The Centre for Creativity in Education and Cultural Heritage (CCECH), a registered non-profit making organisation in Israel, was founded in 1991 by Dr. Simon Lichman. The staff includes educators, facilitators, researchers and an evaluator. The Board is comprised of academics and professionals who play active roles in programme activities, planning strategy and fundraising.

The Centre For Creativity In Education And Cultural Heritage designs and implements innovative education projects that help create a climate of cultural pluralism and inter-generational understanding. For the past twenty three years CCECH has been running programmes, based on folklore, which focus simultaneously on several issues facing Israeli society and the region: co-existence between neighbouring Jewish and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian, communities caught in the conflict; cultural pluralism; and the transmission of home-culture between generations in modern society.

Arabs and Jews, even those living side by side, often find that there is little opportunity of knowing one another in personal contexts. Adults may meet through work, but children hardly meet at all, since, for the most part, there are different Jewish and Arab school systems. Negative stereotyped images of each other, frequently exacerbated by the media, are reinforced by successive waves of violence and counter violence, leading to an atmosphere of deep mistrust, fear and sometimes hatred on both sides. There is far less public awareness and media coverage of positive co-existence efforts that work to counterbalance the seemingly hopeless situation. 

In addition, both Jews and Arabs, from diverse backgrounds, feel pressure to adapt to a mainstream identity and are often alienated from their own cultural backgrounds while they struggle to balance modernity with tradition, integration with ethnicity. Children often dismiss their home-cultures as irrelevant to their contemporary lives, while the older generations lose their natural audience for the transmission of their traditions. The education system also seldom reflects or acknowledges the rich and varied cultural resources within each community.

In response to these problems, the CCECH runs programmes that bring together Jewish and Arab (Moslem and Christian) school-communities, and educators in teacher training colleges, based on the research and exchange of participants’ folklore. Participating children, family members (parents and grandparents), teachers and student-teachers become part of a long-term, cross-cultural, multi-generational experience. This community-oriented approach has enabled Jewish and Arab communities to remain committed to each other through the most sensitive periods of the past few years, with participants less likely to be swept along into negative stereotyping generalisations about 'Arabs' and 'Jews', rather, viewing each other as partners working towards creating a safe society based on mutual respect, equality, dignity and justice.

The CCECH runs two types of programmes 

1)  Jewish and Arab School-Community Pairing Programmes

2)  Training and Enrichment Courses for Arab and Jewish Educators

Subpages (1): Teachers and Staff