Thesis Title

Art Used as a Therapeutic Intervention Between Isralie Arabs and Jews

Graduation Date

Fall 1994

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


In response to the segregation, prejudice and animosity which exists between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel, centers of conflict resolution such as "Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam", "Givat Haviva" and "Interns For Peace" were founded to encourage rapprochement between these two ethnic groups. Among the many interventions being employed by these organizations is the use of art. This qualitative study, conducted in Israel at the three organizations cited above, describes how art is used as a therapeutic intervention between Israeli Arabs and Jews. It consists of interviews with facilitators and teachers on the one hand, and participants and students on the other. Results indicate that art is an important and helpful tool used in a wide variety of ways during the encounter workshops, art classes, and art exhibitions administered for Arab and Jewish participants by these organizations. From among the many ways in which art is used, 12 are identified in this study. For example, in one instance, art is used as a method by which to deepen the participant's familiarity with themselves and with the other side when art directives are employed to investigate issues such as fears, identity, stereotypes, and prejudice. The literature review includes historical background information on Arab/Jewish relations, as well as an overview of the conflict resolution strategies of the Israeli peace movement. Results of questions posed during the interviews and detailed descriptions of several art directives are documented, in addition to the experience of both Arab and Jewish facilitators and participants in using art in this type of integration.