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Rutgers Law Partner with BGU’s Open Apartments

Rutgers Law Partner with BGU’s Open Apartments

March 28, 2012

Negev Development & Community Programs

New Jersey Jewish News — Eight Rutgers University law students with a focus on child rights and advocacy recently got a firsthand look at BGU’s unique Lillian and Larry Goodman Open Apartments Program, which aims to improve the quality of life for local Beer-Sheva residents.

rutgers-visit-1The Goodman Open Apartments Program represents the unique and immersive ways in which BGU has successfully formed relationships with vulnerable populations in the city of Beer-Sheva. Participating students live rent-free in the city’s under-resourced neighborhoods in exchange for their time and energy spent planning and running educational and recreational activities for the community.

The Rutgers group was especially interested in how BGU students executed this program so successfully, as they noticed the potential benefits of a program like this for their own community of Newark, New Jersey.

“We saw the same exact issues we see in towns like Newark,” said Joy Durham, one of the visiting law students. “This kind of service in the community should be part of the curriculum.”

This trip gave the law students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in Israeli life, as they were each hosted by BGU students. Many of them were pleasantly surprised at how diverse Israel is, noting that their previous experience of Jewish culture was limited to where they grew up.

“You can take courses anywhere,” said Prof. Richard Isralowitz, of BGU’s Charlotte B. and Jack J. Spitzer Department of Social Work. “The key element of this program is making connections with the community and learning from the charged experiences.” Isralowitz helped arrange the program, the latest in a series of exchanges between Rutgers and BGU begun in 2007.

Read more on the New Jersey Jewish News website>>