Archive for April, 2015

0202 – Promoting Tolerance by Increasing Knowledge

April 7th, 2015

0202 Facebook Page

We recently wrote about our redoubled efforts, together with the Jerusalem Foundation and other partners, to help grassroots activists in fighting racism and promoting tolerance in Jerusalem. And believe it or not, just a week after our second meeting for activists, one of these initiatives has already been successfully launched – 0202. 0202 is a brand-new Facebook page that translates Arabic-language news items about East Jerusalem into Hebrew. It seeks to give Hebrew-speakers a peek into everyday life in East Jerusalem, through the eyes of the Palestinian residents.

In less than a day, the page garnered over 1,000 likes! Three weeks later, we celebrated 2020 likes to 0202….

How did the page come about? During the summer months and into the fall, when the situation in East Jerusalem was particularly volatile, it seemed to many activists that the lack of knowledge and understanding of East Jerusalem  is an important obstacle to tolerance. Here and there, there were efforts to translate important news items from different major East Jerusalem pages, and the very positive feedback showed that this is indeed a real need.

In mid-November, Michal Shilor, one of the activists, suggested starting such a page. It took a few months, and with a bit of help from us and many others, she managed to create an activist-based mini-news-agency that emphasizes the re-humanization of East Jerusalem Palestinians. It is very hard to make such a dream come true, and it is harder to maintain it afterwards, and we are there with this committed group to help.

In the few days since it’s been up, 0202 has covered a wide range of subjects – from reports of police activity in Issawiya to activities at the Palestinian Heritage Museum to the filming of new television programs.

In fact, 0202 becomes fast an important source for main-stream press, as can be seen in April 7, 2015 Haaretz citation: “This Sharia decision (that was first published in hebrew on 0202 Facebook page)…” .

Haaretz Newspaper - citation of Page 0202

Haaretz Newspaper – citation of Page 0202

We wish all those involved in 0202 the best of luck, and look forward to further posts.

Happy Passover – Happy Easter – JICC Information Sheets from the Cultural Competency Desk

April 6th, 2015

Pesach Kasher ve’Sameach and Happy Easter! May you never need medical care, but if you do, in Israel, we at the Jerusalem Intercultural Center (JICC) are making sure that medical staff at hospitals as well as other health care frameworks are aware of your Jewish, Christian or Muslim holidays . Since 2013 we have been writing one-page information sheets on different customs and traditions of a wide range of religious and cultural holidays (and wrote about it here and here) and have continued to refine and expand their scope.  Today this includes not only the “major” holidays of the three Abrahamic religions, such as Yom Kippur, Passover, Christmas, Easter, Ramadan, Eid el-Adha, but also holidays celebrated by particular cultural groups, such as Sigd for Jews of Ethiopian origin, and Novi Gud, celebrated by residents from the former Soviet Union, and Eid a-Nabi SNabi Shu’ayb for the Druze. In all, there are over 20 information sheets that were written or revised in the past year. Here is the full list, in Hebrew.

Nabi Shu'ayb Druze Holiday Sheet

Nabi Shu’ayb Druze Holiday Sheet

These information sheets have a huge audience. They are distributed on a national level, not only to clinics, hospitals and other health care institutions, but they are also adapted and sent to welfare agencies and organizations as well. We see this as one more step in increasing understanding and opening communication lines of communications between the widely diverse populations in Jerusalem and Israel.