Blog Category: ‘Attaa’

2016 – What a Year!

January 25th, 2017

As we jump head-first into 2017, we wanted to take a minute to reflect on 2016, and what a year it’s been! Overall, a year of unprecedented growth and development, and we can’t wait to get started in 2017. Here are some highlights:

Cultural Competence

  • The Jerusalem as a Culturally Competent City conference in May 2016, organized jointly by the JICC and the Jerusalem Foundation as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, was a turning point for the JICC. Attended by hundreds of professionals, from Jerusalem and throughout Israel, the conference presented strides that have been made over the past 10 years, and set the stage for the next step of meeting diverse residents’ diverse needs, in all areas of life.
  • Continued work in the health care system, in Jerusalem and as a model throughout Israel, training in-house coordinators and facilitators to increase sustainability and adaptability within individual institutions. For the first time, work included a national network of hospitals and clinics.
  • Expansive work in the Israel Police Force, reaching most police stations and present and future commanding officials, and continuing to expand training in 2017.
  • Groundbreaking work with the National Insurance Institute (NII), East Jerusalem branch, the first NII branch in the country to undergo a process of cultural competence.
  • In the Jerusalem Municipality, the entire Community Services Administration, which includes welfare, public health, immigrant absorption, and more, is undergoing training, as well as the Auditor’s Office which will be able to look at the entire Municipality’s operations through the prism of cultural competency and sensitivity.
  • Santé Israël, the first web site to make Israel’s health care system accessible to French speakers, celebrated its first birthday. 
Ms. Uzma Shakir, Keynote Speaker

Ms. Uzma Shakir, Keynote Speaker, Jerusalem as a Culturally Competent City conference

Paramedical Professionals

Making healthcare practitioner exams accessible to Arab residents of east Jerusalem

2016 was an important year for us to take stock of the past four years of this program. Our conclusions show that:

  • The number of certified Arab paramedical professionals in East Jerusalem has grown significantly.
  • The program has enabled the JICC to more clearly map the situation of different paramedical professions in east Jerusalem, contributing to the knowledge of training in the Jerusalem area.
  • The awareness both among Palestinian institutes of higher education and health care institutions in east Jerusalem as well as Israeli Ministry of Health has been raised significantly.
  • A large window of opportunity for Arab women paramedical professionals to improve economic opportunities has been opened.

Nurses studying to pass their Israeli certification examinations

Talking Coexistence – Arabic Language Instruction

Both 2015 – 2016 and 2016 – 2017 broke enrollment records. In 2015-16 there were 180 students in 12 classes, over 5 levels. In 2016-2017, there are 240 students in 16 classes, also over 5 levels. We also held several cultural evenings to enrich students’ understanding of Arabic culture. Here’s a short video about the program:

Atta’a Assistance Center for the Rights of East Jerusalem Residents

The Atta’a Center has been in existence since 2004, and in 2015 it came under the aegis of the JICC. In 2016 we have seen:

  • 70% growth in number of requests
  • Ballooning of its Facebook page to over 7,100 ‘likes,’ and launching of its web site.
  • Publication of a widely-referenced booklet on the Ministry of Interior
  • Expansion of network of partners in action, both from NGO’s and advocacy groups as well as municipal and government agencies.

Atta’a Presenting workshops

MiniActive for Arab Residents of East Jerusalem

  • For the first time ever, MiniActive activities led to a change in policy. After months of campaigning, MiniActive led the way toward the addition of 3 million NIS to the annual municipal sanitation budget for east Jerusalem, and 16 million NIS for the purchase of additional equipment for sanitation. As a result of this work, the entire Municipality is focusing their attention on garbage collection throughout
  • In January 2016, MiniActive organized the first ever Arabic language Horticulture Therapy course in Jerusalem for special education teachers, in cooperation with the David Yellin Academic College of Education.
  • Bus stops in entire neighborhoods were repaired and replaced, thanks to MiniActive.
  • 210 women – including 50 youth – are studying Hebrew through a volunteer NGO to improve the effectivity of their activism. This is a record-breaking number, which broke last year’s record of 150 women.
  • In MiniActive Youth for the Environment, teenage girls learn leadership skills while participating in major environment-improving public art and other projects in neighborhoods throughout east Jerusalem.
  • MiniActive became a model for international work, hosting a delegation that works with the Roma population in the Czech Republic in November 2016.

Take a look at MiniActive’s own year in review. It’s pretty easy to understand, even if you don’t know Arabic:

Emergency Readiness Networks

In 2016 we expanded the network to include 14 communities throughout Jerusalem. In addition to training new volunteers, the program included training of existing networks to maintain ability to respond and increase sustainability.

Planning on map

Planning strategy on map

Multicultural Participatory Democracy

In 2016 we mentored community center staffs in Gilo, Kiryat Menachem, Givat Messuah, Baka’a and south Talpiot. For the first time, residents – especially the Ethiopian community in Kiryat Menachem and the highly diverse community of south Talpiot –felt that they were able to influence issues that affected their everyday lives. Training included using Facebook as a community-building tool key to increasing residents’ engagement in community processes.

Writing and submitting objections

Writing and submitting objections in Gilo

Promoting Tolerance in the Public Sphere

Since the summer of 2014 the JICC have been at the forefront of promoting tolerance in Jerusalem. 2016 accomplishments include:

  • A Different Day in Jerusalem celebrated Jerusalem’s diversity through 50 coordinated events, affecting tens of thousands of people on Jerusalem Day. It was the first time such a broad effort has been made to celebrate Jerusalem’s diversity.
  • JICC-mentored Speaking in the Square and other tolerance initiatives that came in their wake led to the redesigning of Zion Square, to be called Tolerance Square. The initiative’s Effective Dialogue methodology spread, and is now being presented in national frameworks.
  • 0202-Points of View from Jerusalem are now liked by nearly 80,000 people and reach some 150,000 people weekly on Facebook and the Internet. The network now includes pages that translate from Arabic to Hebrew, from Arabic to English and one which brings news from the Ultra-Orthodox world to the awareness of the general population.
  • The JICC was asked to be one of the leading organizations in the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations to Promote Tolerance, formed by the Center for Young Adults and the Municipality’s Young Authority.
  • The JICC is continuing to develop Tolerance Network Teams (TNT’s), a series of neighborhood-based and theme-based grassroots initiatives that seek to advance tolerance in Jerusalem.
Elhanan Miller Haaretz article

Haaretz article about A Different Day in Jerusalem

Window to Mount Zion

Since October 2015, Window to Mount Zion has bridged inter-religious and inter-community gaps that have festered between Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups for centuries. As a result of its activity over the past year:

  • In unheard-of cooperation, religious Jewish and Christian groups have issued joint statements condemning hate crimes on Mount Zion.
  • Christian ceremonies, which in the past have caused inter-religious tension, proceeded without incident.
  • The celebration of Christian and Jewish holidays that coincided simultaneously, which in the past had been the source of conflict and tension, also proceeded smoothly.
Window to Mount Zion volunteers

Window to Mount Zion volunteers

Asylum Seekers

The JICC, together with the Jerusalem Municipality, sponsor the only paid public servant in Israel to help asylum seekers, outside of Tel Aviv. We are also part of a consortium of organizations and agencies that seek to meet the needs of asylum seekers living in the city.

Tour of Nahlaot neighborhood

Families of asylum seekers on tour of Nahlaot neighborhood

Thank You!

Many many thanks go out to our partners in action and our donors. You can read about our activities in more detail either by clicking on the hyperlinks above, or by clicking here.

Looking forward to making 2017 even better!

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Atta’a – Rights Workshops throughout East Jerusalem

January 6th, 2017

Rights, laws and regulations – on health care, welfare, disability, residency status – a long list of rules, always in Hebrew, always changing.

Not all the changes are in residents’ favor. However, our job – or Atta’a’s job – is not to judge, but to explain. Explain how the new rules and regulations are different than what people were used to. How these changes can affect people’s everyday lives. And what can be done and to whom to turn to try and right injustices. Often, much can be cleared up with explanations in non-legal language, or with help in filling out forms and collecting documentation.

Daud, Atta'a Director, in a workshop

Daud, Atta’a Director, in a workshop

Toward that goal, Atta’a holds a range of public community workshops on a variety of subjects, to help explain these new rights and regulations. One such workshop was held on last Thursday, December 29 in the Shuafat Refugee Camp, and another was recently held at the new community center in Al-Thori (Abu Tor, on December 5). There have recently been changes regarding regulations of Israeli medical care, based on residency status. The new law requires any non-Israeli citizen who is married to someone with residency status to pay a one-time fee (nearly 8,000 NIS), plus several hundred shekels each month – per person – in order to qualify for medical insurance. For those who qualify for national health insurance coverage (citizens and permanent residents), monthly fees are figured as a percentage of one monthly paycheck, and come to 2-300 NIS per month. This also includes children. Co-payments are taken on a per-use basis.

Important information in the workshop

Important information in the workshop in A-Thori

There are many aspects to the law that are creating much confusion, and Atta’a is working with a number of NGO’s to clarify and help residents. For example, the sum asked of non-Israelis (including those from the West Bank and Gaza) married to those with resident status (nearly all the cases in East Jerusalem) is much higher than that asked by those married to Israeli citizens. This was brought to the attention of the courts, who froze the law, making the higher payments unnecessary until the law is un-frozen. But Atta’a has heard of many cases in which HMO’s still require these payments. Atta’a is working with another organization to establish a special cases committee, for those who are unable to pay the new law’s exorbitant fees, since all costs are per person and the average salary is 4-5,000 NIS per month.

Other times, issues require more intensive care. Atta’a’s volunteers, who are often also lawyers, are on hand when necessary to help residents through the process of clarifying a vast range of issues from a legal standpoint. And when relevant, the volunteers refer these cases to other groups or organizations.We hope and anticipate that this will make a difference in people’s lives.

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

 

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Atta’a 2016 – 70% Increase in Cases Over 2015!

December 25th, 2016

Well, the numbers are in – as of today, in 2016, Atta’a Assistance Center for the Rights of East Jerusalem Residents took care of 859 cases, nearly 70% more than in 2015! Many of these came from Facebook (232), and the remainder came from visits to the 3 drop-in stations throughout East Jerusalem – Beit Hanina, Wadi Joz and Sur Baher.

At a workshop in Sur Baher

At a workshop in Sur Baher

But the more interesting story is how they got the word out. A lot of the work was canvassing community meetings throughout East Jerusalem, at different community centers such as Issawiya, Wadi Joz and Abna al-Quds in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. They also distributed printed thousands of flyers and distributed them at key locations – the different community centers, Bituach Leumi and Ministry of Interior, East Jerusalem Branches, and more.

This year they also renewed the Atta’a Facebook page, posting updates regularly. To date, the page has over 7,400 likes, and is growing. This year, Atta’a also launched its Internet site, which boasts 500 entrances to the site, 400 of them to its new booklet on rights of East Jerusalem Palestinians at the Ministry of  Interior. Want to read more? We wrote about these accomplishments here and here on our blog.

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its ongoing support of this project.

 

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Atta’a – Helping Individuals, Helping Groups Obtain Health Care Rights

August 4th, 2016

A Palestinian woman recently approached the Atta’a Assistance Center for the Rights of East Jerusalem Residents with a problem. She was divorced, and had a very sick child who had been given medication that cost 1,200 NIS per month. With assistance from Atta’a volunteers, she submitted a special form available from the Ministry of Health that asked for a special discount on the medication. Her request was approved – now she receives an 80% (!) discount on this child’s medication.

This story is just one of many that Atta’a’s 15 volunteers encounter on a regular basis in one of their three help centers that cover all Jerusalem: Wadi Joz, Sur Baher and their main center in Beit Hanina.

Atta'a drop-in center in action

Atta’a drop-in center in action

In addition to individual consultation, Atta’a also provides group workshops on realizing rights, in health care, vis-a-vis the National Insurance Institute, and vis-a-vis the Ministry of the Interior. For example, on July 25, Daud our Atta’a director presented a workshop on rights available from the National Insurance Institute at a conference on type 1 diabetes for residents from East Jerusalem, which was held in cooperation with Magen David Adom. Other workshops covered family re-unification processes, together with the welfare office in Shuafat.

In order to drive up participation they’ve distributed flyers throughout East Jerusalem, such as in the Old City, Wadi Joz, Issawiya, Sur Baher, Silwan, Abu Tor, Ras el-Amud, A-Tur and the Shuafat Refugee Camp. They have also distributed flyers in front of the offices of the National Insurance Institute and the Ministry of the Interior.

Atta'a flyer

Atta’a flyer

Soon we’ll have a new handbook out, on accessibility rights. Stay tuned!

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their continued support of this program.

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MiniActive Event for Families

April 12th, 2016

On March 29 MiniActive held an event for the women and their families. This year, there were 350 women at the event, which was held at the Abnaa al-Quds Community Center in the Muslim Quarter. Program director Intisar Qaraeen praised the women’s accomplishments and encouraged them to continue their amazing work. She later presented cluster coordinators with certificates of appreciation. They are the ones who keep pushing the program forward in the neighborhoods – congratulations to all!

The program also featured a Debka traditional dance performance by young women.

Dancers in traditional garb

Dancers in traditional garb

There was also a lecture by our own Atta’a Center for Rights Realization for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Daud Alian, Attaa director introduced the volunteer-based service, which helps Palestinian resident obtain their legal rights and benefits, and gave a few examples of rights that can be claimed from the National Insurance Institute or the Ministry of the Interior.

Atta'a lecture

Atta’a lecture

A third highlight was a lecture on religion. The lecturer discussed a number of passages from the Quran – from the commandment to take care of the environment, to the bases of faith, to the importance of women as educators in the family. He spoke about the importance of keeping personal as well as public space clean and well-preserved as an integral part of the Islamic faith.

This annual event seeks to thank the women and their families for their hard work and persistence throughout the year. Now it’s our turn – thank you, shukran!

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Atta’a – Helping Palestinian Residents of East Jerusalem Obtain their Rights

April 12th, 2016

‘Awareness is the first step toward change,’ is the adage that guides Atta’a, the Center for Rights Realization for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Atta’a was founded in 2005, and recently came under our aegis. There is much work to be done, and we’re excited to build on the hard work and network that have been put into establishing the rights center.

Over the past few months Atta’a has been busy building its infrastructure. First there was the web site (in Arabic):

Attaa screen shot

Attaa screen shot

The Facebook Page (also in Arabic) has grown to more than 1,400 likes in the past four months alone:

A few weeks ago we told you here about the brochure that they published. And more are on the way.

Cover of rights booklet

Cover of rights booklet

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their continued support of this program.

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New Rights Booklet for Arab residents of East Jerusalem from Atta’a

March 12th, 2016

‘Awareness is the first step toward change,’ is the adage that guides Atta’a, the Center for Rights Realization for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Atta’a was founded in 2005, and recently came under our aegis.

And now they’ve published a booklet on the rights of East Jerusalem Palestinians at the Ministry of  Interior. It goes over the different types of forms that exist, the different legal definitions of residency (most of the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are permanent residents and not Israeli citizens!), navigating the Israeli complex bureaucracy when it gets to specific statuses, the rights of the couple and the kids after marriage of a permanent resident to a Palestinian from the West Bank, etc.

Cover of rights booklet

Cover of rights booklet

The publishing of this booklet was cross-posted on the English 0202-A View from East Jerusalem Facebook page.

A second booklet is in the works – about physical accessibility. It will cover what a person’s rights are, how to access them, which forms are necessary, which offices are responsible, and more. Stay tuned!

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their continued support of this program.

 

 

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