Effective Activism

Get Ready! Jerusalemite Day of Diversity is Almost Here!

I want to celebrate the Jerusalem I love — but I want to do it with others who are committed to building bridges and mending rifts….Jerusalem Day could be a time for healing — where we can listen to one another and work together to make things a little better, and this [Jerusalemite Day of Diversity] is a great opportunity to start.

This is how journalist Sarah Tuttle-Singer – and speaker in one of this year’s events – summarizes her feelings about Jerusalemite Day of Diversity in her Times of Israel blog yesterday.

Jerusalemite Day of Diversity, Sunday May 13, 2018

Jerusalemite Day of Diversity, Sunday May 13, 2018

Dr. Diana Lipton, lecturer in Bible and host of events on Saturday and Sunday, wrote today:

Michal [Shilor, Director of our Grassroots Campaign for Tolerance which is behind Jerusalemite Day] wanted to create a Yom Yerushalayim for Yerushalmim, Jerusalemites – the people of all ages and social, ethnic and religious backgrounds, from all four corners of the earth, who live and work in this city. The best way to achieve that, Michal thought, was to inspire Yerushalmim to create their own celebrations. (see here for her entire blog post on the Times of Israel)

Jerusalemite Day of Diversity on Jerusalem Day day falls on Sunday, May 13 and we’ve got a super line-up. This year, there are about 80 events, but this time more events are in the public sphere, not only in downtown Jerusalem but in the neighborhoods as well. As in previous years, there is a vast array and variety of activities, so you can choose between tours, lectures, discussions, public ‘happenings’ and marches, and much more.

Did you know that Jerusalem is the Tolerance Capital of the World? See more in this video:

Here’s the current run-down, and last-minute changes are happening all the time, so stay tuned to the Facebook event (English last) and the Jerusalem Tolerance web site for the up-to-the-minute schedule:

Saturday-Sunday | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s meet! | Assaf Horen | A variety of Jerusalemites speak in the living rooms of “other” Jerusalemites, to tell their personal stories and get to know each other a little bit better.
More information below and here: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz

Saturday-Sunday | All day | Kids4Peace | Jerusalemite Points of View: A human map – A special campaign of personal stories of Jerusalemites from the three religions – across the city and social media

Saturday | 12:00 | Danbrat | Dan Yanovich | A tour in the footsteps of the sectors, ethnicities, and cultures of Ottoman Jerusalem: The Ottoman Empire in Jerusalem lasted 400 years during which the city transformed from medieval to modern and became the center of interest of the European superpowers and the Zionist movement. The tour is free (tips are welcome), not including entrance to sites. For info and registration: dan.yanovich@gmail.com.
Meeting Pt: Jaffa Gate
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y9f8ohyp

Saturday | 16:00 – 18:00 | A hidden legacy | Emek Shave | A tour in the Muslim graveyard in Mamilla.
Meeting point: Agron St, under the Rehavia Taxi Station in Independence Park.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ybb6cmbq

Saturday | 21:00-23:00 | Jerusalism | Speaking Diversity | Jerusalism welcomes all to an evening of prose and poetry connected to the theme of diversity.
Power Coffeeworks, 111 Agripas St.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y7wxtngo

Saturday | 21:00 | Glam Screening | Beit Alliance | Eurovision 2018 – A festive glam screening in Beit Alliance’s patio, accompanied by a drag queen performance.

Saturday | 21:15-22:30 | Jerusalem: Through My Eyes | Shayna Kovler | In honor of International Women’s Talmud Day and Jerusalem Day, come learn Talmud about Jerusalem from the women of Jerusalem. Three different women – Jewish educators who live and work in the city – will tell us about Jerusalem through their eyes, using the Talmud as their guide.
Diana’s Home, 16 Harakevet Street
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y8muurkq

Saturday | 21:30 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Tamar Bar Levi, who has gone through a mental breakdown and is a member of Clubhouse Jerusalem, will tell her personal story.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Noa and Natan’s living room, 16 Hurkania St., Katamonim

Saturday | 21:30 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Yossi Klar, Deputy CEO of “Out For Change”, an organization that works to assist ex-haredis, will speak about the change from Haredi to secular Jerusalem.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Nayot Community Center, 66 Nayot St.

Saturday | 21:30 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Sarah Tuttle Singer,
a journalist at the Times of Israel who wrote a book about her year living in the four
quarters of the old city, will tell her story. The event will take place in English.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which
Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are
different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Nifgashim Center, 26 Ben Yehuda St.

Saturday | 22:00 | State of Jerusalem | Jerusalem is crushed under the weight of religious, national, and political symbols. But before being a symbol, Jerusalem is a city in which people live. “The State of Jerusalem” series consists of chapters in which one interesting Jerusalemite tells a curious story about the city. During this evening at the Mazkeka we will screen two chapters (one brand new!) and other materials from the editing room, and hold a conversation with the creators, Natan Odenheimer, Tomer Zmora, and Or Drori.
Mazkeka, 3 Shushan St
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya6pprcq

Sunday | 9:00 – 13:00 | Beyond the City and the Square | Ir Amim | A tour in the old city – a walking tour to see the political and everyday reality of the old city. Please register in advance.
Meeting Pt: Zahal Square
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y7cchsqt

Sunday | 9:30 | Talmud & Hadith, Coffee & Tea. Vol. 2 | Ruth Kristina Vasileva | A group scriptural reasoning in the Talmud and Hadith
Mt. of Olives – location upon request
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ycuu8m9k

Sunday | 10:00 – 13:00 | Status Quo and Tolerance | Window to Mt Zion | A tour on Mt. Zion – Between holy sites, forgotten stories, and status quo, the residents of Mt. Zion – monks, Yeshiva students, artists, and businessmen – live together. Come see their worldviews, the coexistence, and the delicate and fascinating partnerships. The tour is free.
Meeting Point: Zion Gate.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y8d4wquz

Sunday | 11:00 – 17:00 | Postcards from the Soul | Nefashot | Creating postcards with different languages and people of all backgrounds in the main Jerusalem Day event in the Tower of David.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y8k8p75q

Sunday | 13:00 – 16:00 | Partners on the Path | Citipass | Pop-up tolerance events at the Light Rail stations: Machne Yehuda, Davidka, Municipality
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y89ltvlc

Sunday | 13:00 – 15:00 | Born&Raised – an Israeli women’s gospel choir with 15 soul singers who sing special versions of Israeli and English songs.
The event is part of “Partners on the Path – Pop-up Tolerance Events at the Light Rail stations”.
Davidka Light Rail Station
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y89ltvlc

Sunday | 13:00 – 15:00 | Dialogue circles in sign language, Arabic, and Hebrew.
The event is part of “Partners on the Path – Pop-up Tolerance Events at the Light Rail stations”.
Municipality Light Rail Station
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y89ltvlc

Sunday | 13:00 – 15:00 | Pop-Up Mediation | Mosaica | The Mosaica mediation center comes to the street to meet us and give us practical toolsl tools for constructive communication.
The event is part of “Partners on the Path – Pop-up Tolerance Events at the Light Rail stations”.
Machane Yehuda Light Rail Station
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y89ltvlc

Sunday | 13:30 | Flower March | Tag Meir – supporting the residents and businessmen of the old city. Tag Meir will hand out flowers to the residents and businessmen of the old city, on the path where the Flag March will walk. Our holiday doesn’t need to hurt the Arabs of the old city.
Meeting Pt: Safra Square (Municipality)

Sunday | 14:00 – 16:00 | Dancing Debka | Between Heaven & Earth | “Machia” (Arak in Moroccan) dance group invite you to dance Debka in the Municipality Light Rail station, in Haredi garb with Kaffiyas.
The event is part of “Partners on the Path – Pop-up Tolerance Events at the Light Rail stations”.
Municipality Light Rail Station
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y89ltvlc

Sunday | 15:30 | The Jerusalemite March | The Jerusalemite Movement
Railroad Park
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y7cr3ldg

Sunday | 16:00 – 18:30 | Every Person Has a City and Her Name is Jerusalem | Old Yishuv Court Museum | Come hear the different points of view of Jerusalem as spoken by her poets and lovers. Meet at 4 at Jaffa Gate for a short tour in the Museum, or at the museum itself.
6 Or Haim St., the Jewish Quarter

Sunday | 16:30 | CartoNeighborhood | Artishok | A special event for kids – let’s build our neighborhood, French Hill, out of recycled materials together!
Artishok Club, 19 Hagana St

For more info: https://tinyurl.com/yc39ku4l

Sunday | 16:45-18:30 | Black and White Jerusalem? | Tarbus | A tour in Haredi Jerusalem – Let’s discover the diversity of the Haredi population.
Meeting Pt: Davidka
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y8tgvmh8

Sunday | 17:00-19:00 | “And Together” – a group of rabbinical students of all types |
dialogue and study circles on the topic of the place of religious leaders in the public
sphere.
First Station, 2 David Remez St

Sunday | 17:00 – 21:00 | Something of the Desert | Aharon Kritzer and Shelter Gallery | An exhibit of Haredi amateur photographers.
Shelter Gallery, 6 Yehuda HaMakkabi St., Makor Baruch
For more info:https://tinyurl.com/yc26tth4

Sunday | 17:15 | The City that was Animated Together | Jerusalem is anything but a regular boring city. Between ancient walls and new neighborhoods crowd together
the heroes of all Israeli sectors. Israeli animation brings to life Jerusalem through
humor, criticism, the ordinary and the extraordinary. Join us for workshops and a
festive animation screening.
Djanogly Center, 3 Tuvia St.

Sunday | 17:30 | Orchard Path | Studio of Her Own – A discussion with the artist behind the street art of Elisha Ben Abuya, and returning “the other” to the society. There will be a storyteller for kids, as well!
Antigonus Garden by the Butke, 26 Antigonus St

Sunday | 17:45-19:30 | Black and White Jerusalem? | Tarbus | A tour in Haredi Jerusalem – Let’s discover the diversity of the Haredi population. The tour will take place in English
Meeting Point: Recruitment Office on Rashi Street.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ybjvjfx4

Sunday | 18:00 | Nimi Sfama Shel Lisbet Nay | Agnon House | A queer reading of S.Y Agnon’s novel, Shira. 10 NIS entrance.
Agnon House, 16 Klausner St.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/yaladsgy

Sunday | 18:15 | Creating Tolerance: A Jerusalemite View | Reut School | A tolerance conference with the participation of the community, MKs, and Jerusalemite activists.
Reut School, 4 Eliezer HaGadol St.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y7wbtkam

Sunday | 19:00 | Young Artists in Jerusalem | Tmol Shilshom | Spoken word artist Yonatan Blumenfeld, performance artist Yoanna Blikman, and DJ Dani (Danielle Bertschneider) will speak about the young artists scene in Jerusalem. How do we integrate sector- and boundary-breaking art in a city with walls? What is it about this city that pulls certain artists to it and drives others out?
30 NIS entrance fee (goes towards a purchase in the restaurant).
Tmol Shilshom, 5 Yoel Moshe Solomon St.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ydcrarhp

Sunday | 19:30 | Believers | Zion Community | An evening of multifaith prayers for the holy city, with Alma and the Tahrir Jamaa.
First Station, 4 Remez St.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ydbnq5qr

Sunday | 19:30 | Interfeast | Andrew Pico | An Inter-feast is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Jerusalem – its variety of perspectives, cultures and peoples. Join us for dinner and a discussion regarding the Holy City and its importance for us. Please register in advance.
Nachlaot, Exact location will be sent to those who register.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/yd9gkkd8

Sunday | 20:00 | The Beaches of Jerusalem | Sirenot Ensemble under conductor Shosh Lagil | The ships to Jerusalem anchor at the Redeemer Church, unload cargo and rare musical treasures from Ethiopia, Spain, Armenia, Persia, Dagastan, Israel, and Ashkenaz. A special musical meeting that speaks and sings of love thanks to the best poets and composers. Song of Songs, Teha Muhammad Ali, Psalms, Omar Kayam, and even Eggplant recipes and Raki drinks! Ilya Mazia – Duduk / Shachar Burak – Piano.
Redeemer Church, Muristan, the Christian Quarter
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/yasd2jrw

Sunday | 20:00 | This Too is Possible | Hechal Shlomo | Aspects of “the other” in us – a gallery discussion in the “This Too is Possible” exhibit which involved Arab and Jewish artists, and an interactive creation about the topic. 20 NIS entrance fee. Please register in advance.
Hechal Shlomo Museum, 58 King George St., 3rd Floor

Sunday | 20:00 | Souls Sing in Jerusalem | Singing in the Garden and Nefashot | An evening of peace and Jerusalem songs, intertwined with original works about mental illness.
Tower of David
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/y79q99y6

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Yoelish Krois, frequently referred to as the COO of the Eda HaHaredit, will speak at Meretz municipality member Laura Wharton’s house.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
46a HaHalutz St., Beit Hakerem.

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Jonathan Vadai, founder of the Carousela and an activist in the struggle for Yemenite children and community Kashrut, will speak at Orli Jackson Cohen’s home.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Orli Jackson Cohen’s living room, 6 Hizkiyahu HaMelech, Floor 3, Apt 6

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Eldad Postan, a Jerusalemite start-up entrepreneur, will speak in a Shekel (special needs) home.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
A Shekel (special needs) living room, 2 HaTkufa St.

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Gilad Natan, an activist in “Maan-Yachad” for coexistence between Jews and Arabs in French Hill, will share his story.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Deena Levenstein, a culture activist in the city, will speak in the Butka, a community coffeehouse in the Katamonim.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
HaButke, 26 Antigonus St.

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Shmuel Drilman, a Haredi activist and social media expert, will speak about Haredi vs. Modern life, in the Artishok Club in French Hill.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Artishok Club, 19 HaHagana St, French Hill

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Rachel Gerber of the Jerusalem African Community Center, will speak in Polina’s home.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Polina’s living room, 166 Beit Lechem St.

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Eldad Weil, former counsel to the mayor, director of Musrara Community Center and Tze’irim BaMerkaz, will tell his story.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
The new Yemenite Bar, Bab El-Yamen, 29 Azza St.

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Mordechai Ben Avraham, formerly an American Muslim and today an Israeli Haredi, will speak of his transformation. The event will take place in English.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Jerusalem Press Club, Mishkanot Shaananim.

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – David Mizrahi, founder of La Familia and a famous activist promoting tolerance all over Israel, will speak of his transformation.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Hadarta, Nachlaot Community Center, 42 Ohel Moshe St.

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Muhammad Abu Ghannam, resident of A-Tur and a young activist, will speak at the Jerusalem Mechina.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Jerusalem Mechina, 31 Brazil St.

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Yochi Rapaport of Women of the Wall will tell her story.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Natan Moshe – writer, creator, philosopher, poet, person. Copes with mental illness and lives alongside it for 30 years.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz

Sunday | 20:00 | Jerusalemite in the Living Room: Let’s Meet! – Hagit Ashur – Jerusalem Director of Yeted Program for at-risk youth, who grew up in a host family in Musrara.
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz

Sunday | 20:00 | Sadiq Ismail – an asylum seeker from Darfur will be joined by other African asylum seekers who will tell us how they left their countries, how, eventually, they arrived in Jerusalem, and how they now live today with the threat of expulsion to an unknown destination. Elisheva Milikowsky, an activist for the asylum seekers since 2007, will tell us about the current situation. (Hebrew and English).
The event is part of “Jerusalemites in the Living Room” – A series of events in which
Jerusalemites tell their personal stories in the homes of Jerusalemites who are
different from them!
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ya92kfpz
Diana’s living room, 16 Harakevet St, 2nd Floor

Sunday | 20:00 | City of Skies | A performance that is a love song to the eternal city,
that is built like the city itself – a colorful mosaica of cultures, religions, stories, and
people.
Link for tickets: https://tinyurl.com/ybcvydr
Micro Theater, Jerusalem Theater, 20 Marcus St

Sunday | 21:00 | StoryTeller at Hamiflezet Pub | Itamar Farhi | A special StoryTeller gathering for Jerusalemite Day.
Hamifletzet Pub, 8 Chile St., Kiryat Yovel.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/ycrmfc65

Sunday | 21:00 | Open Mic | Abraham Hostel | Joining together through song in an Open Mic Night, come sing with people from all over the world songs of acceptance and tolerance
67 HaNevi’im st.

Sunday | 21:00 | Something to Say: Women Speaking from the Gut | Basmat Hazan | A cabaret of women who challenge what they’ve been told, what seems to be a definite reality, and who find the keys and the spaces for growth and change, women who feel empty and find that they are full – women who are heros with something to say.
Khan Theater, 2 Remez St.
For more info: https://tinyurl.com/yb3rdgxt

Sunday | 21:30 | Pub Quiz | Artishok Club | Think you know Jerusalem? Let’s see you prove it in a special Pub Quiz for Jerusalemite Day with awesome prizes thanks to 0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem.
Artishok Pub, 19 Hagana St., French Hill

For more info: https://tinyurl.com/yc39ku4l

Sunday | All Day | Prints in Paint | Muslala and Kfar Shimon | An exhibit which opens a window to the rich and unique world of the artists from Kfar Shimon – a residence for people with autism.
Muslala Porch, Klal Building, 97 Yaffo St.

Sunday | All Day | Stories on the Way | Personal stories of Aliyah from Ethiopia, in living rooms across the city. For more info: http://www.sipur.org.il/index.php

===Events Not Open to the Public===
Dror High School | Dialogue circles, tours, and special studies about diversity in Jerusalem
Ziv School | Students will interview residents of retirement homes about Jerusalem today and in the past
Adam School | Special guest speaker – a Haredi activist

Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish, Founding Director the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI), also mentioned us his recent blog post.

And here’s some statistics showing that Jerusalem is indeed the world Capital of Tolerance to get you in the mood for Jerusalemite Day:

The translation:

  • 160,000 people from all sectors who ride the light rail every day
  • 400 events a year that advance tolerance
  • 1,000 activists for tolerance in Jerusalem
  • 96% of Jerusalemites believe in tolerance
  • 80 tolerance organizations
  • 2 Tolerance Coalitions
  • 80 events on Jerusalemite Day

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation and the UJA-Federation of New York for their support of Jerusalemite Day of  Diversity and for helping us to promote tolerance in Jerusalem throughout the year!

 

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The Little Prince – Working Together, Top Down and Bottom-Up

Over the past several months we are seeing a new wave of activism for a cleaner and greener Jerusalem, in all parts of Jerusalem. It’s great to see the energy (renewable, we hope :)) going into these efforts. It turns out that the issue of cleanliness and the environment is common to all populations in Jerusalem, all who are sick and tired of seeing a dirty city.

Much of the work is local and targeted, and is solved by working with the different professionals in the Jerusalem Municipality, and / or via various educational and clean-up activities. In parallel, we saw a need to bring the issue of sanitation and clean streets to the fore among on the political – not only the professional – level. Thus, we, together with the program partners, initiated a number of meetings with key political leaders in the Jerusalem Municipality. We wanted to hear the views and opinions of the city decision-makers. What do they think? What’s on the city agenda?

And indeed it seems that the issue of sanitation and the environment is going to be a central and leading issue for every elected official, heading into the city’s 2018 municipal elections.

Meeting to discuss garbage

Meeting with Deputy Mayor Rabbi Pindrus to discuss garbage

We opened our series of meetings with local decision makers with the Deputy Mayor Rabbi Yitzhak Pindrus, who is responsible for sanitation on Sunday, January 28.  On February 26, we met with Moshe Lion, who is today in charge of the community centers.

Activists from Palestinian East Jerusalem, from Haredi and non-Haredi Jewish neighborhoods also participated. It was obvious to all present that the responsibility for cleaning up Jerusalem is on all of us, both residents and the Municipality, elected officials and professionals. Residents told about their activities and what they seek to accomplish. They asked how they can help the Municipality to keep the city clean, and how the Municipality can help them improve cleanliness in the public sphere. They discussed infrastructure, supervision, sub-contractors, communication and joint work, budgets, procedures, information and responsibility. Hard to believe how garbage can bring people together… 🙂

Meeting with Moshe Lion

Meeting with Moshe Lion

The bottom line – the importance of building relationships and to work together toward a common goal – a cleaner Jerusalem. Both Deputy Mayor Rabbi Pindrus and Moshe Lion stressed that cleanliness and sanitation are central issues for him, and he’ll be able to push to do more if there is a strong rallying cry from residents, demanding the Municipality’s action.

The residents also gave updates from the field – a new subcontractor began clearing garbage in the Shuafat Refugee Camp and a group of 50 Cleanliness Promoters in the Bucharim neighborhood who will be working in the public gardens and entrances to buildings before the Passover holiday.

Here’s a Facebook post (in Hebrew) describing the encounter with Rabbi Pindrus:

Here’s the post (in Hebrew) about the February 26 meeting with Moshe Lion:

So this is our mission: to raise our voice that we – and the city – need clean streets. Together we’ll be able to accomplish great things.

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From Tolerance Week to Martin Luther King – A Winter Wonderland of Tolerant Holidays

We reported before about the last Jerusalem Tolerance Week, the 8 days in mid-November with over 30 initiatives trumpeting tolerance in the city.

Well, it didn’t end there. As November blended into December, the new month brought with it a slew of activities where tolerance triumphed, from the Ethiopian Sigd to Christmas at the YMCA and on Mount Zion to a multi-cultural Hanukkah candle-lighting to the 7-week Holidays from Within Festival, which featured events celebrating Sigd, Hanukkah, Christmas, the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad, and Novy God (their Festival was covered in Hebrew on YNET).

Winter holidays, promoting tolerance

Winter holidays, promoting tolerance

All the events basically fit celebrated one of these five holidays:

1.The Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd (see here and here for more details):

  • November 16: A guided tour of the official Sigd ceremony at the Promenade in East Talpiot
  • November 16: Sigd Celebration at Beit Avi Chai
  • November 19: Ethiopian art workshop with the Ethiopian community of embroiderers
  • November 20 & 22: Sigd celebrations with Israeli families of Ethiopian descent
  • November 21: Ethiopian cooking workshop
  • November 22: A neighborhood Sigd celebration in Kiryat Hayovel, including a Museum in a Suitcase
  • November 22: A Story along the Way
A family celebration of the Sigd holiday

A family celebration of the Sigd holiday

2. The birth of the Prophet Muhammad (see here for more details):

  • November 29: Celebration in Ein Rafa
  • December 1: Lecture on customs and traditions in Islam
  • December 1: Festive tour of the Muslim Quarter
  • December 3: Home hospitality (in the YNET Hebrew article  you can see a video about this event)
Celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad

Celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad

3. Chanukah (see here for more details)

  • December 12 – 20: Nightly pluralist candle lighting in neighborhoods throughout the city
  • December 12: Candle lighting with ‘Hamiklat’ Haredi art gallery
  • December 13: Candle lighting with a Haredi family
  • December 13: Inter-religious candle lighting and Christmas party in French Hill
  • December 14: A Jerusalem dreidle-scavenger hunt, followed by a Chanukah party
  • December 15: Visit to the Karaite community in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City
  • December 15: Visit to the Messianic Jewish community in the Old City
  • December 18: Chanukah photography tour
  • December 18: Inter-religious candle lighting at the First Station
  • December 19: Tour of Meah Shearim
  • December 20: Haredi – Secular Chanuka encounter
Learning about different Chanukah traditions

Learning about different Chanukah traditions

4. Christmas (See here for more details)

  • November 26: Decorating the Jerusalem International YMCA’s giant Christmas tree
  • December 15 – 17: Christmas Bazaar
  • December 22: Tour of the secrets of the Jerusalem International YMCA
  • December 22: Tour of the Christian Quarter of the Old City
  • December 24: Christmas Eve concert
  • December 24: Volunteering at the Christmas Even mass at the Dormition Abbey
  • January 6: Tour of Orthodox Christian sites in preparation for the Orthodox Christmas
Christmas at the Jerusalem International YMCA

Christmas at the Jerusalem International YMCA

5. And Novy God, the Russian New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebration. (See here for more details.)

  • December 27: Lecture on the history of Novy God
  • December 28: Tusovka Novy  God Celebration

And of course we can’t forget the Kids4Peace winter event, that celebrated all the events together.

What was the impact of these events? Kehilat Zion, which participated in the inter-religious Chanukah candle-lighting at the Train Station, summed it up like this:

We wanted to take all of the little lights that throughout the year so many partners are working to shine, and to empower them together on one hanukkiah of hope in the public sphere.

Because in Earthly Jerusalem, something different is possible, and most of us choose to act different and to light hope. Together with communities of men and women from different neighborhoods, religions, and cultures who are joined in the belief in a Jerusalem of alliances and mutual caring; communities of individuals and groups who work and believe in a Jerusalem of good neighborliness and of friendship.

This, despite a group of hate-shouting youth who tried to disrupt the ceremony. Here’s the full Facebook post:

Kehilat Zion spoke specifically about Chanukah, but this is what we’re aiming for year-round. Over the 7-8 weeks, between Sigd and Orthodox Christmas, there were so many events (we counted some 50) it was hard to keep track. Well over 1,000 people, from all religions, all cultures, all languages. But also all Jerusalemites. Thank you Jerusalem for showing, yet again, your true colors of diversity. And thank you to the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jerusalem Foundation for helping us – and helping them- make it all happen.

 

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Close the Garbage Can! Campaign Gets Underway

How do you go about getting people to close the lids on the garbage cans and put them back in their place after emptying? Have breakfast, of course. So on January 4, some 40 sanitation workers, from truck drivers to shift managers to department directors, and Haredi activists from Bayit veGan, had breakfast together to discuss how to make the streets of their neighborhood, cleaner.

It was far from obvious that this meeting took place. There are many differences between these two groups – religious, ethnicity, nationality, gender, occupation, standard of living. Despite these differences, everyone present wanted to see – and work toward – a cleaner Bayit veGan.

This initiative is part of our Little Prince project, which seeks to advance a range of initiative to help make Jerusalem’s streets cleaner. The garbage can initiative was first presented at our Open Space Technology meeting that we held in May 2017, led by the Neighborhood Cleanliness Committee of the Haredi neighborhood of Bayit veGan.

Breakfast with the Neighborhood Cleanliness Committee

Breakfast with the Neighborhood Cleanliness Committee

This breakfast was the culmination of a long process of discussing the extent of the problem, the root of the problem, and possible solutions to the problem. We helped the women of the committee reach the conclusion that, in order to improve the situation, it was critical to develop a relationship with all involved, and not just be seen as complainers. Thus, the breakfast idea was born.

The idea was to invite all the local sanitation workers together with their managers to learn about the garbage collection from their standpoint. The local community center, alongside the community social worker and the community center director, invited all to breakfast at the community center.

So many attended there was barely enough food

So many attended there was barely enough food

The breakfast itself was a huge success. We were prepared for 5 workers, and 25 – 30 showed up – including all the regular workers, some substitutes, the managers, and the regional manager for Bayit veGan. Everyone cleared the air in an unusually good-natured meeting – residents complained about cans having their lids opened, how the trucks block the streets, how the cans are put back in different places. The workers complained that cars parked on the sidewalks and blocked access to the cans and other issues. Each ‘side’ brainstormed about ways they can help each other make the streets of Bayit veGan cleaners again. All came away with a fantastic feeling that despite the great differences in identity – ranging from Muslim Palestinian and Ethiopian Israeli to Haredi – bridges were built that laid the groundwork for future cooperation. And ultimately, cleaner streets.

Keeping our streets clean means so many things to so many people. From construction waste to littered parks to shutting the lids on the garbage cans in the streets, and having workers put them back in their place after they’d been emptied. Brainstorming and planning together about how to advance these issues in our individual communities – that is the beauty of the Little Prince. It is an example of wonderful, uniquely contemporary Jerusalemite, cooperation. We all live in Jerusalem and want to see it cleaner – for all of us.

Here’s the post from Facebook that was published on the Jerusalem Tolerance Facebook page:

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Eastward from Here – Training Activists in East Jerusalem

East Jerusalem has aroused the curiosity and interest of many activists in and around Jerusalem. But how much do they really know about this part of the city?

On tour in East Jerusalem

On tour in East Jerusalem, with Aviv Tatarsky of Ir Amim

In order to raise the level of activism in East Jerusalem, we, together with the Ir Amim organization, held an 8-session workshop called, Eastward from Here. The workshop sought to teach Jewish activists – all who work or seek to work in East Jerusalem – more about what is really going on on-the-ground, in order to enable them to be more effective in their work.

There are 22 participants, from a wide range of organizations – municipally-connected such as Moriah and the Young Adults Authority, New Spirit, Yerushalmim, Hamiffal and Blue and White Human Rights.

Each meeting dealt with a different issue, from effective dialogue and effective activism to East Jerusalem communities and East Jerusalem today to the basics of cultural competency. One of the meetings was a tour around different parts of East Jerusalem, led by Ir Amim researcher, Aviv Tatarsky.

From the workshop, participants are developing 15 different initiatives designed to work in East Jerusalem. These initiatives range from joint first aid courses for Jewish and Arab youth, Arabic-language study in Palestinian businesses in East Jerusalem, joint Jewish-Arab climbing club, academic assistance to East Jerusalem pupils, and more.

 This course is part of our Grassroots Campaign for Tolerance, supported by the UJA-Federation of New York. Many thanks also to Ir Amim for their partnership. We hope to see some very effective activism taking place in East Jerusalem very soon!
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Summing Up Tolerance Week

We’ve already described and listed here the 30 events that took place during Tolerance Week (November 10 – 18).  Here’s how our Michal Shilor, Coordinator for the Grassroots Campaign for Tolerance, described it:

In the last week, we broke records of emotion:

Jerusalem wore its holiday clothes

She removed her masks

And was just herself:

Authentic Jerusalem, made up of her communities,

Jerusalem of Jerusalemites, of all who love her.

Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem during Tolerance Week

Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem during Tolerance Week

During the last week Jerusalem celebrated Tolerance Week – the holiday that is davka the most appropriate for our city. Davka the city of political and religious and national and international slogans, davka for the city – for those who don’t know her – that is seen as the symbol of all that is opposite of tolerance.

What do others think of people like me?

What do others think of people like me?

During the last week, Jerusalem re-centered itself. She peeled away all the layers of slogans of all who think they know her, and said:

“I am of my residents.

I am of my people.

I am of my communities who choose to live with me,

to love me and to walk in my streets.

And I bring them together. And I make them feel good. And we live together.”

Learning Talmud and Hadith together

Learning Talmud and Hadith together

Jerusalem Tolerance Week began last year, and this year nearly doubled itself, with 30 events – initiated in schools, by activists, and organizations that chose to celebrate the multicultural diversity of Jerusalem, and to bring people together who don’t usually meet.

And it was really, really exciting.

I would like to thank you for the pleasure of helping you, watching how you create the real Jerusalem with a lot of energy and in full faith.

Coming together to learn about one another

Coming together to learn about one another

I was brought to tears by the event that brought together formerly religious Haredi Jews and Muslims.

I skipped for joy when Runners without Borders told me that they can’t invite more people to the Jewish-Arab race because there were already 800 (!) runners registered and the police requested that there not be any  more.

Running for Tolerance and Peace

Running for Tolerance and Peace

I wasn’t able to take the smile off my face when I met  Ruth Kristina Vasileva a minute before a joint learning session of Hadith and Talmud, especially after I saw the amazing people who came to study  together!

I didn’t believe how the mental health community creates an encounter with the outside world through board games and soup in the coolness of the Jerusalem autumn.

I was so excited to hear a poets’ exchange that brought together different identities through poetry.

That even the Citypass light rail company  joined the adventure and create a tour that connects the mental health community, Haredi women artists and the African community of Jerusalem on the light rail line.

At the Tolerance Stop on the light rail line

At the Tolerance Stop on the light rail line

And I saw secular, formerly religious Jews and Haredi Jews being angry at two Haredi newspaper editors, all the while speaking about tolerance and shared living, despite the disagreements.

And I was finally able to participate in a meeting with deaf people.

That Itamar Farhi again brought us an event of tolerance stories to the Katamonim, a place where life is so complicated and woven together that it screams for it.

I met a group of people – Armenians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Palestinians, Israelis, Americans – who decided to eat a meal together to get to know one another better.

I was able to take part in a Sigd ceremony. There were so many events of Story Along the Way that made the story of Ethiopian-Israelis so well known around the Sigd Holiday.

Sigd ceremony

Sigd ceremony

We were able to provide a platform to inter-religious events.

I couldn’t believe that even light rail stations and the area in front of the Jaffa Gate became places of encounter.

We had a Jewish-Arab backgammon tournament and a religious-secular Jewish encounter on Saturday.

Backgammon tournament

Backgammon tournament

Sentences in Arabic, Hebrew and Yiddish peppered the public sphere.

And there were all sorts of other routine events in Jerusalem – in schools, in soccer clubs, and more – that simply brought people from all the different streams to remember that Jerusalem belongs to its residents. To all its residents.

Listening and learning

Listening and learning

Jerusalem? Jerusalem is the tolerance capital of its people.

We all live here in Jerusalem

We all live here in Jerusalem

Here’s a compilation of posts translated into English from the 0202 Facebook page:

 

And the original post in Hebrew:

And here’s Jerusalem Tolerance’s post and list of all the different initiatives:

 

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

 

 

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Little Prince in the Valley of the Cross

It all began with a question on Facebook – who hates all the litter in the Valley of the Cross? Valley of the Cross, in the center of Jerusalem, ‘down the hill’ from the Israel Museum and the Knesset, is named for the Georgian monastery that sits there. One of Jerusalem’s central ‘green lungs,’ a lot of activities take place there (helped by the fact that large youth movement chapters also have their home there), but they also leave behind numerous, polluting tracks.

This is one example of how the Little Prince program works. Residents initiate and drive projects to clean up Jerusalem, we provide any assistance or platforms, or help make connections, in order to facilitate the growth of the projects.

Fighting for a clean Valley of the Cross

Sign on right: The Valley is ours

The first post led to several others, and engaged more people. A Facebook event was created – anyone who’s interested in cleaning up the Valley of the Cross, let’s meet in front of the monastery on September 28, at 8pm.

 

We're all working for the Valley

We’re all working for the Valley

Usually the Valley is pretty deserted after dark, but this time, 15 people showed up to show their concern and launch into action.

After this meeting, each person took on one or another task, which led to a community clean-up day, during the Chanuka school vacation, on 15 December.

Scouts and other youth working to clean up the Valley

Scouts and other youth working to clean up the Valley

This wasn’t just another 4-people-with-garbage-bags clean up. It was a huge collaborative effort, with hundreds of volunteers and dozens of municipal workers. (A huge thank-you to all who turned up!)

Working together

Working together

The Jerusalem Municipality provided the garbage bags and and the means to carry them away.

500 bags of garbage!

500 bags of garbage!

Over 70 residents and their families, as well as 450 members of the local Scouts and Bnei Akiva youth movements (who have club houses in the Valley) participated in the cleanup, which resulted in 500 (!) garbage bags of junk.  a promise to contract an outside company to ensure the Valley stays clean.

Here’s one of the posts on Facebook (in Hebrew) from the Director of the Nayot Community Center, which borders on the Valley of the Cross, and a member of the organizing committee:

And another, from one of the activists:

The clean-up was covered by the local Kol Ha’Ir newspaper on December 22:

The cleanup making news

The cleanup making news

As part of the process, it was promised to contract an outside company to ensure that the Valley stays clean. We’ll keep you posted!

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2018-02-04T14:02:17+00:00 December 30th, 2017|Blog, Effective Activism, The Little Prince - Cleaning Jerusalem Together|

MiniActive – Story of a Corner Garbage Dump in A-Tur 2017

This is the story that has a happy ending, thanks to the involvement of MiniActive and local residents.

This is what the kids saw at the entrance to their kindergarten

This is what the kids saw at the entrance to their kindergarten

A new kindergarten director noticed a severe sanitation problem, basically right outside her door. There was an area that was not only filled to overflowing with household garbage, there was quite a bit of construction waste there too. In addition, the supporting wall to the kindergarten, which is adjacent to this ‘corner garbage dump,’ is in danger of collapsing, due to the garbage and construction nearby that dug beneath the wall.

 

Discussing how to improve A-Tur together

Discussing how to improve A-Tur together

Whose responsibility was it to clean this situation up? That’s a good question – City sanitation is definitely the Municipality’s job. But are they responsible for the construction waste, when it was there because of private construction? What about the supporting wall of the kindergarten, which is rented from a private owner by the Municipality?

 

Working together to make A-Tur cleaner

Working together to make A-Tur cleaner

MiniActive, the residents and the Municipality discussed these issues back and forth over a full month. On October 31, the municipal director for sanitation in East Jerusalem toured the area with residents in A-Tur. They came to an agreement of who will do what:

  1. The residents would properly dispose of the construction waste and repave the area.
  2. The Municipality agreed to sweep the streets regularly and to empty the garbage receptacle every two days.
  3. The residents, together with the kindergarten landlord, will collect money to re-build the faulty wall.
  4. The residents also agreed to cordon off an area for garbage, so that it won’t spill out onto the street.
The 'after' picture - all cleaned up and re-paved

The ‘after’ picture – all cleaned up and re-paved

Congratulations A-Tur! We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

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

Here’s the ‘before’ situation, as picked up by the 0202 Facebook page:

Here’s the final product in English, from the 0202 Facebook page:

And here’s the original post in Arabic:

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MiniActive – Celebrating a New Playground in Shuafat

It’s always nice to see the fruits of your labors.

Want to come and play in Shuafat?

Want to come and play in Shuafat?

It’s even more rewarding when these fruits have taken time in coming.

In the spring and summer of 2015, MiniActive women, especially from Shuafat and northern Jerusalem, were asked to take part in a process of public participation to plan a playground. On the one hand it was an incredibly sensitive time (things really hadn’t been the same since the Gaza war the previous summer); on the other hand, the dearth of playgrounds and open green spaces in East Jerusalem is such that this was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed.

We're sure it's pretty crowded in the afternoons

We’re sure it’s pretty crowded in the afternoons

This playground was one of several that were planned throughout Jerusalem, as part of a joint project with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Bloomberg Philanthropies. (You can read here about a similar playground that was planned and constructed in Gilo, and here about the earlier process.)

Not only playground, but grassy lawns as well

Not only playground, but grassy lawns as well

The Gilo playground was renewed in 2016. And many in Shuafat, had lost faith that the Municipality would actually install the playground as they discussed. But lo and behold, one bright summer’s day, our MiniActive women were walking in Shuafat and found this, which was installed this past summer. Here’s a video of the new playground:

 

Have fun!

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

Here’s MiniActive’s Facebook posts about the discovery (in Arabic):

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2017-11-18T13:34:16+00:00 November 25th, 2017|Blog, Deliberative Democracy, Effective Activism, MiniActive, Palestinians/Arabs|

Working Together, Working Separately to Help Jerusalemites Live Safer, Live Longer

We wrote here about introducing the Living Safer, Living Longer program into the Haredi community in Jerusalem. But really, the program is not just in the Haredi sector, it’s being developed simultaneously in the Palestinian population, and in the ‘general’ (religious / secular Jewish) population. We’re especially excited about this new model for effective activism – each sector is focusing on preventive health / home safety, but each sector is developing, designing and refining the program to meet the specific needs of that community. All three sector share information and lessons learned, but the program is developing uniquely in each sector.  It is the community itself, through the volunteer Lead Teams – not the professionals – who are leading the way.

Volunteer Lead Team hearing about self breast exams from a nurse from the Bishvilech organization

Haredi Volunteer Lead Team hearing about breast self-exams from a nurse from the Bishvilech organization

We’re now getting down to business in all three sectors. There have been 5 meetings of the Haredi volunteer Lead Team, which chose to focus on preventive medicine. Thus far, they’ve learned about different issues affecting babies and toddlers, to youth, to women and seniors. Some of the lectures were given by nurses from the local well-baby clinic, and others from the Bishvilech organization, is the first and only woman to woman nonprofit organization in Israel focused on preventive medical care. (One of the lecturers was a female Haredi doctor, whose husband studies in Yeshiva, and who works at Sha’are Zedek hospital and volunteers with United Hatzalah emergency response organization. We thought she was really cool.) The team is currently in a learning stage, and are also considering learning about home safety as well. As the learning process progresses the team will come up with a checklist that will be used when going into people’s homes.

The West Jerusalem team (religious and secular Jews) has also had five meetings. They chose to focus on home safety, and learned about home safety for children from the Beterem organization, and learned about home safety for senior citizens from the Milbat organization. (They also tried out Milbat’s phone app for home safety for seniors.) They’ve already devised a checklist, and are in the process of revising and refining it. Members have even designed a logo (we’ll share it when it’s final), and are networking to bring in more participants into the program.

Introducing Living Safer, Living Longer to MiniActive women in East Jerusalem

Introducing Living Safer, Living Longer to MiniActive women in East Jerusalem

And on November 8, we held the first meeting of one of two Arab East Jerusalem teams. This 20-woman team is from the MiniActive program, one of East Jerusalem’s largest networks of volunteers, which has been working since 2012 to improve infrastructure in East Jerusalem. In this introductory session we presented the program, its importance and its principles. Right now they’re also focusing on home safety, and the next meeting next week will feature a lecturer from the Beterem organization, who will talk about home safety and children. Until then, the women were asked to photograph a place in or around their homes and ask themselves if this area really is safe for children. How would you do in such as test?

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