When stories, even contradictory ones, come together with mutual attentiveness, a whole new space is miraculously revealed—“The Third Dimension.”
“The Third Dimension” serves as a national and international address for studying mutual coexistence, imparting intercultural skills, and reducing racism.
“The Third Dimension” is an opportunity for an encounter that reduces fear and raises hope. A study by the Coalition Against Racism in Israel found that one out of every four Israelis experienced a racist incident during 2016. “The Third Space” was designed to provide a response to the processes of deterioration of democratic values in Israeli society, the rise in racism of all types, and the critical need for supplying tools that facilitate different thought and behavior patterns—all of which will enable the construction of a fair and shared society in Israel.
Based on numerous studies over the years that examine multicultural societies, it has become clear that positive changes amongst diverse population groups and within majority-minority relations occur under the following conditions:
• Familiarity with the culture, narrative, and customs of the other
• Provision of expression for personal identity
• Creation of a safe place to embrace all narratives
• Attentiveness and broadening points of view
• Development of cultural competence—imparting an
• Experiential mediation of the content that emerges in an
intercultural encounter (by means of art, interactive
performances, meetings, tours, and more)
• Continuous support and maintenance.
The diverse city of Haifa offers an alternative existence in Israel: a shared space with mutual respect and legitimacy for the different nature of the other. It is an optimal area for launching educational initiatives designed to reinforce democratic and nonviolent discourse in Israel.
Our aim is to expand mutual coexistence in Israel, to be active in pursuit of tolerant patterns of thought and behavior, and to have respect for the other and for oneself. It is crucial to impart tools and skills on how to exist and behave in a multicultural society to young people, educators, public servants, and the business sector.
We see cultural diversity as both a reality and a value. We believe its various parts can strengthen one another and contribute to the vitality of society as well as its resilience.
“The Third Dimension” operates on the Beit HaGefen Campus, located in historic buildings in the heart of Haifa. The Campus offers event halls, classrooms, a theater, a library, and an art gallery. The nearby Wadi Nisnas neighborhood also contains an art trail developed by the Beit HaGefen Gallery—the “Museum Without Walls.” This art trail serves as an open exhibition space for a permanent exhibit as well as for works of art that periodically change, all of which deal with various narratives, democratic values, and social issues.
“The Third Dimension” is a center for an experiential, educational encounter with a place, its people, and its stories. It emphasizes art as a central instrument for bonding between people and cultures.
The Center operates in four clusters:
Experiential tours in Haifa: an introduction to the “Haifa Model,” which offers an alternative way of existing in a shared space that emphasizes mutual respect and legitimacy for the diversity of the other. The participants will meet with various Haifa populaces which represent the wealth of cultures and lifestyles in Israel. They are intended for a broad range of age groups (children, youth, and adults). These tours will expose the participants to the cultural diversity of the city and the “secret” of coexistence in Haifa.
Development of cultural competence skills: Organizations and office-holders in the public sector (education, police, health, etc.) and in the business sector are offeredworkshops to develop the capability to communicate and provide professional, fair, and effective service to people and communities from differing cultures.
“Intercultural Encounter Museum”: Workshops and seminars are provided for all ages and use interactive art presentations to inspire a discourse on the content of the intercultural encounter.
Consultation: support is given to groups working towards creating significant change in Haifa and Israel. As part of a series of visits from various organizations, we offer “toolkits for continuing the work” to reinforce the process of perception change and empower the professional leadership within the organization.
“The Third Dimension” will be based on the extensive knowledge and experience of the two organizations that have joined together to establish it: Beit HaGefen and Ma’arag (“fabric” in Hebrew), a non-profit association with a great deal of knowledge and experience in social development and intercultural work among thousands of pupils, teachers, police officers, hospital staff, and others. “The Third Dimension” uses a narrative approach to facilitate a creative dialogue and develops tools for creating attentiveness for all the stories within the shared space.