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  • Viva Sarah Press

On the podium as an educational clown

So, there I was, moderating and speaking on a panel about innovation at the International Lion of Judah Conference in Hollywood, Florida and my fellow panelists and I knew that the last topic I was going to introduce could be a hit or miss with the audience.

Viva Sarah Press, Inbal Arieli, Jessica Abo at Lion of Judah Conference, Florida, 2019.

I regularly give talks about innovation and creativity taking place in Israel and how it benefits the global community. But this time, I was asked to talk about the personal innovation in my life.

That meant that my educational clowning activities would get the stage.

The panel discussion began with an overview of who we are – Jessica Abo, a journalist/author/speaker, Inbal Arieli, a serial entrepreneur/author/speaker and myself, speaker/journalist/therapeutic clown.

We then spoke about how we innovate in our careers, how our mistakes and struggles can be used to steer us to strengths and successes, and the importance of networks and mentors.

The last part of our panel was about what happens when we bring our networks and innovation together, what groundbreaking ideas or results can then blossom.

For me, speaking about Israel’s creativity and where it can be seen in the world is a personal mission. I am not sponsored by anyone. I give these talks because I feel it is important to hear the stories of modern day Israel. I live in Israel. I like sharing the amazing stories coming out of this little country.

Oshi the clown with pupils at the Peres elementary school in Rosh Haayin, Israel. 2019.

One of the stories I’ve been telling this past year in this blog is the story of educational clowning. I’m one of the educational clowns in the initiative that is spearheaded by a medical clown of 15+ years. It is a pioneering, women-led initiative that is having a social impact on the educational arena.

Oshi the clown at the Peres elementary school in Israel.

When I began this blog, the reactions to what educational clowning is all about were mixed. With time, I was able to explain what the Educational Clowning initiative is all about – and, specifically, what I do – a bit better.

The topic of the panel was innovation. And my view is that educational clowning is innovative in the therapeutic and educational arenas.

After all, innovation is about doing something a bit differently and trying to create an impact while doing it. Innovation can be a new idea or creative thought, a new way of doing something or a better way of doing something.

It can be in high-tech. It can also be in philanthropy. It can be a social impact activity or educational one.

Oshi's clown fashion.

I try to be innovative in the way I present my talks. I also get to be innovative in my clowning.

Speaking about a topic is always different than writing about it. And I am truly thankful that the Lion of Judah women, who are extremely inspiring people in their own right, were so accepting to this new concept of therapeutic clowning and interested in hearing about what I do.

The reactions were overwhelmingly positive and heartwarming. In fact, some of the Lions even requested learning it for themselves. Wow.

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