City of Angels Two-Day Council Training for Abrahamic Faith Educators
Date(s) - 03/04/2017 - 03/11/2018
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Campbell Hall School
LOS ANGELES, CA
A two-day Council training module for Los Angeles area Abrahamic faith educators working in Jewish, Christian and Muslim classrooms to
- Promote greater class cohesion, social-emotional learning, and community building.
- Provide council tools for a better understanding of religious texts and values as they relate to our lives.
- Seed a network of Abrahamic Faith educators in the Los Angeles area interested in building relationships and resource sharing for interfaith curriculum development.
The module will take place two consecutive Sundays, March 4 and March 11 from 9:00 to 6 pm.
Note: This training is only open to educators teaching in Jewish, Christian or Muslim educational institutions in the Los Angeles area. After registering for this training, please send a brief biography of yourself and include the name of the educational institution you are working for to shepha@reGenerationEducation.org. Normally the cost of a Council training for teachers is $350. reGeneration and Campbell Hall are jointly sponsoring this first training for Abrahamic faith teachers to promote greater core competencyskills in children and stronger cohesiveness among faith communities in Los Angeles. Thus the cost for teacher participation in this training is greatly reduced to $50.
“Council is a core practice at Pressman Academy. It is valuable both as an educational tool, as we can teach students to authentically listen and share. It is also valuable as a communication tool, as we practice and demonstrate our school’s value of listening to children’s voices. We are known in the city as “the school that graduates mensches” (mensch being the yiddish word for “good people”) and Council is no small part of that reputation.”
–Dr. Erica Rothblum, Head of School
Council and Its Use in the Classroom.
The Way of Council is a research validated group communication process that creates a sense of community and belonging while teaching children empathy and how to listen deeply to the other. These skills form the basis for the Golden Rule, universal in all major religions. The Way of Council has been successfully implemented in hundreds of classrooms throughout Los Angeles and serves as a strong foundation for the effective use of restorative justice in the classroom. The Way of Council is used in Europe as well as areas of conflict such as Rwanda, Israel and Palestine.
History: On August 30, 2015 reGeneration hosted The Power of Bridge-Building: Developing the Tools to Do the Work. It was a day-long workshop for Los Angeles educators of Jewish, Christian and Muslim children (see picture above) facilitated by Leon Berg (bio below) and reGeneration’s Middle East liaison, Itaf Awad (itafawad.com) reGeneration believed then, as we do now, that these times call for a concerted effort to teach bridge-building skills to the next generation of Abraham’s children, both locally and internationally. We invited teachers and clergy from Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious and day schools in the Greater LA area to participate in this special day to experience the community-building power of Council. The headmaster of Campbell Hall, Julian Bull attended the workshop along with his wife, Katie Bull. Julian kindly offered to work with reGeneration to carry the Council work to the larger Los Angeles Abrahamic educational community resulting in an introductory Council workshop for headmasters of Jewish, Christian and Muslim schools at Campbell Hall on August 13, 2017. The success of that afternoon workshop has furthered the momentum of support for Council in Los Angeles Abrahamic Schools leading to the first Abrahamic Faith Council in the Classroom Training Module!
Biographies of Council Trainers
Camille Ameen is a Certified Council Trainer and has facilitated Council in schools for over 25 years. She has had the privilege of working with K-12 youth in public, charter and private schools throughout LA, including Crossroads, Palms Middle School, Ambassador School, Marlton School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Camino Nuevo Charter schools, Van Nuys High School, and Hollywood Media Arts Academy. In 1996, she co-founded Inside Out Community Arts (recently merged with PS ARTS), a nationally award-winning organization that fosters community and understanding between diverse youth through theatre. With UCLArts & Healing, ArtworxLA, PS ARTS, and Inside Out, she’s combined her love of theatre and Council into trainings and curriculum for performance, art, and social emotional learning. Additionally, she has trained social justice organizations and inmates in the California prison system. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she’s had a long career as a professional actress in NY and LA including Broadway, TV and film. Camille’s grandparents all emigrated from Lebanon. Druze by birth, she is married to a Jewish man. Together they feel they are contributing to the power of love and understanding to bring diverse peoples together in peace.
Leon Berg is a founding member of the Ojai Foundation, an educational retreat center in the Upper Ojai Valley, and a Senior Facilitator and Trainer in the Way of Council, a communication process for cultivating active listening and authentic speech. For the past 20 years he has been facilitating Council groups in the U.S. and abroad. In 2001, partially funded by the Zen Peacemakers, he went to Israel to seed the practice of Council among Israeli Jews and Arabs, co-founding the Israeli non-profit organization Ma’agal Hakshava (Listening Circles). Leon has returned to Israel and Palestine many times since to conduct Council trainings and to lead a variety of coexistence programs. His TEDx talk, The Power of Listening: An Ancient Practice for Our Future has been shared widely. Leon is also a certified mediator through the Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement and holds a Certificate in Peace & Reconciliation Studies, from the University of Coventry, U.K. For over two decades Leon has guided groups to achieve greater engagement and productive dialogue. Together with his partner, Glori Zeltzer, M.A. MFT, they teach the Council practices to couples.
Comments from Teachers and Students about Council in the Classroom
“As an elementary school educator, incorporating Council into our curriculum has been a rewarding experience. I observe my students as they are waiting with great anticipation for this special circle time where they feel safe to open their minds and hearts. I am especially touched by listening to students who have difficulties expressing themselves in a regular classroom setting and blossom when they are in their comfort zone in a nonjudgemental environment. I perceive Council as a gate to the students’ social emotional being, and a helpful route in their journey to thrive in school and beyond. “- Tamar Rosenfield, 4th grade teacher at Pressman Academy
“Council to me is great and magical. It reminds me of all the things people do to make the world a better place, and helps you want to be a hero as well. Council is a great place to say thank you for everything. Thank you for everything people have done to make you healthy, to make you smart, to make you strong. Everyone does something to help you feel happy, and all the happiness is kept in Council.” – Eliya, 4th grader at Wonderland Elementary School
“Council helps me calm down if I am stressed or excited. It also helps me get to know everyone better.” Arielle, 4th grade Wonderland Elementary School
“To me, Council means a time of peace, a time of expressing yourself, a time to relax and tell others how you feel, a time to connect, and a time to think.” Julia, 4th grade Wonderland Elementary School
“Council has enabled the students to feel they have a place to share their stories without being judged. It has also allowed me, as an advisor, to catch a glimpse into a side of their lives I would not have otherwise seen.” – 8th grade girls advisor at Campbell Hall