Publication Date

1999

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of Nisan Young Women Leaders Leadership Development Program on the Jewish and Arab Israeli graduates' roles as agents of social change. Opportunities for Jewish and Arab women to empower themselves and learn of the commonalties and differences they have with their counterparts are rare in Israel. Nisan Young Women Leaders serves as a forum for young women in Israel to obtain these goals. Through direct interviews, Nisan alumnae discuss the role of culture, influences from family and friends, and their perceptions of the effects of Nisan Young Women Leaders Leadership Development Program on their social awareness and activism. Considering Nisan is a relatively young organization, with just under 80 graduates, a total of six Jewish and Arab Israeli young women were selected to participate in the study. The subjects were recruited based on the advice of Nisan's founder and according to their involvement in the leadership development curriculum. The subjects artistically articulated responses to the inquiry question through the use of creative expression. This enabled the participants to communicate their insight, express their future vision, and discuss conditions that enhanced their leadership potential. The analysis was accomplished by comparing responses from each participant's interview testimonies. Findings suggest alumnae of the Leadership Development Program require continued support and empowerment once the initial program is completed. Furthermore, this research demonstrates that culture and support from the participant's social network contributes to a Nisan graduate's degree of social awareness and activism and therefore has an impact on her role as an advocate for change.

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