In this project, students from Jerusalem high schools—Jewish and Arab, secular and religious schools—come to the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute for a symposium, then tour the Museum for Islamic Art and participate in workshops there. The topics of the symposia vary, but they deal generally with promoting democratic and liberal values among young people. The activities are held for an entire grade—tenth, eleventh, or twelfth—in each school. The idea is to have an activity for students in a particular grade, from various types of schools, and in this way to involve as many students as possible in the project. In each symposium the students hear a lecture by one of the researchers at the Institute. The lectures given so far include the following: Prof. Itzhak Galnoor on the essence of democracy and attempts to erode Israeli democracy, Prof. Ruth Gavison and Dr. Bashir Bashir on Jewish-Arab relations in Israel in light of the vision of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, Dr. Yuval Evri and Dr. Almog Behar on Israeli culture and egalitarian and suitable representation of Mizrahi music and culture, and Prof. Aziz Haidar on the discourse on democracy in Israel.
By means of these symposia, in each of which 150 high school students participate, the Institute promotes these values by conducting a thorough intellectual discussion among youngsters who are about to complete their high school studies.