Maayan Babustan believes in the necessity of bi-lingual and multicultural education that fosters shared culture and language, and sees this education as a bridge between the Arab and Jewish populations and as a pre-requisite for true friendship, trust, and peace.
Maayan Babustan, ("Ein Bustan", literally "Spring in the Garden") is an Arab-Jewish non-profit organization founded in 2005 by parents in the lower Galilee, and is situated in the Arab village Bosmat Tivon. Currently, Maayan Babustan runs a bi lingual preschool and kindergarten, for Arab and Jewish children. The children are from the Arab towns and villages Bosmat Tivon, Hilf, Zubidat, Ibtin and Zarzir, and from the Jewish town of Kiryat Tivon and its surroundings.
Maayan Babustan's unique bi-lingual programs are based on the educational concepts of Waldorf education, and on values of pluralism, tolerance, compassion and peace. It is the first and (so far) only multi-lingual and multi-cultural Waldorf kindergarten in Israel.
Emphasis is laid on humanistic and universal values. The activities in the kindergarten are based on the arts and traditional crafts, and are attuned to nature's seasons and to the holidays and customs of both cultures. The children participate in activities such as cooking and baking, music and movement, singing in two languages, story time and drama, nature walks, gardening, and more.
Attempts to establish a continuing framework, a bilingual elementary school, have so far failed, but will be resumed in the future. Aside from the educational programs, which are the primary project, Maayan Babustan initiates and encourages activities that promote dialogue and understanding between the surrounding Jewish and Arab communities, such as multi-cultural musical events, Arabic language lessons for adults, workshops, parent education lectures in Hebrew and Arabic, and more.