Identity Groups and Conflicts

Little Prince – We’re Talkin’ about a Garbage Revolution

At the JICC, it is our mission to ensure that residents from all Jerusalem communities are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to effect change, on a local and larger level. The Little Prince – Cleaning Up Jerusalem Together seeks to do this, focusing on cleaning up Jerusalem. This past week we had two such opportunities – and we raised public awareness along the way.

The Jerusalem Garbage Commando

The Jerusalem Garbage Commando

Last Friday (October 26) we held the first of a series of ‘expert training’ meetings, which aim to engage residents to become a part of the Garbage Commando. Gilo resident and the official record-holder for reports to the 106 municipal hotline (where you report excess garbage and other hazards), Dan Krakow, explained the ins and outs of reporting hazards, whom to turn to in the Municipality, and more. This was the first such meeting, and we intend for there to be many more. The meeting was covered in the local Hebrew Jerusalem newspaper, Yediot Yerushalayim (article above).

Little Prince activists not only made news locally – they were also in national news. The article pictured below, “Rich Trash, Poor Trash,” (see here for the article in Hebrew) which was published on the national news web site YNet, describes the gap in response time between rich neighborhoods and poor neighborhoods after trash and other hazards are reported. In [the well-to-do] neighborhood of Ramot, hazards were cleared away only 1 /2 hour after being reported,” notes the article. “While in the [less well-to-do] neighborhood of Nahlaot…reports from October 9th had still not been handled.”

Rich Trash, Poor Trash on Ynet

Rich Trash, Poor Trash on Ynet

What’s for sure is that Little Prince’s activists, from all sectors and all groups in Jerusalem, will keep on the watch to make Jerusalem a clean city.

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its support of our effective activism efforts and to the Rayne Foundation for its support the Little Prince initiative!

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Modern Mount Zion Featured in Houses from Within Festival

We just love talking about how much the Window to Mount Zion has accomplished over the past 3 years.

On tour with Window to Mount Zion

On tour with Window to Mount Zion

During last week’s Houses from Within Festival, this Mount Zion was featured. The Israeli public loved it as much as we do – and 60 people (!) came to a tour about what’s been going on recently on the Mount on Friday, October 19.

This is what the program had to say:

Mount Zion has known inter-religious conflict for centuries. Each culture left behind religious traditions, human stories and unique architectural legacies. Nowadays, Jews, Christians and Muslims all live on Mount Zion and Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations and institutions are located and operate there. In recent years, the relations between them have been steadily improving. The two-hour tour, led by the Window to Mount Zion project of the Jerusalem Intercultural Center, will offer a contemporary and optimistic look at what is happening on Mount Zion today. It will include the Dormition Abbey, the Dajani family burial plot, David`s Tomb, the Greek Garden, the Jerusalem Intercultural Center, and more.
Many thanks to the partnership of Search for Common Ground and the Jerusalem Foundation in this project!

 

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2018-10-27T06:31:50+00:00October 26th, 2018|Blog, Identity Groups and Conflicts, Mount Zion|

Making Souls Festival – Making Room for Mental Health Issues in the Public Sphere

When we talk about increasing tolerance in Jerusalem, we’re not just talking about tolerance for different cultures, ethnicities, and religions. We’re talking about everyone in society, including those who are coping with mental health issues.

Making Souls Festival

Making Souls Festival

Over the past year and a half, as part of our Grassroots  Campaign for Tolerance, our Michal Shilor has accompanied – Nefashot (souls in Hebrew) – a group seeking to break down stigma about mental health issues by creating spaces for awareness and dialogue in Jerusalem´s public sphere. For the past two years Nefashot  has held events on Jerusalemite Day of Diversity. This year, in celebration of World Mental Health Day on October 10, Nefashot, with the support of the JICC, produced Ossim Nefashot – the Making Souls Festival. The festival featured 19 events, beginning Sunday, October 7, and running through Friday, October 12.

Mental health issues affect all segments of society

Mental health issues affect all segments of society

The events included: talks, discussions, lectures, exhibits, performances, and more. About how mental health issues affected motherhood, their people’s personal journeys and experiences, their art, their stories, and even a baking workshop.

Don't know what this is but it looks cool

Double sitgma

All were organized by organizations, places and especially people who have joined forces together to achieve one goal: to raise public awareness about mental health in our city while reducing  stigma against people coping with mental difficulties. The events include lectures, shows, movies, information booths, learning days and more.

Speaking about how mental health issues touch lives everyday

Speaking about how mental health issues touch lives everyday

Many thanks to the organizers. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Ronni Diler, one of the organizers, noted, “This might sound over the top, but I feel like my life has completely changed since I’ve become involved with [the JICC’s tolerance efforts]. I’m a purebred Jerusalemite and I always felt connected, but over the last year I’ve come to know more and more people and initiatives that are doing amazing things, with lots of good will and cooperation. There’s no doubt that without our guide (we are only 1 1/2 years old), Michal Shilor we wouldn’t have gotten to this place.”

"Mom Is Not Crazy" performance at AACI

“Mom Is Not Crazy” performance at AACI

Yaniv Rosenfeld Cohen, another organizer, said, “A year and a half ago Nefashot was born. I didn’t know how it would turn out, and if I’d have the strength to develop it. But I hoped that I would have enough courage to try something completely out of the mainstream. Nefashot was born with a goal to fight stigmas associated with mental health, and was an attempt to create a human and authentic encounter. Since then those who know me know that I am very passionate about this initiative and it’s one of the most significant things that I’ve been involved with. I’ve had the fortune and honor to have a number of extraordinary people helping me. They are the people working day and night to try and create a better and more tolerant city in Jerusalem. The missing part of the puzzle is Michal  Shilor [and the JICC], who decided to accompany us despite her crazy schedule. Without her un-ending optimism and energies I have no doubt that the picture would have looked entirely different. The 19 special events that [took place] this week would not have been possible without the people who decided to make this city better. I take my hat off to every one of them.

At the Jerusalem Cinematheque

Performance at Beit Taylor, Kiryat Hayovel

 

Sivan Regev said, “So excited that this week is here! So many partners, [including the JICC]. And to all those who came with initiatives, those that we’re implementing now and those that we’ll continue to develop, and to those to ask me, and spread the word, and ask me to send them a flyer so they can tell others. A sea of wonderful people. Thank you everyone!”

Something at Heichal Shlomo

Full house at the Clubhouse

Here’s a little summary video with the highlights of all the events (in Hebrew):

 

Click here for the entire list of events (Hebrew).

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation, to the Natan Fund, and to the UJA-Federation of New York for their support for our efforts to increase tolerance in Jerusalem.

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Celebrating a Decade of Cultural Competency: New Practical Uses for Old Traditions: The Ethiopian Case

It’s incredible that we’ve been leading efforts to increase cultural competency for the past 10 years. To celebrate, as we’ve described here and here, we’re hosting a series of lectures in partnership with the ALYN Rehabilitative Hospital and the Jerusalem Foundation. The latest lecture was on Monday, October 15, 2018. In honor of the upcoming Sigd Holiday, which will take place on November 7, the lecture focused on the source of the holiday, and enabled a closer look at different traditions that the Ethiopian community in Israel brings to society. This community had been disconnected from the rest of the Jewish world for more than 2,000 years until coming to Israel, and still preserves its ancient traditions while also developing new ones.

Yuvi lecturing

Yuvi lecturing

The lecturer was Ms. Yuvi Tashome-Katz, who was born in Ethiopia and came to Israel via Sudan. Today Yuvi is a social entrepreneur and activist, with twenty years’ experience in community work and counseling, and today is a member of the southern city of Gadera’s city council. In recognition of her social activities, Yuvi was chosen to light one of the ceremonial torches on the 2011 Independence Day celebrations. Later that year she was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Initiatives and Innovation and the Matanel Prize for Groundbreaking Leadership.   

Lecturing to a full house

Lecturing to a full house

In addition to the Sigd holiday, Yuvi spoke about how women learned about womanhood and parenting from the ‘Women’s House’ – a place women stayed during ‘menstruation holiday,’ as well as for 40 days after birth. From a young age teenagers were shown how to care for babies, nursing, and more. Children were taught to strengthen their abilities, and tasks around the house and in the fields were assigned according to their abilities. In addition, information about medicinal herbs, nutrition and other health-related issues was passed along orally from one to another.

ALYN’s lecture hall was full to the gills, and the 50 members of the audience had a fascinating lecture. The participants were impressed by the sheer amount of knowledge the Ethiopian elders had, and how much knowledge Israeli society missed out on. Participants were enthusiastic to invite Yuvi back, to help them better understand how this knowledge can help the therapeutic process.

Many thanks to Yuvi, to ALYN, and of course, to the Jerusalem Foundation for its ongoing support of cultural competency since its inception!

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Zion Square – Open for Tolerance

Zion Square is the heart of downtown Jewish Jerusalem. All of our efforts to advance tolerance and fight racism in Jerusalem began in Zion Square. We’ve reported here and here about the Jerusalem Municipality’s recognition of the importance of the Square, and of its recent re-design and renewal of the Square according to principles that foster connecting with one another, and tolerance.

Picturing a re-designed Zion Square in the news

Picturing a re-designed Zion Square in the news

“The new design of Zion Square turns it into a place that makes connections, and advances tolerance and mutual respect,” noted Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in a recent article on the opening. “The renewal of the Square is another stage in strengthening the city center.” You can read the Hebrew article here and here.

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation, the UJA-Federation of New York, and Natan who are helping us advance tolerance in Jerusalem.

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One Common Priority: A Clean Jerusalem

“Our standards of what is and isn’t a clean city have gotten confused,”  Said our Tal Kligman in this Hebrew article, published on the popular Ynet web site. She continued, “when residents from other cities visit me and say, ‘See how dirty it is here,’ I don’t see it. For me, it’s considered clean. But the truth is that the ground beneath the garbage can on the street isn’t supposed to be black. We, residents of this city, want a clean city.”

'Garbage Tour' in central Jerusalem

‘Garbage Tour’ in central Jerusalem

As we’ve noted herehere, here and here, the Little Prince – Cleaning Up Jerusalem Together is using trash to bring people together.  Orthodox, secular and Haredi Jews, Christians and Muslim Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians – all wish to see a clean Jerusalem and all are struggling with the current reality. The Little Prince seeks to empower residents from all sectors to work together and within their own communities to make Jerusalem a clean city.  The goal is to build broad networks on the grassroots as well as professional and political levels that can solve problems on both a one-time and system-wide basis.

Concentrating on different areas in central Jerusalem

Concentrating on different areas in central Jerusalem

Over the past year and a half the Little Prince – Jews and Arabs from across the ethnic and political spectrum – has been working to raise awareness about the need for a clean Jerusalem.  They have even succeeded in making the subject one of the main issues discussed in the upcoming Jerusalem mayoral elections.

Discussing issues of sanitation and a clean city

Discussing issues of sanitation and a clean city

Last Saturday night, 15.9.18, we held a ‘Garbage Tour’ of central Jerusalem for activists and for mayoral candidates. Nearly all the candidates or their representatives took part. All promised to take steps to improve the situation. Residents who led the tour stressed a number of crucial points, including: changing the definition of what is considered clean, taking responsibility for a clean city, expanding infrastructure, increasing enforcement, changing the organizational culture with regards to having a clean city, and changing the city’s image. In addition to the ynet article, the tour was also covered on the Hebrew-language Kipa web page, which targets the Orthodox public.

All mayoral candidates signed the Clean City Platform

All mayoral candidates signed the Clean City Platform

In addition to the Garbage Tour we, together with our partner activists in action, have written a Clean City Platform, which summarizes the main points needed to improve cleanliness in the city, and all of the mayoral candidates have signed! The Platform holds the mayor responsible for sanitation in the city, through the allocation of resources, through supervision and enforcement, through education and awareness raising for all residents of the city. The Platform raises the standards for accepted levels of sanitation and cleanliness in the city. Here’s a few pictures of candidates signing the Platform:

Minister of the Environment and Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage, Ze'ev Elkin

Minister of the Environment and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, Ze’ev Elkin

We also have a picture of former Deputy Mayor Ofer Berkovitz signing:

Ofer Berkovitz signing the Clean City Platform

Ofer Berkovitz signing the Clean City Platform

And a local Haredi weekly newspaper did an article on Haredi mayoral candidate Yossi Deutsch as he signed the Platform:

Yossi Deutsch signing Platform

Yossi Deutsch signing Platform

Here’s the Hebrew Facebook post from the Little Prince Facebook group:

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its ongoing support of our effective activism programs!

 

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Santé Israël – in the Times of Israel French Edition

We’re always proud to talk about Santé Israël, the go-to website for information in French about the Israeli health system. Nowadays it is much more than a website – with a free consultation service and French-speaking volunteers who help on-site the navigate the Israeli healthcare system.

And we even prouder to see them in print, this time in the French edition of the Times of Israel. For the link to the article, click here.

The Times of Israel article

The Times of Israel article

Here’s the text of the article in French:

Une nouvelle interface en français pour le système de santé israélien

La Fondation Pharmadom, sous l’égide de la Fondation du judaïsme français, a mis sur pied le site Santé Israël à destination des francophones

La fondation Pharmadom, et d’autres organisations telles que le Centre Interculturel de Jérusalem en collaboration avec la fondation Rashi ont participé ont lancé un site gratuit permettant aux francophones de s’orienter simplement dans le système de santé israélien.

Un système qui peut s’avérer un peu déroutant pour les nouveaux immigrants français.

« Trouver un centre médical d’urgence ou un médecin et préparer sa visite, localiser des services de santé français, se renseigner sur les équivalences des médicaments en France et en Israël, déchiffrer une ordonnance, trouver une pharmacie ou encore se renseigner sur la couverture des caisses sont autant d’interrogations auxquelles le site répond à travers des pages et des rubriques faciles d’accès, » affirme Pharmadom.

Le site permet également d’aider à trouver un praticien francophone en Israël.

Créée en 2003 à l’initiative de pharmaciens, la fondation Pharmadom, sous l’égide de la Fondation du judaïsme français, aide « les populations fragiles en facilitant l’accès aux soins en France et en Israël ». Elle soutient notamment financièrement depuis mai 2016 à Haïfa le Pharmadom Vision Center, qui vient en aide à des malvoyants.

Many thanks to the Pharmadom and Rashi Foundations for their continued support of Santé Israël.

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MiniActive Youth – Doing their Part to Improve the Environment

Not wanting to be outdone by the boys, recently MiniActive youth – teenage girls group – began work in the area of the Central Arab Library in Wadi Joz.

Working together to improve the garden

Working together to improve the garden

They cleared the leaved and dry grass.

First, they needed to clean up the area.

First, they needed to clean up the area.

The filled areas with sand and covered them, forming a solid base.

Building a base for????

Building a base for????

They painted tires and filled them with sand, which will be used for planters.

They never get "tired" out!

They never get “tired” out!

These girls are not only decorating, they have also had an important hand in designing the plan, together with a trained landscape designers.

Yet another example of MiniActive youth working toward a better environment in East Jerusalem!

Here’s the original Facebook post in Arabic:

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation and Natan for its continued support of MiniActive!

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Cultural Competency within the Haredi community?

When we talk about cultural competency, it’s usually about helping service providers serve a range of minority groups better. Or it’s about one minority group learning to work better within the majority’s ‘system.’ But what about one minority group within itself?

This was our focus when we held a cultural competency workshop for women lecturers at the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) in early July. The JCT is an institute of higher education that targets Orthodox and Haredi men and women, in separate campuses and in single-gender classes, focusing on engineering and computers, management and life and biological sciences (such as nursing).

Teaching cultural competency at the JCT

Teaching cultural competency at the JCT

The lecturers came from a range of disciplines – business administration, mathematics, law, nursing, and more, and themselves represented a variety of cultures and religious observances.

From the outside, the Haredi world might seem monolithic and singular. But when you look more closely that world is extremely diverse, and cultural competency skills are necessary in teaching, especially if the lecturers do not come from that world, which was the case for some in the workshop. Some lecturers spoke about how they looked for course content that was appropriate for the students, including examples that the students could relate to. Another lecturer spoke about how her students address her in the third person, as is the norm in the Haredi world. Yet another told that the teaching style expected in the Haredi world leaves little room for spontaneity in the classroom, which is quite different than what she’s used to in other ‘general’ frameworks. And yet another, a lecturer in economics, told about an incident of a male colleague. He wanted to present the Brazilian economic model to his female students. He typed in “Brazilian model” into Google, and got quite a different result than he’d planned.  While everyone in the class was quite embarrassed, workshop participants agreed that the matter would have been considered much more serious if it’d been a class of only male students….

This is just one example of our continued work in the field of cultural competency, in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. We would like to extend our gratitude to the Jerusalem Foundation, for its continuing support of Cultural Competency in Jerusalem since its inception a decade ago.

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Santé Israël – Bikur Olim (Bikour Olim)

There are some 100,000 French-speaking immigrants living in Israel. What do they do if they need extra help in navigating the health care system?

Training to help French-speaking immigrants

Training to help French-speaking immigrants

Santé Israël is here to help, with its Bikur Olim project. In French, it is written Bikour Olim.

Bikur Olim (a play on the phrase, Bikur Cholim, which means visiting the sick) is piloting in Jerusalem. Operating in cooperation with the Qualita organization that assists French-speaking immigrants in Israel, and with the generous support of the Pharmadom Foundation, the program seeks to help and accompany French-speaking immigrants to access their rights – in the health system, at the Municipality, at the National Insurance Institute, and other service providers.

At the second meeting at the JICC offices

At the second meeting at the JICC offices

In June we held 2 training sessions for program volunteers, one at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center and the other at our offices on Mount Zion. In the first meeting the volunteers met Estelle Rubenstein, Director of Social Services at Hadassah Ein Kerem. Estelle advised the volunteers on how they can accompany patients and families at the hospital, and how to help them access their rights without expressing their personal opinions. Aviva Yoselis, MPH, from the Shira Pransky Project, presented skills on effective three-way communication between a doctor, a volunteer and the patient.

Parts of the presentation at the second meeting

Parts of the presentation at the second meeting

The second session was led by our Cultural Competency Desk Director, Orna Shani. Orna concentrated on dilemmas that might arise as during the accompanying process, the role of the volunteer in a meeting vs. straight translation, and the different stages of accompanying a client.

They are now producing a flyer, and during and after the High Holiday season they’ll begin offering their services. Can’t wait to see the good they’re going to do.

With calling cards and everything

With calling cards and everything

 

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