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Shutafut Organizations: Shared Society

“Shared Society” is the popular term in Israel for efforts to create and strengthen cross-cultural and interreligious civic life in Israel. There are dozens of civic and national organizations deeply immersed in the work of building understanding, co-existence, and mutual respect between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian citizens of Israel, Bedouin, Druze, and other minority groups. These groups are deeply committed to protecting and strengthening Israeli democracy and to nurturing a national culture of civility, freedom, and respect for diversity. We hope you’ll explore some of these organizations that your community may want to follow, contact, or partner with.

 


AJEEC-NISPED

Logo reading Ajeec Nisped: A Tradition of Innovation
Founded in 2000, AJEEC-NISPED promotes equality, empowerment, and cooperation for the Negev Bedouin community, other populations across Israel, and around the world. The organization primarily works with Israel’s Arab population, who face steep challenges to social and economic integration.

The organization operates programming in three Strategic Directions:

  • Youth and Leadership Development: AJEEC is home to the first and largest Arab youth organization (Shabibat AJEEC) with around 6,000 members around Israel. In addition, AJEEC operated Gap Year programming for around 500 youth every year; who gather to improve their academic skills, learn how to effectively integrate into academia and employment, and who become leaders for their communities. 
  • Arab-Jewish Partnership: AJEEC is implementing a programming continuum for Shared Society programming in the Israeli education system. The goal is to expand the breadth of the programming to include kindergarten through 12th grade and currently engages over 300 4th-12th grade students. The organization also operates an Arab-Jewish Gap Year in three locations around Israel, empowering the next generation as shared society builders. 
  • Community Resilience: There are a great number of factors that contribute to resilience, including health, economic development, and emergency. AJEEC operates a wide array of resilience programming including, but not limited to: Emergency response teams and an ambulance service in the Bedouin unrecognized villages; social businesses; early childhood nurseries and research; and many more. 

Additional Info

volunteers in face masks posing for a group photo
AJEEC has been embarking on an extensive expansion program for the past 6 years. This includes a rigorous process of modelizing successful programs and scaling these models out to new locations and communities. Where AJEEC’s added value lies is in successful expansions and maintenance of the integrity of the program without losing the essential local context. Staff members are hired from within the communities they serve, each expansion is accompanied by a new local partner organization, and evaluations regularly monitor how best to mediate between the various moving parts of the southern-based headquarters. 

How can Reconstructionists and others engage with the organization either while in Israel or abroad?

Interested parties are invited to reach out to AJEEC’s Resource Development contact person, Alexa Goldstein, who can be most easily reached by email. In addition, all potential partners may reach out via the website for information and donations. 

 

Direct Contact Information

resdevelop1@a-n.org.il

 

 


The Sulha Peace Project

Logo  of Sulha Peace Project with stylized Jewish star, cross, crescent moon, and dove
The Sulha operates with the belief that any political solution to the conflict in our region must include a preparation of the hearts of those who live here.  Sulha employs Listening Circles, music, movement/dance, prayer — often around a fire or communally lit candles, shared meals, and any tool that will bring about a connection and a deepening of trust. What distinguishes the Listening Circles from dialogue groups is that we intentionally do not invite political opinions, but rather the sharing of personal experiences.  We elicit heart-sharing in response to broad questions about fears and hopes, and specific questions such as: “What from your family and culture do you want to pass on to the next generation, and what do you want to refrain from passing on?”

How can Reconstructionists and others engage with the organization either while in Israel or abroad?

 1) Donate,  2) Join our in-person gatherings when you visit I-P,  3) follow us on our website (in the process of being overhauled) and Facebook page.   

Direct Contact Information

 

Additional Info

Our new Director, Michal Talya, a founder of the annual Nakba-Atzmaut gathering that has taken place for 19 years, is about to be ordained as a rabbi by HUC-Israel.  

Dr Melila Hellner-Eshed, renowned teacher of Kabbalah at Hebrew University and Hartman Institute, is a long-time Steering Committee member (for at least 15 years). 

Rabbi Amita Jarmon, a 2004 RRC graduate, has been on the Steering Committee for a decade.  

The Steering Committee includes Palestinians from Jerusalem, Jericho, Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOn6pS5SddQ&t=155s

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1840189936043875

 


The Hinam Center for Social Tolerance

Logo of Hinam Center for Social Tolerance
The center promotes tolerance through meaningful acquaintance with those who are different, creating an empathic and humane connection between people with diverse identities, outlooks, and lifestyles. The center has two types of programs, (1) exchanges between communities, in which participants live for a defined period of time within different communities in Israeli society and (2) a beit midrash for social tolerance in the village of Abu Ghosh, where any person of any identity is invited to learn or to teach, and through such learning, deep acquaintance is fostered. 

How can Reconstructionists and others engage with the organization either while in Israel or abroad?

mixed group of Arab and Jewish men and women cooking together
Participants from Israel are invited to participate in the Beit Midrash study groups and in other activities that take place there. Participants from outside Israel are invited to visit the center in Abu Ghosh to learn about Hinam’s approach and meet members of Arab society in a close and unmediated way.

Direct Contact Information

CEO Yaron Kanner: yaronkanner@gmail.com  05-05955096

 

Additional Information

It is possible to be a guest during a study workshop in our Beit Midrash for a conversation, a meal, a visit to a family home in the village, or other relevant activity.

The Reconstructionist Network