Circus in the Community - Our Projects
The Israel Circus School embraces a social vision that is rooted in our commitment towards the community. Our Circus in the Community projects focus on two main areas: providing life-coping skills for Youth at Risk, and building a bridge of trust and creativity between Arab and Jewish youth.
Activities for Youth at Risk
Many studies point to the significant contribution of circus skills to the areas of education and special education. These skills help to develop athletic and artistic values, and assist in improving communication skills, concentration, coordination and self-confidence. All of these provide youth at risk with tools that help them cope with social and individual challenges, both physically and emotionally.
Israel teenagers at risk that are given the opportunity to try juggling or aerial acrobatics at the Israel Circus School develop impressive abilities, which significantly contribute to their sense of self-worth. Moreover, the danger inherent in circus skills obliges them to set limits for themselves, so as to protect their bodies from injuries. However, the chief advantage that accompanies the acquisition of circus skills is the development of communication skills and sensitivity towards others. The youth become close to their fellow gymnasts that are training next to them, and adopt values such as mutual respect, acceptance and trust. They combine their efforts as a group in a joint performance, supporting and encouraging each other to put forth their best effort and not give up. Often they are able to present themselves in a positive light to the community that they live in, as performing artists that spread smiles.
The Israel Circus School ‘s circus programs for Youth at Risk take place in cooperation with the Youth Protection Authority ("Hasut Hanoar"), a branch of remedial services within the Israel Ministry of Social Welfare.
Bridge Between Cultures
The Israel Circus School has created a space for multicultural activities for youth, that transcends the different nationalities, religions, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds that are found in Israeli society, and in particular, those that usually separate Arab and Jewish teenagers.
Circus is a non-verbal art form that can overcome the barrier of language, while simultaneously reducing fears and building trust. The joint physical activities necessitate mutual acquaintance and trust, and in a human pyramid everyone is equal, without differences of race or religion. Moreover, acrobats that work with each other must learn to know and trust one another.
Throughout the school year, we hold a series of sessions with Arab and Jewish participants, some of which take place on site at our circus center and some held at various schools, with the objective of reinforcing the relationships between them through joint artistic activities. When teenagers from different backgrounds learn to breathe fire together, they can spread a light that lightens the darkness of ignorance separating us. Often, barriers are eroded and stereotypes disappear, and the activities experienced together cement successful and meaningful personal relationships.
The Israel Circus School cooperates with the following non-profit organizations that work towards co-existence: