NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- The deal now in place between the Western Galilee College in northern Israel and Westminster comes with pledges of financial support. Both Western Galilee and Westminster College have pledged to commit $250,000 from each institution to support the mission of multicultural research and scholarship between the schools. The combined half a million dollar financial commitment means both sides are invested in exchanging faculty and students on a regular basis.
Dr. Gideon Fishman, president of Western Galilee, says this will allow faculty from the two schools to exchange teaching positions for entire semesters enriching learning and research.
"Westminster faculty will be able to bring groups of students to the region," Fishman said. "We are going to design a curriculum for which students can study for instance comparative religion or multiculturalism and be exposed to this very interesting and very delicate form of relationships between Jews and Arabs and Druze and Christians and Muslims.
Fishman indicated Westminster's honors program may be an appropriate place to start such a curriculum when a student enters the third year of the program.
Westminser president Dr. Richard Dorman says Western Galilee and Westminster's deal underwrites the exchange of faculty and students by creating permanent endowments to pay for the program.
"The unique part of this agreement is the part that both schools is willing to each secure a quarter million dollars for a permanent endowment which will provide permanency to this relationship," Dorman said. "We want to maintain the relationship between the two institutions. The best way to do that is to ensure a funding stream for each school to exchange faculty and students."
Some 16 faculty members made up of men and women representing the diversity of the Western Galilee campus population departed Westminster on Thursday. They participated in a week-long conference where they teamed up with Westminster faculty to create research partnerships. This was the first time Westminster hosted the workshop now in its third year. Now the collaborations will continue officially as both schools invest people and money into this ongoing partnership.
WCN 24/7's Alyssa Hanna talked with Dr. Dorman and Dr. Fishman in the WCN television studios as they offered their perspectives in the significance of this agreement.
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