Blog Category: ‘Identity Groups and Conflicts’

The Little Prince – Dutifully Making Sure Jerusalem is Clean

March 13th, 2017

“It’s an issue of discipline,” the little prince explained afterward. “After we finish the morning washing up, we must dutifully make sure that the planet is clean.”

This passage comes from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Svetlana Fedotenko, founder of the Gonenim Music Center and a former participant in our leadership training seminar, who died last year, had been inspired by this passage, and dreamt for a long time to create a project that will put residents in charge of keeping our streets clean. (Click here for more about Svetlana).

We, too, were inspired by Svetlana’s dream, and last week we took some steps to make that dream come true.

Meeting for the Little Prince

Meeting for the Little Prince

We have seen how, of all subjects, garbage can be a unifying factor. We saw it when our MiniActive project banded together to fight for improved sanitation in East Jerusalem. We’ve seen it in the French Hill  – Issawiya area, where Israeli and Palestinian residents banded together to successfully fight the placement of a landfill in their backyards. We saw in city hall, how the one issue that brought secular and Haredi city council members together was the subject of garbage collection. (Below is more information about the French Hill – Issawiya situation)

We had the first organizing meeting last week. More than 25 active residents and community leaders – astoundingly, 1/3 Arab, 1/3 Haredi and 1/3 secular/religious (Don’t remember a time when that EVER happened on its own!) – met at the JICC. We heard about the current awful situation – in collection, in enforcement, in recycling, in teaching toward cleanliness and in teaching toward reduction of waste. We heard about fantastic initiatives that are already taking place, and concluded that such initiatives, together with mutual learning and assistance, can really change the city.

Another picture

Another picture

The group is already beginning to act, and we believe that in another month we’ll be able to invite anyone for whom this subject is close to his heart – residents, professional, community center, educational framework, environmental groups, NGO’s – to join this initiatives. In honor of Svetlana, we’re calling the program The Little Prince.

We’ll be waiting for you, after the morning washing up…

Print Friendly

0202 – It’s Been Two Years?!?!?

March 10th, 2017

Almost unbelievable, but true. 0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem, which we’ve been mentoring since the start as part of our effort to increase tolerance in Jerusalem, just celebrated its second birthday. And as a birthday present to itself, it made this great short movie:

In two short years, 0202 has grown from one page to three, now featuring Arabic news items translated into both Hebrew and English, as well as a special Ultra-Orthodox-to-general Jewish population page. These pages have together garnered 100,000 followers and reach an audience of 120,000 people per week in Israel and around the world.

0202 site-header – different glasses…..

0202 has impacted Jerusalem offline as well: In addition to having become a credible source of information for Jerusalem municipality members, Israeli journalists, and human rights organizations, we have actually been the cause for change in municipal actions in East Jerusalem.

We’d like to thank the Leichtag Foundation for its support of 0202, as well as the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jerusalem Foundation for their support of all our efforts to promote tolerance in Jerusalem.

And for our Arabic/Hebrew listeners, here is the video with subtitles in these languages:

 

Print Friendly

MiniActive Youth – Now Operating in Beit Safafa

March 4th, 2017

MiniActive Youth continues to make the streets of East Jerusalem brighter! This time, in Beit Safafa.

Making significant changes

Making significant changes

The painting project was carried out in cooperation with the local community center.

It was a real group effort

It was a real group effort

The activity took place on a sunny Sunday, February 26.

Looks amazing!

Looks amazing!

Neighborhood by neighborhood, improving the environment in East Jerusalem.

An accomplishment to be proud of

An accomplishment to be proud of

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

Here’s the Facebook post, in Arabic:

Print Friendly

Continuing Cultural Competency Training at the Municipal Welfare Department

March 3rd, 2017

As difficult as it is, one of our overarching goals is to make Jerusalem a culturally competent city. This also includes, of course, entire Jerusalem Municipality culturally competent. You can read here about our initial training for workers in the welfare department. We’ve just finished a Training the Trainers course for 10 Welfare Department workers, who join the 15  graduates of the first cohort, which took place in November – December of 2016. This 4-session course enabled participants to conduct cultural competency workshops for the entire Welfare Department.

Community Service Department

Community Service Department

Participants learned how to lead cultural competency training, including, of course, the main principles of cultural competency. We covered a number of cultural and ethnicity-based issues that welfare department professionals encounter on a regular basis. Through discussions and special videos that we developed for the course, we introduced a number of case studies. Participants then learned from these case studies and evaluated them so they could use them in their work.

They will also be in charge of assimilating these principles throughout the year.

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their continuing support of the cultural competency project in Jerusalem.
And here’s the post in Hebrew of the first meeting:

Print Friendly

Atta’a – Savings for Every Child – Including Those from East Jerusalem

March 1st, 2017

In January 2017 the National Insurance Institute began its Savings for Every Child program, intended to help close socio-economic gaps and benefit children throughout the country, regardless of cultural or ethnic group. Here is the formal information about it.

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are eligible for this program, like all other NII benefits, but few had chosen their means of signing up. (Only 10% had signed up, as opposed to 40-50% in other parts of the country, including Arab cities and villages.)

Until Atta’a came into the picture.

Atta’a has been doing a great number of activities specifically on the Savings for Every Child program, significantly increasing participation in East Jerusalem. These include:

A step-by-step guide on the Atta’a web site, explaining in plain Arabic, step-by-step, how to sign up for the program. (It is only possible to sign up on the Hebrew-language NII web site.) Periodic Facebook posts encourage residents to use the step-by-step guide and sign up. Here’s an example, from a Facebook post (click here for the link to the Atta’a web site):

A conference in the East Jerusalem branch of the National Insurance Institute, which took place on February 1. Atta’a brought the participants (60 – 70 in all), the NII brought the experts, who explained about the program and how to sign up, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the different options.

Daud, Atta'as Director, explaining about Atta'a and Savings for Every Child program

Daud, Atta’as Director, explaining about Atta’a and Savings for Every Child program

Atta’a has held additional community meetings to explain about the program, as well. For example, on February 13, there was a workshop for 30 mothers from the Old City at the Abna al-Quds Community Center.

In the community

In the community

We know that as a result of our activities to raise awareness, the instruction page has enjoyed thousands of hits. We’re sure that this extra income will make a significant difference for many Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. It is exactly for this reason that Atta’a was created, and we’re proud to be able to provide this and other services to empower local residents to access rights and services by themselves.

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its continued support of Atta’a.

Print Friendly

Speaking in the Square, Speaking Differently

February 28th, 2017

One of the best parts of our activities to promote tolerance in Jerusalem is seeing more and more collaborations to reach a common goal…

What a better way to round out a week of learning new communications skills to resolve conflict, than to practice them in Zion Square?

Speaking in the Square, Yerushalmim, 9Adar

Speaking in the Square, Yerushalmim, 9Adar

This past Thursday, February 23, Speaking in the Square teamed with the Yerushalmim Movement and the the Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict, which is operated by the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies together with Mosaica: The Center for Conflict Resolution by Agreement.

The event included discussion circles, which were moderated by a group of Haredim who lead cultural activities. The circle included some 60 secular, Haredi and everyone in between, discussing the hot topics of the day, such as Shabbat in Jerusalem, and more.

Debating in the Square

Debating in the Square

Open debates,

One of several topics

One of several topics

Spoken word, and Jerusalem’s fantastic diverse residents, who were happy to participate. All together, hundreds of people participated in the evening.

Many thanks to the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jerusalem Foundation for their continued support in helping us advance tolerance in Jerusalem!

Here’s Speaking in the Square’s Facebook post (in Hebrew), describing the event:

Print Friendly

MiniActive Youth – Getting to Know My City

February 26th, 2017

MiniActive – and MiniActive Youth – never cease to amaze us. You can read here and here and here about their most recent accomplishments.

Group picture on the walls

Group picture on the walls

Now, it’s time for us to show them how much we appreciate them.

Beautiful day for a beautiful walk

Beautiful day for a beautiful walk

Last week, on Sunday, February 19, they had a tour of the Old City by walking the walls.

What interesting things you can see from up here!

What interesting things you can see from up here!

Great views!

Like a picture postcard

Like a picture postcard

And lots of fun!

Resting on the grass

Resting on the grass

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

Here’s the Facebook post in Arabic:

Print Friendly

Experts in the Field, Writing the Manual – Cultural Competence in Community Work

February 24th, 2017

We’re proud to announce the publication of a new manual, Cultural Competence in Community Work, that was recently published under the auspices of the Israel Ministry of Welfare. Our director, Dr. Hagai Agmon-Snir and Dr. Orna Shemer co-authored the manual, which is available in Hebrew. You can download a copy here.

Cultural Competence in Community Work manual

Cultural Competence in Community Work manual

It seems to be the first extensive manual of cultural competence in community organizing / building / development, including some novel community approaches that are specifically useful for diverse communities. The 150-page manual covers a wide range of the many aspects associated with cultural competency and community work. It discusses the principles from 5 different angles – focusing on the personal – individual worker, on the professional, on the organization, on the community, on the public sphere. And it offers suggested methods in how to work with people from different cultures. Just like the Manual for Integrating Cultural Competency in Health Care Organizations that was published in 2015 (the Hebrew version is here), and the video units, we expect this to be the source of information for cultural competency in community work.

We would like to thank the Israel Ministry of Welfare and Bruce (Baruch) Sugarman, the Director of the Community Work Service at the Ministry, for publishing this manual and hope that it will be helpful to workers and activists in many communities.

Print Friendly

Raising Awareness – and Internet Site Clicks – with Santé Israël in Tel Aviv

February 19th, 2017

It was a pleasant surprise – 106 entrances to the Santé Israël French-language web site on Sunday, February 12, 2017. But why?

And then it became obvious….

Presenting Sante Israel in Tel Aviv

Presenting Santé Israël in Tel Aviv

Santé Israël’s director, Marie Avigad, had held a meeting with about 30 French-speaking new immigrants, organized by the immigrant absorption officials at the Tel Aviv municipality. They asked questions about the different HMO’s, supplementary HMO coverage, and private insurance. They also asked what to do and to whom to turn during an emergency, how to reach a specialist, which forms different HMO’s need, how to understand what’s going on in a hospital, and more.

Discussing a range of health care issues

Discussing a range of health care issues

As the numbers show, the presentation hit a nerve. Thank you Santé Israël for your hard work, and the vast amount of information you make available to French-speakers in Israel. Many thanks to the to the Pharmadom Foundation and the Rashi Foundation for their continuing support of Santé Israël.

Mny thanks to Celine and Nicole for organizing the meeting!

Many thanks to Céline and Nicole for organizing the meeting!

Here’s the Facebook post about the meeting:

Print Friendly

Atta’a – Empowering Residents through Increasing Awareness

February 18th, 2017

Over the last few months we’ve mentioned here and here about the steady increase in the number of ‘likes’ to the Atta’a Facebook page (today it’s nearly 8,500, but it changes frequently) and in the traffic on the Atta’a web site. The site has a wealth of information about health care and other service providers – from opening hours for the various offices to lists of hospitals and clinics with telephone numbers. There is information about the Ministry of the Interior, the National Insurance Institute, and much more.

In January the site, for the first time, published guidelines in plain and concise Arabic on who is eligible for discounts on property taxes and how to go about receiving those discounts. (Since health care, welfare, education and other services are provided based on a resident’s proof of residence in Jerusalem, nearly all East Jerusalem residents seek to pay annual municipal property taxes.)

Saving money, accessing rights

Saving money, accessing rights

Atta’a also posted notifications on Facebook, with links to the web site.

The result was revolutionary – thousands of people (out of a total adult population of 150,000) clicked through to the information on the Atta’a website in two days! We are very proud of this number, and believe that it enabled a large number of people to work correctly to receive discounts on property tax.

Atta’a posted a reminder a few weeks later:

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its ongoing support of Atta’a.

Print Friendly