Identity Groups and Conflicts

Can Jerusalem Become a Capital of Tolerance?

Can Jerusalem Become a Capital of Tolerance?

Jerusalemite Day of Diversity, Sunday May 13, 2018

Jerusalemite Day of Diversity, Sunday May 13, 2018

Our Michal Shilor, Coordinator for the Grassroots Campaign for Tolerance and organizer of Jerusalemite Day of Diversity on Jerusalem Day, says ‘yes, absolutely!’ Read her column in the Fathom, a highly respected, leading on-line publication. Here’s the link, and here’s the full text:

Michal Shilor believes Jerusalem should be known as ‘the tolerance capital of the world.’ She works at the Jerusalem Intercultural Center as ‘Activism for Tolerance’ Program Director, consulting for more than 80 independent, grassroots initiatives from across the city. She is also the founder and chairwoman of 0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem, which provides unedited, unfiltered narratives from East, West, and Haredi Jerusalem, in Hebrew, English, and Arabic.

This past May, Jerusalem experienced its potentially most dangerous week. There was Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the unification of Jerusalem in 1967 and signifies its occupation simultaneously. A day later, the American Embassy moved to my city. And one day after that fell Nakba Day – marked by my Palestinian neighbours as the day of their catastrophe (Israel’s independence). And all just before the first day of Ramadan, when more than a third of the city fasts until sundown every day for a month and things seem to slow down, even for the Jews.

Although this series of events could have turned Jerusalem into a war-torn city, they did not, because, although many people are unaware of this development: Jerusalem is changing in ways that mean it has the potential to become the tolerance capital of the world.

This is a new development. After the city was reunified or captured (depends how you look at it) fifty years ago, East and West Jerusalem remained divided de-facto; separate lives, different languages, clashing narratives, During the decades that followed, Zion Square, the heart of West Jerusalem, became the centre for protests and for hatred. The Black Panthers, an Israeli protest movement of second-generation Jewish immigrants from North Africa and Middle Eastern countries, demonstrated in the square, protests sometimes ending in clashes with the police, arrests, and injuries. The city suffered terror attacks that took the lives of 22 and injured 90. In 1995 the square hosted the infamous protests in which a picture of then Prime Minister Rabin in S.S. uniform was held aloft. And in the summer of 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, shortly after the murders of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and of Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, Zion Square once again became a centre of protest with right-wing and left-wing factions taking over the square, each yelling their slogans (‘death to Arabs’ and ‘revenge’ on one side; ‘down with fascism’ and ‘Bibi, resign’ on the other).

But then something changed. A couple of right- and left-wing college-aged students – myself among them – decided this wasn’t any way to deal with the turmoil of our country. Much to the disbelief of the protestors in the Square, we sat down smack in the middle of the warring protest groups, and started singing songs of mourning, lighting candles and playing the guitar. Some protesters aimed their anger at us in the form of cigarette butts, beer bottles, and spitting; but some sat down and joined us. In retrospect, we made history by simply starting to talk. At the outskirts of the singing circle, a barrier between the protesters, and us were discussions – real, tough discussions. And these discussions changed Zion Square forever.

‘Speaking in the Square’ is an initiative we started in July 2014 and continued over the next three years. We came to the square week after week, to create dialogue, to encourage tolerance, and to create a space in the public sphere where all opinions could be heard. During those three years, Zion Square saw no protests; only spaces for mutual solace and understanding. When 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered in Jerusalem’s Pride Parade in 2015, her public shiva consisted of nightly dialogue circles for seven straight nights – in Zion Square rather than at the spot she was stabbed. In 2016, the municipality officially renamed the square as the centre for ‘dialogue and tolerance,’ and even asked architects to submit proposals for ideas how to make the space even more available for dialogue and tolerance. Alongside these changes, across the entire city small, grassroots groups blossomed and new ideas for promoting tolerance emerged. Jerusalemites began to see their city’s diversity as an asset.

The seeds that were planted in those years are now growing fast. A recent survey (link in Hebrew) found that 82 per cent of Jerusalemites believe it is important to meet people who are different from them; 95 per cent reported that when they meet someone not from their nationality or religion who needs help, they help; 70 per cent reported not having a problem with living in a building with neighbours from a different sector; and 64 per cent wanted their municipality to be comprised of Haredi, Arab, religious and nonreligious members. When people in the streets of Jerusalem were asked what they thought of Jerusalem as ‘the Tolerance Capital of the world’ their responses were astonishing and belie the city’s bad reputation.

That doesn’t mean there is not intolerance, of course.

East Jerusalem is considered occupied by international law, and its residents aren’t granted Israeli citizenship unless they go through a tortuous process that usually lasts several years. They have to prove their residency, which can be revoked for reasons like living or spending too much time outside of Jerusalem, and they need special documents in order to travel outside of Israel. There is racism, there are disputes, and different communities often find it difficult to converse with one another, let alone legitimise narratives different than their own.

Still, 160,000 of us – Jews, Arabs, asylum seekers, LGBTQ, blind, disabled, Ethiopians, right-wing, left-wing – ride the light rail every day, and there are so few racist events reported that there is no active record of them (we checked!). Our city is roughly a third Arab (Muslim and Christian), a third Haredi, and a third modern orthodox or secular. We meet each other in the streets, on public transportation, in restaurants, in hummus places, in garages, in taxis. There are over 1000 activists in a network for tolerance in the city; 500 activist events that celebrate diversity every year; 80 organisations who work towards promoting tolerance in the city; and two coalitions of activists and organisations. On Jerusalem Day alone – a day disputed and uncomfortable for most Jerusalem residents, and best known for the controversial ‘Flag Parade’ that goes through the Muslim quarter – there were over 80 events that promoted tolerance and created a different – I’d argue an authentically Jerusalemite – narrative of the day.

Just as a city which has infrastructure for bike lanes, hosts cycling events, includes a growing community of riders and attracts people from abroad to experience the ‘bicycle capital of the world’, so Jerusalem can become the tolerance capital of the world, despite the serious and unresolved political-diplomatic issues facing the city.

Chen Amram, a local slam poet and activist says we should dare to call Jerusalem the Tolerance Capital of the world. When considering my vision for Israel, my hope is that it will follow in Jerusalem’s footsteps – that the vast array of different groups within Israeli society will find a way to dialogue with one another, and find that more things unite us than divide us.

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

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Let’s Boast a Minute about MiniActive Youth

As the school year winds down and children and youth get ready for summer vacation, we wanted to take a minute to boast here about the astounding successes of our leading youth program, MiniActive Youth. We’ve reported about them here and here in the past, but it’s always worth an additional mention.

Working in Jebel Mukaber

MiniActive Youth at work in Jebel Mukaber

One of MiniActive Youth’s important achievements over the last year has been the transformation of a bus stop behind the A-Sala’ah School for Boys in Jebel Mukaber. This was no regular bus stop. It was and still is the main place that hundreds of school children were dropped off before school, and waited after school. Before the youth began work, it was dark and dingy, and areas next to it were filled with junk and garbage. After months of contact and follow-up, we engaged the municipality to help clean up the ad-hoc garbage dump. But the youth did most of the work.

They recently made a movie about the whole process. Enjoy! We certainly did.

 

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

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0202 Coming Full Circle – West Jerusalem News in Arabic

We’ve updated over the past 3 years about the progress of the web site and Facebook platform 0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem, which we’ve been mentoring as part of our Grassroots Campaign for Tolerance. The overarching goal of 0202 is to make Jerusalem’s vastly different populations accessible to one another and the world by encapsulating news and community events and translating and explaining them to the ‘other.’ All without commentary or political agendas.

0202 Showing all sides of Jerusalem

0202 Showing all sides of Jerusalem

It started with 0202 – A View from East Jerusalem, which translates news and Facebook sites read by many Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem into Hebrew. This amazingly popular Hebrew Facebook page has become the go-to resource for journalists and city council members, and even East Jerusalem residents themselves, looking for a daily digest for news.

0202 A View from East Jerusalem

0202 A View from East Jerusalem

It then moved on to 0202 – A View from Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jerusalem, which brought news items from Haredi print newspapers and web sites to the general Jewish public, items never before made available to religious and secular Jews.

0202 A View from Haredi Jerusalem

0202 A View from Haredi Jerusalem

The next step was 0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem in English, which summarized both pages above in English on a daily basis. It also translated articles and posts from ‘general’ Jewish West Jerusalem, enabling English-speakers to view all of Jerusalem in one click.

0202, the English page

0202, the English page

The last page, which launched earlier this month is 0202 – West Jerusalem in Arabic, which summarizes local and national news items and translates them into Arabic. Here’s the link, take a look!

0202 new Arabic page

0202 new Arabic page

The new page was covered on the Mako Hebrew news site. You can read the article here.

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation, the UJA-Federation of New York, the Leichtag Foundation and the Natan Fund for their ongoing support of our efforts to promote tolerance in Jerusalem, and to the Natan Fund, the Leichtag Foundation and the Rayne  Foundation for their specific support of 0202.

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Jerusalemite Day of Diversity in the World Capital of Tolerance

This is the third year that 80 tolerance events took place over 36 hours of Jerusalem Day – events that were created by activists who care for the city, who are happy for its diversity, and who want to celebrate Jerusalem Day in a way that expresses the soul of our city, with grassroots messages of Jerusalemites, by Jerusalemites and for Jerusalemites. Together, we proved again that Jerusalem is not a mixture of political and religious slogans hanging above our heads, but a city that’s been blessed with a broad and interesting human diversity. These events proved that Jerusalem is indeed the World Capital of Tolerance…And if you’re an activist for tolerance from anywhere in the world and want to get to know a bustling and effective community that influences the entire city – you should come to Jerusalem, and almost every day you’ll have something to see, someone to meet and something to learn.

This is how our Michal Shilor, Coordinator of our Grassroots Campaign for Tolerance, described this year’s Jerusalemite Day of Diversity in her column in the weekly Hebrew-language newspaper, Yediot Yerushalayim. She further summed up the day in a Jerusalem Post article:

Jerusalemites are taking responsibility for Jerusalem Day…there is a different way to celebrate and mark Jerusalem Day, and that there is space for all opinions and all people in this city.

And in this Times of Israel article Michal noted:

We’re creating a new narrative for this city. It isn’t perfect, but it’s all from a huge range of people who live here and create this day together, tagging it as a city of global tolerance, and we’ll become known for that.

Talking and doing tolerance on Jerusalemite Day

Talking and doing tolerance on Jerusalemite Day

Indeed, this year marked another successful year for the Jerusalemite Day of Diversity, which took place on Jerusalem Day, May 13. For the third year running, we, together with hundreds of activists and thousands of participants, brought Jerusalemites back into the equation on Jerusalem Day. The day featured:

  • 36 hours in which our city was decorated with hope, tolerance, special encounters with those whom we usually do not meet
  • 80 events that were initiated, created, participated in and enjoyed by you,
  • thousands of Jerusalemites from all groups in the city,
  • as part of the 500 events that advance tolerance throughout the year.

So what did we have? We had Jerusalemites’ in the Living Room, where a wide range of Jerusalemites – from an American journalist to a member of the Eidah Haredit to a formerly racist soccer fan who now works to build intercultural bridges:

American journalist Sarah Tuttle Singer tells of her experiences in Jerusalem

American journalist Sarah Tuttle Singer tells of her experiences in Jerusalem

And we had tours – of the hidden Muslim cemetery in Independence Park:

Tour of the hidden Muslim cemetery, with Emek Shaveh

Tour of the hidden Muslim cemetery, with Emek Shaveh

Of the Old City of Jerusalem:

Learning about the Old City with Eran Tzidkiyahu and Ir Amim

Learning about the Old City with Eran Tzidkiyahu and Ir Amim

There were Postcards from the Soul at the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, where people of all backgrounds created postcards with different languages:

Making postcards in all languages at the Tower of David

Making postcards in all languages at the Tower of David

Along the light rail there were several pop-up events, such as a debka dance group at Safra Square – Municipality:

 

A singing group at Davidka Square:

Singing tolerance in Davidka Square

Singing tolerance in Davidka Square

And a short video of them in action

 

Pop-up mediation from Mosaica:

Learning real-life mediation tools

Learning real-life mediation tools

Of course we can’t forget the parades – the Flower Parade, by Tag Meir:

Distributing flowers instead of hate

Distributing flowers instead of hate

And the Jerusalem March, organized by the Yerushalmit Movement, which brought together hundreds of Jerusalemites on the Railway Park:

Marching along the Railway Park

Marching along the Railway Park

Jerusalem resident Ahuva Lebor, in the above-mentioned Jerusalem Post article, mentioned:

This city is a city of love, a city of community, a city that is respectful, and this [the Jerusalem March] is the best and most respectful march where you see real love for Jerusalem.

After the Jerusalem March, participants gathered at the First Station. Later that evening the outdoor tent was filled to the brim with Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Believers Festival.

At the Believers Festival

At the Believers Festival

And here’s more from the “Believers” Festival at the First Station on Sunday night:

 

Educator and activist Carmiel Frutkoff commented that:

Ending the day with hundreds of Jerusalemites who deeply care for this city and its diversity, was exactly what I needed to survive the day…They say that one small candle, can give enough light to rid an entire room of darkness, just imagine what hundreds of good and compassionate people can do to our city…

Here’s his full post on Facebook:

Sunday evening also featured the Creating Tolerance: A Jerusalemite View Conference at the Reut School, which featured members of the community, MKs, and Jerusalemite activists.

Listening to different opinions at the Reut School

Listening to different opinions at the Reut School

Hechal Shlomo at the Great Synagogue also joined in the festivities, with a gallery discussion on its “This Too is Possible” exhibit, which included both Jewish and Arab artists.

From the This Too is Possible exhibit

From the This Too is Possible exhibit

Rounding out the festivities was an open mic night at the Abraham Hostel:

Open mic night at the Abraham Hostel

Open mic night at the Abraham Hostel

We’ve gotten rave reviews from many people. City council member Elad Malka wrote:

We Jerusalemites know that we live here [in Jerusalem] because of the differences and diversity and not despite them. That is why it’s so important for us to live in this city. Other places are just too boring.

Here’s his Facebook post:

Others said:

Without you none of this would have happened, and it definitely would not have become a tradition, especially not in the quality and quantity [of events and activities]. Thank you, and thanks to the general public and to all the ambassadors of tolerance of Jerusalem!

Here’s the Hebrew post:

Indeed, this year we found exactly how much Jerusalemites treasure this diversity. We recent polled Jerusalemites, which was covered by the Mako Hebrew-language news site (associated with the Channel 2 TV news station), and which showed that:

  • 82% of Jerusalemites are happy that there are different groups in the city;
  • 82% feel it’s important to meet people different from them, and 96% report that they do in fact meet people who have a different religion or nationality than them on a daily basis.
  • 70% wouldn’t have a problem living in the same building with someone from a different sector.
  • 95% of the respondents noted that they would help a person in need, even if he / she was from a different religion.

Everything was documented and updated on the Jerusalem Tolerance web site. This year there were more than 350 clicks into the site on Jerusalemite Day!

Leading up to the day two videos were made, this one, by spoken word artist  Chen Amram:

 

And this one, filmed in the popular Mamilla Mall and Old City market:

 

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation, the UJA-Federation of New York, and the Natan Fund for their continued support in working to advance tolerance in Jerusalem.

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Arabic Language Week at the JICC

Our Arabic language classes are learning exciting things all the time. One of the highlights of the past year has been the Arabic Language Week, which took place – all in Arabic – right before the classes went on spring break.

Here’s a summary of all the events:

Sunday, March 18 featured a lecture by Dr. Sarah Abu-Kaf, from the Umm Betin village in the Negev, the first clinical psychologist in the Bedouin community in Israel. Dr. Abu-Kaf is a lecturer in psychology at Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva. She spoke, in Arabic, to levels 3,4 and 5 about the situation of Arab – and Bedouin – students at Israeli universities.

Dr. Sarah Abu Khaf lecturing

Dr. Sarah Abu Kaf lecturing

On Monday, March 19, our own Dr. Anwar Ben Badis led a tour from the First Train Station along the Railway Park for levels 1 and 2, for more than 70 people.

On Tuesday, March 20, Dr. Ben Badis led a second tour, this time to to the libraries and music center on Salah a-Din and Al-Zahra Streets. This tour was for levels 3,4 and 5 – more than 60 people took part.

Tour of library and music center, East Jerusalem

Tour of library and music center, East Jerusalem

On Wednesday, March 21, May Arow, Director of the Ya Sala’am program at the Abraham Fund Initiatives, spoke to some 20 people. Ya Sala’am is a program that places Arab teachers in Jewish elementary schools to teach Arabic language to 5th and 6th grade students. She spoke about her experiences as an Arab teacher in a Jewish school.

May lecture

May lecture

Looks interesting? We’ve already opened registration for next year’s classes! Here’s the link (on our Hebrew web site).

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its continuing support of our Arabic Language Center.

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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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Celebrating a Decade of Cultural Competence

It’s really been 10 years, a decade since we began our Cultural Competency project in the health system. In March 2008 we held what turned out to be the first conference on  Cultural Competency at the ALYN Rehabilitative Hospital. In the 10 years since, we, and ALYN, have been trailblazers in cultural competency in Israel. ALYN was the first hospital to strive for full cultural competence on an everyday level, and we have become national leaders in cultural competency not only in the health care system, but in a range of different areas – from the work place to welfare and other municipal departments.

Dr. Maurit Be'ere and Daud Alian, addressing the first lecture celebrating a decade of Cultural Competency

Dr. Maurit Be’ere and Daud Alian, addressing the first lecture celebrating a decade of Cultural Competency

We decided to celebrate this accomplishment with a series of lectures on Cultural  Competency. The first focused on a lecture by Daud Alian, Director of the Atta’a Assistance Center for the Rights of Palestinian East Jerusalem Residents, on accessibility of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem to health, welfare and education services.

The audience, listening attentively

The audience, listening attentively

ALYN’s lecture hall was full. Dr. Adit Dayan, Director of Community Projects from the Jerusalem Foundation, our strategic partner in Cultural Competency since its inception, opened the conference, along with Dr. Maurit Be’ere, Director of ALYN and the person responsible for bring cultural competency to the hospital, and Tal Cohen, who today is the coordinator for cultural competence at ALYN.

We can’t thank the Jerusalem Foundation enough for their partnership over the years.

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Atta’a: Broadcasting its Expertise

We’ve already noted here how Atta’a has become the #1 go-to resource for East Jerusalem Palestinians seeking information about matters having to do with the Israel Ministry of the Interior, coming up first (even before the official site) in any Arabic-language Google search for “Israel Ministry of the Interior, Jerusalem.”

Long lines outside Israel Ministry of the Interior East Jerusalem branch

Long lines outside Israel Ministry of the Interior East Jerusalem branch

Now, Atta’a is broadcasting its expertise in mainstream Arabic-language media as well. On February 17, Atta’a Director, Daud Alian, appeared in a 25-minute interview on Palestinian television, describing the situation that many Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem face when trying to deal with the Israel Ministry of the Interior. Here’s the video, from the Atta’a Facebook page:

A few weeks later, a story on the same subject appeared in the Arabic-language East Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper, the largest and most widely read Arabic-language daily newspaper in the Palestinian territories. Here’s a link to the online version of the article, and a picture of the printed version:

Article in the Al-Quds newspaper March 6, 2108

Article in the Al-Quds newspaper March 6, 2108

0202-Points of View from Jerusalem translated parts of the article into Hebrew. Here are a few selected quotes:

The Suffering of Those Needing Services from the Israeli Ministry of the Interior is Only Getting Worse

Daud Alian, Director of the Atta’a Center, which specializes in informing residents about procedures of the Ministry of the Interior, the National Insurance Institute and the Jerusalem Municipality, says that the situation at the Israel Ministry of Interior branch in Wadi Joz in East Jerusalem is tragic. He added that the tragic occurrence that happened yesterday, like every day…a long line of people waiting to get into the office, reminded him of the old Ministry of Interior branch on Nablus Road 20 years ago – only suffering and crowding.

Alian noted that the Ministry of Interior shirked its responsibility of setting appointments to complete different procedures. Instead, all appointments must be set through the ‘My Visit’ mobile app, which is not associated with the Ministry of Interior and which is only available in Hebrew and English. In addition, currently the app isn’t working and appointments cannot be made. He added that in most cases when residents try to call to make an appointment, the Ministry of Interior doesn’t answer. And if it does, they only speak in Hebrew.

Alian believes that the only way the problem can be solved is if large numbers of residents flock to the branch every day, like what happened yesterday. Only then, when the Ministry of Interior sees how bad the problem is, will something be done to relieve the situation.

And here’s 0202’s Facebook post (Hebrew):

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for their continued support of Atta’a and its vital work.

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2018-04-21T09:26:13+00:00 March 20th, 2018|Attaa, Blog, Identity Groups and Conflicts, Palestinians/Arabs|

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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Cultural Competency Coordinators – Putting Themselves in the ‘Other’s Shoes

One of the best ways to reduce inter-cultural tensions is by mentalization – understanding everyone’s viewpoints, needs and wants. Acknowledging the complexity of the situation, and even going through the process, helps to ease tensions, explained Irit Hovitz Fleishman, MSW, Founder and CEO of Grand Staff, which helps organizations and businesses manage greatly diverse staffs. Irit was the guest lecturer at the quarterly meeting of Jerusalem-based Cultural Competency Coordinators that took place on March 7, 2018, at the JICC.

Learning new tools for cultural competency with Irit Hovitz Fleishman

Learning new tools for cultural competency with Irit Hovitz Fleishman

There were representatives from ALYN, Hadassah (Mount Scopus and Ein Kerem), Sha’are Zedek hospitals; the Jerusalem Center for Mental Health; Leumit and Meuchedet HMO’s; and even the newly-appointed Cultural Competency coordinator for the Yehuda Abarbanel Mental Health Center in Tel Aviv. Each representative was asked to bring a few case studies that required cultural sensitivity. The encounter was dedicated to learning Irit’s unique method of multi-cultural management, as well as learning practical methods by examining the case studies.

Examples included:

  • Maintaining volunteers from many cultures
  • Sensitivities to status and the boundaries of different positions
  • Cultural adaptations of staff events and holiday-time presents
  • Dealing effectively with political tensions resulting from outside events
  • Managing staff meetings, dietary restrictions (Kashrut, Halal), fasts, holidays (and vacation time)

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation, which has been a strategic partner in Cultural Competency since its inception.

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