What is Baraka?
The Baraka Community is a group of diverse people – students, alumni, and teachers – who are interested in their own personal development, as well as that of the school, and are keen to experience living in a community. Being a member of the community means spending ten months living, working, and growing together through projects and relationships. The concept comes from our belief that life in a community helps us to become more wholesome, tougher, more real, and human (and thus answering the four challenges of liquid modernity as defined by sociologist Zygmunt Bauman.) “Baraka” in Hebrew and Arabic means “blessing”. Members of the community aspire to receive blessing and be a blessing to each other and to the broader environment.
Why are we doing this?
We are doing our best to develop young people in a way that lets them live their lives with a purpose, oriented on relationships, and with a sense of responsibility for their own journeys in life and the surroundings they live in. We believe it is crucial in a healthy society for its members to develop their characters, to join in communities that are critically aware of their context, and are trying to change it for the better. The Baraka community is a specific way we can implement the mission of the C. S. Lewis High School:
“We educate and lead every student
to be able to think creatively and critically,
to take responsibility for themselves, others, and the world,
and to have the ability to create communities
in the spirit of Christian biblical values.“
- I - YOU relationship (contrasted to I - it)
- Safe space – opportunity to ask honest questions
- Loyalty/commitment – to the community and to oneself
- Hospitality – receiving through giving
- D3 - body, mind and soul
What are the goals of Baraka?
The goals of the community are twofold: inside the community and within the broader environment of the C.S.Lewis High School.
Firstly, we we see community as a means of building relationships and developing its members through the reflecting about of one’s life, environment, and work for others (service learning). Those who understand themselves and their surroundings can discover a meaningful use for their potential (vocation), which can help turn their focus towards others for the next 50 years of their lives.
Secondly, the goals of Baraka are bound to the needs of Bilgym. Our goal is to strengthen the community-focused characteristic of the school through building relationships with younger students and through supporting the formal and non-formal activities of the school. Additionally, Baraka members might help relationally strengthen the newly-established program of inclusion at the school and the activities of Bilgym towards the outside world (e.g. through the charity-program).