Archive for May, 2016

Awareness-Raising Meeting for “Santé Israël” – Increasing French Speakers’ Accessibility to Healthcare

May 31st, 2016

Santé Israël” began as a web site, translating the Israeli healthcare system into French and making it accessible to French speakers in Israel. But equally important as the information is the community that uses it.

Discussing health under the stars

Discussing health under the stars

Since its launch in September 2015, “Santé Israël” has striven to build a community around the web site, with a Facebook page as well as community meetings. On Sunday, May 22, they took the meeting outside, at the Baka’a Community Center.

The meeting targeted at French speakers from all over Jerusalem and it was organized by the JICC, the Jerusalem Municipality – Municipal Absorption Authority and the Immigrant Coordinator of the Baka’a Community Center. Over 30 residents enjoyed the evening, which took place under the stars in the Community Center’s courtyard. The audience heard a lecture by endocrinologist Dr. Asher Corcos from the Clalit Health Services, who spoke about diabetes and how to prevent it. Our own Marie Avigad, Director of the Santé Israël Program, introduced the web site and showed the audience the different aspects of it.

More meetings in different neighborhoods are planned.

Here’s the Facebook post (in French):

Many thanks to the Fondation Pharmadom for their continued support of this program.

MiniActive Women Recharging Batteries in the North

May 30th, 2016

It’s important for us all to get away and have some fun once and awhile, so that we can set to our goals with recharged batteries when we get home.

Last week, on May 20, we took 54 MiniActive women on a trip up north. They picked cherries.

Picking cherries

Picking cherries

They had a picnic.

Group picture!

Group picture!

They went on a boat ride.

Different types of water activiteis

Different types of water activiteis

And the highlight – rafting on the Jordan river.

Out on the water

Out on the water

Almost as if we were there along with them…

Yikes! Hope no one falls in!

Yikes! Hope no one falls in!

Here’s the Facebook post in Arabic:

Read All About “A Different Day in Jerusalem” in the Jerusalem Post

May 29th, 2016

We’re working hard to bring you A Different Day in Jerusalem – an alternative way to celebrate Jerusalem – in just a few days. In the process we’ve found that the energy generated around the ever-growing list of events is truly inspiring! Looking at the list, there is a vastly broad spectrum of events – from tours of neighborhoods to inter-faith and intercultural events to events for families and discussions with Likkud politicians. Something for everyone.

Jerusalem Day 2016: A Different Day in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Day 2016: A Different Day in Jerusalem

As part of our preparations, this past Friday we were mentioned in the Jerusalem Post, in the In Jerusalem Magazine (Click here for the electronic version):

Jerusalem Post article

Jerusalem Post article

Many thanks to reporter Peggy Cidor on the mention. Looking forward to seeing you at the activities!

Many thanks to the UJA-Federation of New York for their support of this project.

Graduation of Horticulture Therapy Course

May 28th, 2016

It took months of planning, and then re-planning, but we are proud to announce the completion of the first Arabic-language horticulture therapy course in Jerusalem! The course took place in cooperation with the David Yellin Academic College of Education, as part of our MiniActive program. During the course of the program participants established and cultivated a beautiful garden at the school. Here’s how it looked in the beginning:

Learning Practical Part of Horticulture Therapy

Learning Practical Part of Horticulture Therapy

And this is how it looks today (or from March, after a lot of work had been done):

The garden in March

The garden in March

As we posted here, the course began in January of this year. It took place at the Al-Shuruk School for Special Needs in Beit Hanina. Here is everyone a few days ago, on May 25, at the end of the course. Congratulations!

Final picture of graduates

Final picture of graduates

Here’s the post from the MiniActive Facebook page (in Arabic):

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its continued support of the MiniActive program.

Pentecost on Mt. Zion from “Window to Mt. Zion”

May 22nd, 2016

This past Sunday, May 15, at the height of a typical May heat wave, was the Pentecost holiday on the Catholic calendar. Mt. Zion also felt the heat.

The Pentecost is one of the five times during the year when prayers are allowed in the Cenacle, or the Room of the Last Supper. According to Christian tradition, the Pentecost prayers commemorate the Holy Spirit entering Jesus’ apostles, and the birth of the first church.

Tradition claims that this event occurred in the Cenacle. On the Catholic calendar, that day was last Sunday. (Other Christian denominations have other dates for the holiday.)

Our volunteers from Window to Mt. Zion were there to help the police, and to speak with the large number of visitors, from different religions, who visited the area of David’s Tomb (and the Cenacle) on that day.

Window on Mt. Zion volunteers making sure events run smoothly

“Window to Mt. Zion” volunteers making sure events run smoothly

Alongside the Christian pilgrims was a group of Jewish protesters, who came to protest the Christian ceremony.

 

Most of the protesters did not disturb the ceremony, but one did try to disrupt the ceremony with a P/A system.

This person was arrested by the police, and the prayer ceremony was beautiful and impressive.

Making sure order is kept

Making sure order is kept

In the end what really bothered the pilgrims was the heat. Thanks again to the Window to Mt. Zion volunteers for helping to keep tensions from flaring along with the heat!

More about it on the Hebrew internet site of “Window to Mt. Zion”.

Here’s the Facebook post in Hebrew:

Toward an Alternative Jerusalem Day – Call for Programs on Diversity

May 18th, 2016

Jerusalem Day. This year it comes out on Sunday, June 5. What a better opportunity to discuss about the city we love? One day to reflect on its history, its peoples, its diversity. Well, not so easy….

As our own Michal Shilor recently said in the local Kol Ha’Ir newspaper, “Over the last few years we are witnessing more and more incidents of hate and violence on Jerusalem Day… I’m excited to be a part of making this city more tolerant …on this tension-filled day. Most of us are looking for a different way to mark Jerusalem Day, one that respects and marks Jerusalem’s political, social and cultural diversity.”

Jerusalem day is the most important time to emphasize the need for a more tolerant Jerusalem for all of the various identities and groups living here. This year, we will re-claim Jerusalem Day through a variety of activities designed to promote tolerance – “A Different Day in Jerusalem!

Jerusalem Day 2016: A Different Day in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Day 2016: A Different Day in Jerusalem

Together with a number of major partners in Jerusalem – This is Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Foundation, the UJA-Federation of New York, the Jerusalem Young Adults Center and more – we have lined up cross all sectors and groups – religious, secular, men, women, all languages and faiths, political right , left and center. The idea – to encourage a broad range of initiatives engaging a wide variety of populations and to flood the city with activities marking Jerusalem’s diversity.

Practicing effective dialogue in Zion Square

Practicing effective dialogue in Zion Square

Thus far we have a long list (more than 40), and the list is growing. Events will be taking place all over the city, from Saturday evening, June 4 through to Sunday evening, June 5. See the map of all the events:

Map of events

Map of events

To further these events and develop new initiatives, we held an Open Space Technology meeting on Sunday, May 15. Already-registered initiatives refined their programs, and new initiatives were presented.

Vandalized sign

Reporting vandalized sign to be fixed

In all, 10 initiatives were discussed. They included an inter-religious study session of religious texts, reporting defamed signs throughout the downtown Jerusalem area, educational activities in schools, an Effective Dialogue workshop at Zion Square, cleaning the roof of a multi-cultural art studio, panel discussions, and more. They were added to a growing list of events designed to highlight Jerusalem’s diversity. A full and updated list can be found on the event’s web page:

http://www.jerusalemtolerance.org

Different types of activities listed on the site

Different types of activities listed on the site

And here’s the Hebrew invite to the Open Space Technology Facebook event.

And here’s the Hebrew invite to the “A Different Day in Jerusalem” Facebook event.

MiniActive – Multigenerational Effort to Help Children with Cancer

May 13th, 2016

Put environmental work together with community empowerment in East Jerusalem and what do you get – a MiniActive project!

We described here the recent efforts by local Palestinian girls from East Jerusalem to improve the courtyard of one of the schools in Ras al-Amud, as well as an adjacent garbage receptacle.

Developing a new garden

New project: developing a new garden for children with cancer

We’ve also described here the first Arabic-language horticulture therapy class that is coming to a close.

Helping children with cancer

Mothers and children helping children with cancer

Now we’re marrying these two initiatives in a joint effort to fix up and renovate a garden for the al-Amal organization that helps children with cancer. There are 25 teenage girls participating, and an equal number of women and their children, both boys and girls.

Mothers, sons and daughters working together

Mothers, sons and daughters working together

They began in late April, and the project is expected to continue until the end of May.

Work in progress

Work in progress

It looks great so far – we’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Lessons in Tolerance from the Holocaust

May 10th, 2016

“It was very interesting, very emotional, very special. In my circle there was a very interesting discussion about the memory of the Holocaust for the different sectors, about questions that arise around the memory, and what motivated the participants to take part in this very special meeting.”

Diverse Yom Hashoah

Diverse Yom Hashoah

This is how one participant described her experience at the event, “The Holocaust – Does it Divide Us or Unite Us?” which was organized by the Rehavia Tolerance Team in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day that took place on Thursday, May 5. The event was held together with Plugta, an organization that seeks to delve into deeply divisive issues through learning, study and discussion. Here’s the post about the meeting on Facebook:

The evening began with an open discussion with Rabbi Moshe Grileck, editor of the Haredi newspaper, Hamishpacha, and continued with discussion circles between Haredi and secular residents.

In small groups as well

In small groups as well

The question that was central to the evening was – In light of the fact that we stood in the same line for the gas chambers because we were Jewish, is there a common line that we’re all waiting in now? In other words, what are the common denominators that we as a diverse society can act upon?

Thought-provoking questions, not just for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Rehavia Tolerance Team is part of a citywide network of Tolerance Teams that aim to promote pluralism and acceptance of the ‘other’ throughout Jerusalem, supported by the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jerusalem Foundation.

MiniActive – Getting to Know My City

May 7th, 2016

We’ve described here how we’ve arranged for the MiniActive women to take tours throughout the country, but it’s also important to see the special things close to home. That’s what we’ve been doing recently, with a number of tours of the Old City. Thus far we’ve planned 3 groups (2 have already gone) and a third will be going soon.

From all quarters in the Old City

From all quarters in the Old City

In all, about 100 women from the MiniActive network will have gone. They reach all areas of the Old City, mainly through the Ramparts Walk, which encircles the city walls. For some, it was the first time they’d ever been atop the Old City walls, and was a very special experience.

On tour with Anwar guiding

On tour with Anwar guiding

The guide was Dr. Anwar Ben Badis, who also serves as one of our ever-popular instructors in Arabic language. Thank you Anwar for your always-popular tours!

The Old City from a birds eye view

The Old City from a birds eye view

Here’s one of the posts from the MiniActive Facebook page:

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their ongoing support of MiniActive.

Tragedy in Shuafat Refugee Camp – Local ERN Leader Murdered

May 5th, 2016

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is how we’d like to remember local Emergency Readiness Network (ERN) leader Baha Nababte Naufal, who was murdered a few days ago in the Shuafat Refugee Camp.

Baha collecting blankets

Baha collecting blankets

This picture was taken from our blog post from January 2015, which described the fantastic collaborative efforts citywide (especially between MiniActive and the ERNs) to deal with severe cold waves and winter storms in December 2014 and January 2015.

Baha, leading the ERN

Leading the ERN

Indeed Baha was instrumental in establishing and leading the ERN in the Shuafat Refugee Camp and enabling local residents to care for their community, even in emergency situations.Here is how it is reported in 0202 – A View from East Jerusalem:

Baha Nababte was a prominent figure in the Shuafat refugee camp. We have been following the announcements of his murder since the early hours of the morning. Residents of the camp and of East Jerusalem mourn the loss of an important activist and local leader who worked tirelessly for the camp. Baha symbolized for many the hope for building a better civil society for Palestinians, and many see this killing as an attack on the residents themselves. The 0202 FB page has published a number of Baha’s posts, and even had the honor of hosting Baha in the “Leaving the Screen” celebration that was held to mark the first anniversary of the page.

At the 0202 anniversary celebration

At the 0202 anniversary celebration

Even his last moments were spent helping the community – he was killed while paving a road from the refugee camp to the neighboring village of Anata.

Here’s the post from 0202 that reports on his death:

And from his memorial page, translated to English by 0202, an article by Nir Hasson in Haaretz.