, multi- and bilaterial agencies, as well as practitioners and academia.
The consortium endorses the proposal of a UN Resolution on Early Childhood and Peacebuilding that will be supported and presented by Member States of the United Nations General Assembly. The proposal will underscore the role of families and children in promoting peace.
With the worst human refugee crisis since World War II as the backdrop, at the March 2016 Forum in Amman on Investing in Young Children for Peaceful Societies: Individual and Structural Transformation, the following statement was issued, “While there is not enough intervention research on what works best for children in different kinds of conflict situation, there is a growing body of work focusing on understanding the connections of resilience between an individual child and his or her family, community and society.”
Subsequently, in May 2016, the United Nations convened the world’s first Humanitarian Summit.
The Summit had three main goals:
To re-inspire and reinvigorate a commitment to humanity and to the universality of humanitarian principles.
To initiate a set of concrete actions and commitments aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be resilient to shocks.
To share best practices which can help save lives around the world, put affected people at the center of humanitarian action, and alleviate suffering.
At a time when the world is anxiously looking for best practices in humanitarian efforts, the Essence of Learning is presented as a case study for an effective and sustainable early childhood teacher training for crisis zones and disadvantaged communities.
Best educational practices in crisis zones.
At a time when more people on this planet have been displaced by war, persecution, and natural disasters than at any other recorded time in history, reGeneration felt it timely to partner with other organizations, institutions and individuals to identify, document, and disseminate teachers’ best educational practices to promote the emotional, intellectual, physical, moral, and spiritual health of children growing up in crisis zones.
* Waldorf education is a holistic education recognized by UNESCO for sharing it’s values of teaching tolerance and nonviolence. Because of the unprecedented growth of Waldorf education in the Jewish community and the nascent development of this humanistic education within the Arab community, reGeneration decided that the most effective intervention for equal opportunities in education in Israel was to support two pilot early childhood education programs, Ein Bustan, the first Arab/Waldorf kindergarten in Israel and Tamrat El Zeitoun, the first Arab Waldorf School in Israel. reGeneration financially supported Tamrat El Zeitoun until the Israeli Ministry of Education fully recognized it and began fully supporting as a public institution.