The Israel/Palestine Seminar is a chance for students to be part of an ongoing peacebuilding intervention between Palestinians and Israelis incorporating people at all levels of society. As they engage in this experience, students will be given the chance to reflect on what it means to be a practitioner and encounter the integration of theory, research, and practice. Dr. Fakhira Halloun travels with students for eight days over winter break and teaches the class on the ground in Israel and Palestine. Dr. Marc Gopin leads the pre-trip and post-trip meetings in the United States and works with students as they craft their research questions and delve into the literature.
The program is a combination of intensive classroom study, speakers from the local region, exploration of famous holy sites, and extensive field experience engaging communities across the spectrum of Israel and Palestine day and night. This experience will be an integration of new theoretical approaches to peacebuilding in a uniquely intractable conflict where CRDC has innovated a direct intervention of social justice practice, study, and engagement.
The course has been carefully engineered to directly support agents of change and peacemakers. The student is immediately experiencing, participating in, and observing a direct intervention in which the course itself is a device to aid the lives and livelihoods of poor change agents, both Palestinian and Jewish. In addition, the seminar and its experiences are fundamentally a dual narrative approach to understanding the reality on the ground. Every day of the seminar will involve study and field work on both sides of the border with Palestinians and Israeli Jews. The method of intervention is utterly new in its combination of social justice and conflict resolution, and begs for the evolution of theory and research from the students.
This is a graduate-level course that is also open to highly motivated undergraduate students, including non-Mason students and non-students. Graduate students can take the course as CONF 620 or 695. Undergraduates will register for the course as CONF 385 (other options may be available – check with your advisor or email email@example.com
Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process. Non-students can enroll in the class as a professional development seminar.
- Conflict Analysis - CONF 385: International Field Experience
- Conflict Analysis - CONF 620: Reflective Practice in Interpersonal-Multiparty Conflicts
- Conflict Analysis - CONF 695: Selected Topics
January 2 - 10, 2021
The dates listed above are the actual days that the program takes place. You will need to leave the United States by January 1 in order to arrive in Israel/Palestine by January 2. Students are free to arrive early or depart late. Students who arrive before the program starts or stay after the program ends are responsible for their own accommodations and all other expenses associated with independent travel.
This is a tentative itinerary and is subject to change.
||Arrive at the Tel Aviv airport and transfer (on your own) to the National Hotel in Jerusalem, where our group will meet for a welcome dinner and program orientation.
||Start the day with a walking tour of the Old City, visiting sacred and historical sites such as the Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock. After our tour, take time on your own to explore this amazing city before returning to the hotel. In the afternoon, Dr. Fakhira Haloun delivers a lecture and introduces our first guest speaker.
||On our field trip to west Jerusalem, we visit Ben Yehuda street and the neighborhood of Nachlaot. After lunch at the sprawling Mahane Yehuda market, we drive to Jaffa for a walking tour with our guide Elad. There, take in the beautiful waterfront and wander the very first neighborhoods of Tel Aviv. From Jaffa, we travel to Bar Ilan University for a talk by Rabbi Daniel Roth, Director of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution. Engage in lively discussion with your counterparts, conflict resolution students from Bar Ilan, before returning to Jerusalem.
||After a morning lecture, we travel to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to meet with political figures and observe a plenary discussion. We then drive to Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, a cooperative village where Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab families live together. Our host for lunch is Rayek Rizek, former mayor of the town, who speaks about his decades of experience in this community and takes us on a walking tour of the village.
||Following a visit to the UN's office in Jerusalem, we travel to Bethlehem and meet Mazen Faraj, a member of the Parents Circle Families Forum, at the Deheisheh refugee camp. Then, enjoy free time for lunch in Bethlehem's Manger Square on the eve of Orthodox Christmas, with a guided tour of the Church of the Nativity. Later in the day, we meet with Myron Joshua, a settler who lives in Kfar Etzion and has worked on dialogue projects with Palestinian neighbors. Finally, we return to Jerusalem for our last night there.
||Today we make our way to Tiberias via the West Bank, stopping at an abandoned nightclub on the shores of the Dead Sea before journeying on to Nabi Musa, a site believed by Muslims to be the tomb of the prophet Moses. At Kasr el Yahud on the Jordan River, learn about the history of the site and its importance to tourism in both Israel and Jordan -- and wave hello to the tourists on the Jordanian side, a stone's throw away on the river's opposite bank. Enjoy lunch in Jericho, one of the world's oldest cities, where our speaker will discuss his life as a Palestinian living in Area A. We finish the day in the most ancient part of the city, Tel es-Sultan, an archaeological site more than 10,000 years old. Once we reach Tiberias in the late evening, check into the hotel and take time to relax in this peaceful setting.
||Enjoy a full morning, with a talk from our guide Elad and a workshop led by Israeli peace activist Lee Ziv. After lunch, we take a boat trip on the beautiful Sea of Galilee, followed by free time to explore the seaside city of Tiberias. Tiberias is an ancient city, famous for its many pilgrimage sites and its hot springs.
||We start the day with a morning lecture and then spend some time visiting an integrated Arab-Jewish kindergarten. Learn how the school is breaking down culture and language barriers, and meet with parents to discuss why they chose this experience for their children. Afterwards, we gather for lunch at a women’s cooperative where we’ll learn about trauma healing and solidarity. In the evening, we stop on the Mediterranean coast and enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner at a Palestinian family's home before journeying onward to Tel Aviv.
||After breakfast, check out of the hotel and head to the airport, with unforgettable memories of your week spent studying and engaging in this incredible region.
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.
Winter 2021: $3,890
Included: Tuition for 3 credits, double-occupancy hotel rooms for all 8 nights, two meals daily, excursions and entrance fees as described in itinerary, course trainer and speaker fees, in-country ground transportation, international emergency medical insurance.
Not included: Round-trip airfare*, passport and visa fees, transportation to/from the airport on arrival and departure days, some meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials. *Note: Participants must arrange their own airfare once instructed to do so by the program administrator.
Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.
Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
: A non-refundable payment of $1500 must be received by October 20th
. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.
The final balance payment is due by November 10th
. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or their VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."
Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.
Save $200 when you apply by Oct. 1 and pay your deposit by Oct. 15!
CRDC Application Package: You will submit several required documents to support your application (letter of interest, resume, and references). Please follow the submission instructions provided in the application. These documents should be uploaded as one single PDF.
Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.
Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, communication policy, and your financial responsibility.
Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.
Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:
Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.
Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.
* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.