Monthly Archives: March 2014

First Time in Jerusalem – Participatory Urban Planning in Talpiot/ Arnona

We began working with the Greater Baka’a Community Council, and particularly the area of Talpiot / Arnona, as part of our Deliberative Democracy Program that is supported by the UJA – Federation of New York, some two years ago. We first began with task teams, several groups which worked on specific issues. Response to this renewed community activity was so enthusiastic it inspired residents to band together with a range of local organizations to produce a 90th birthday celebration for Arnona last year.

Participants in Talpiot-Arnona Vision

Participants in Talpiot-Arnona Vision

This year we are entering into a new stage of community development in Talpiot / Arnona. It goes far beyond the very welcome social initiatives to build social solidarity that we sparked last year, and it reaches into the realm of real tachlis, practical planning that will show real results on-the-ground. The Talpiot / Arnona area was slated to receive a new master plan, and the area was chosen to be a citywide pilot of including residents in building a community vision, and contributing in a tangible way to how their neighborhood is going to look in the future. This is the first time where residents’ visions will turn into planning principles, which will then be translated to a master plan, which will provide guidelines for how the neighborhood will look and operate for the next 20 years!

Idea Board

Idea Board

Our first meeting was held on March 26, 2014. It included some 40 residents, community professionals and municipal officials. It was mostly a brainstorming session, one in which all wishes and needs were put on paper, to be revised and refined as the process continues. Vision statements ranged from a desire for cooperation and collaboration among all groups in the neighborhood – religious, secular, etc. – to grow social-cultural programming to increase a feeling of community solidarity in the neighborhood; to a desire for community public buildings to hold activities; to efficient responses to transportation; to making the neighborhood a green neighborhood; to preserving the quiet nature of the neighborhood to improving the safety of the neighborhood, and more. All of these statements will guide the professional city planners when they plan out the future infrastructure for the neighborhood.

2014-05-09T18:58:34+00:00 March 29th, 2014|Blog, Deliberative Democracy, Larger Baka Community Council|

Enriching the Toolbox of the Cultural Competency Coordinator: Passover and Easter Information Sheet

We’ve described here our process of producing information sheets for major Jewish, Christian and Muslim holidays for Cultural Competency Coordinators from around the country. Thus far we’ve produced pages for Muslim Ramadan, Eid el-Fitr and Eid el-Adha, Jewish Ethiopian Sigd, Christian Christmas and New Year, Druze Eid el-Hader and Jewish Tisha B’Av and Asara B’Tevet.

We can now add Jewish Passover to the list:

Passover in Health Organisations 2014

Passover in Health Organisations 2014

The information had two parts: a sheet that explains the main issues that are relevant for Passover in healthcare organizations, and a Word file with suggested texts for posters in Hebrew, Arabic and English about the practice in Israeli healthcare organizations not to being Non-Passover-Kosher food in to the facility during Passover. In the past, we could see posters that either were not helpful for non-Jewish people, or were written in an insulting way, and were usually only in Hebrew. We hope that our text help to solve this.

Immediately after that, we published another sheet about Lent, Easter and Pentecost (and in Israel we need to know the practices of many Christian Sects in this context, Greek Orthodox, Catholic etc.).

Easter in healthcare organisation March 2014

Easter in healthcare organisation March 2014

The Results are in: More Success for Palestinian Occupational Therapists

After more than 2 months of arduous waiting, the results of the Occupational Therapy certification exam are finally in – 7 out of 12 Palestinian participants from East Jerusalem passed! This brings the total number of Palestinian occupational therapists who have passed the exam with our help to 16 (9 passed the exam the first year), out of a total of 28 participants. Before we started our program, 1-2 from East Jerusalem were passing every year. Read more background information about this program here.

The next step, of course, is for these graduates to find work in their fields. We know that 6 from last year’s class have already found jobs, and we’ll be helping this latest cohort to find employment as well.

We’d like to thank the Jerusalem Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, Dear Foundation and the Hadassah Foundation, for their continuing support of this program. We’d also like to thank the course’s teachers and course developers, and our own Ezadeen El-Saad, who ensured that the course would succeed.

Coming Attractions – Groundbreaking Cultural Competency Training Videos

Coming to a hospital / clinic seminar room near you! Four new training videos, produced by the Jerusalem Intercultural Center and Bar Ilan University.

Since we began the Cultural Competency in Health Care project in 2008, we’ve been aiming to offer a comprehensive, multidisciplinary training experience to health care professionals, and recently, we’ve made great strides in providing a broad range of information, training manuals and professional networks for peer learning.

From "For the Children"

From “For the Children”

This week we added a new layer – four new training videos for our cultural sensitivity training sessions. These are the first such videos to be produced in Israel, addressing specific issues faced by populations here. The videos were produced in full partnership with Bar Ilan University, and its Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies.

From the video, "Our Decision"

From “Our Decision”

The four films are based on actual events. The film “Knows What She Wants” describes a meeting between a patient from the immigrant Ethiopian community, who is requesting an injection of the Depo-Provera contraceptive , and the family doctor who is trying to convince her use alternative methods. The film “Checkup” presents a meeting between a Russian speaking patient who comes with her teenage daughter for a routine visit to manage her diabetes, and a Hebrew speaking nurse. In the film “Our Decision” a Muslim-Arab hospital patient diagnosed with a malignant growth on her thyroid is torn between the opinion of her doctor (also a Muslim-Arab), who thinks that immediate surgery is essential, and that of her husband, who wants her released back home quickly. The film “For the Children” takes place at a charged meeting at the welfare department between a social worker and a Haredi family (from the “Eida Haredit”), regarding the temporary transfer of their children to relatives. All the films have subtitles in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Each film deals with a different cultural group, yet each one addresses all the main core issues in cultural competency.

From the video, "Knows What She Wants"

From “Knows What She Wants”

The videos are used to trigger discussions in our various training and follow-up workshops. Each of them brings up critical points that are essential in striving toward culturally competent care in the health care and welfare systems. And all are helping us make culturally competent care in the health care and welfare systems more of a reality. We’d like to thank the Jerusalem Foundation for their ongoing support of this program since its earliest stages. These videos were also supported by the New Israel Fund.

From "Checkup"

From “Checkup”

Social Entrepreneurship on the Jerusalem Railway Park: Deliberative Democracy at its Best

How do you want to see your neighborhood, your city? And what can you do to get there? Often, in our everyday routines, especially after watching / reading / listening to the news, it is difficult to see how we can have an influence. The JICC’s Deliberative Democracy program seeks to change that.

Over the past few years, with assistance from the UJA-Federation of New York, we’ve been working intensively with a number of community councils to help residents influence and improve – and take responsibility for and ownership of – their neighborhoods, and their city.

As a result of our successful work in individual communities, we were asked to lead a larger process led by three community councils in the southern part of the city – Ginot Ha’ir, Baka’a, and Gonenim. The mission – enabling residents in neighborhoods that include the new Jerusalem Railway Park to fully enjoy and take ownership of this new pearl on the Jerusalem landscape. Here’s the flyer that was posted all over the Internet and social media:

The story of the Railway Park itself is one of social activism (more about it here and here). The park runs along the section of the old Ottoman-era Jaffa-Jerusalem rail line, and includes the neighborhoods of German Colony, Baka’a, the Talpiot Industrial Zone, Katamonim and Beit Safafa, ending at Malcha’s Teddy Stadium and the new train station that is in use today. After being cancelled in 1998 the tracks fell into disrepair, and had become an eyesore and garbage dump. Several years ago a group of environmentally-conscious residents, community activists and architects, successfully lobbied to turn this area into a massive urban park instead. After intense lobbying, this plan was accepted by local and national planning authorities. After several years of construction and support by the Jerusalem Municipality, the entire length of the park is just being completed.

With such deep roots in the community, it is only natural that the next step, injecting community activities and responsibility, along the course of the park, would involve the community as well. On March 5, we held a town meeting for residents from all communities that border the Jerusalem Railway Park. In all there were some 50 people, coming from the northern to the southern tips of the Park. All came to discuss events, initiatives and characteristics that they wish to see in the Park.

We used Open Space Technology for this event, which enables participants to raise and choose the issues they are passionate about, and work to advance them. Residents broke up into a number of groups. They ranged from a music festival, to a Purim parade, to growing edible plants along the Park, to Jewish-Arab relations to security and cleanliness. All groups are now forming plans of action of the different initiatives in order to bring them to fruition. The evening was so successful that we got this thank you from the different Community Councils:

Thanks to JICC Mesila-page0001