New-York Jerusalem Experts Exchange – NYJEE

Diversity SWAT Team Webinar 1 – London!

Our new series of webinars is dedicated to what we call “Diversity SWAT Teams”. We brought together Rabbi Bob Kaplan from the JCRC-NY, Alex Goldberg from the London Jewish Forum and Hagai Agmon-Snir from the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center, to detail the ways by which they effectively manage cross-cultural community conflicts in their respective locations. These three organizations perceive such interventions to be part of their role.

Alex Goldberg at the Diversity SWAT Team Webinar

Alex Goldberg at the Diversity SWAT Team Webinar

Today we had the first webinar in the series. Alex Goldberg presented the approach the London Jewish Forum is implementing in London and other British cities. Mainly he focused on how they engage the government, police, businesses, civil society and NGOs in their processes. Following the presentation, the two other panelists, Rabbi Bob Kaplan and Dr. Hagai Agmon-Snir, added their perspectives on the issues and raised questions that may help in this inter-city learning.

For us at the JICC, this series is very important. Increasingly we find ourselves involved in creating and training Diversity SWAT Teams in mixed cities in Israel, together with local municipal agencies.

You can find the presentation and additional information (also about the next webinars in this series) online at the NYJEE site.

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Tikkun Webinar 3 – the Jewish Response to Sex Traficking

Following our successful first and second webinars titled “Tikkun Olam”, we had today the webinar on the Jewish response to sex trafficking. The “Tikkun Olam” series involves Israeli and Jewish experts and volunteers from all over the world, who focus on helping people outside the Israeli/Jewish community.

Rita Chaikin speaks at the Tikkun Webinar 3

Dr. Rita Cheikin speaks at the Tikkun Webinar 3

We had around 30 participants from all over the world (see the Israeli and American invitations), including Israel, UK, US and the Czech Republic. The first presentation was given from Haifa by Rita Chaikin, Anti-Trafficking Project Coordinator at the Haifa Feminist Center, Isha L’Isha. It was titled: “Rehabilitating Trafficked Women — Monitoring Field Work with Victims of Trafficking in Israel”. The presentation is available here.

Example of flyers at the Tikkun Webinar 3

Example of fliers at the Tikkun Webinar 3

The second presentation was given from London by Dr. Michael Korzinski, Co-Founder and Clinical Director at the Helen Bamber Foundation. Its title was “Rebuilding Lives and Inspiring a New Self-esteem in Survivors of Sex Trafficking”.

More information and audio recording of the webinar can be found at the New-York – Jerusalem Experts Exchange site.

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Tikkun Webinar 2 – the Jewish Response to Natural Disasters

Since 2004, the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center has a strategic partner in New-York – Cause-NY (of the JCRC-NY), headed by Rabbi Bob Kaplan. Use this link to learn more about this partnership. The program is funded by UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Agency For Israel.

One aspect of this fascinating exchange is our joint facilitation of a series of webinars on topics that are of interest for a specific community of activists globally. Previous series were on issues such as cultural competence in health, cultural competence at the workplace, community resilience and more. The new series we started this week deals with ”Tikkun Olam” and involves Israeli and Jewish experts and volunteers from all over the world, who focus on helping people outside the Israeli/Jewish community.

Dr. William Recant and the facilitators at the Webinar

Dr. William Recant and the facilitators at the Webinar

The second webinar was on “the Jewish Response to Natural Disasters” (see the Israeli and American invitations). 27 participants from the US, Israel and the United Kingdom joined the webinar. The presentations were given by DR. WILLIAM RECANT, Assistant Executive Vice-President, the Joint Distribution Committee, and by Dr. MIKE NAFTALI, founder and chairperson of Brit Olam. Both presentations gave good examples for Jewish and Israeli organizations working jointly to bring relief to various places around the world following natural calamities.

Dr. Mike Naftali and the facilitators at the Webinar

Dr. Mike Naftali and the facilitators at the Webinar

The next webinar in this series is scheduled for the end of January 2009.

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Tikkun Webinar 1 – the Jewish Response to Genocide

Since 2004, the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center has a strategic partner in New-York – Cause-NY (of the JCRC-NY), headed by Rabbi Bob Kaplan. This partnership is available through our shared program, the New-York Jerusalem Experts Exchange, connecting experts and professionals in Israel, New York and other places around the world. Professionals involved in this network work in the fields of diversity, coalition building, community organizing and dialogue.  The program is funded by UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Agency For Israel.

One aspect of this fascinating exchange is our joint facilitation of a series of webinars on topics that interest a specific community of activists globally. Previous series were on issues such as cultural competence in health, cultural competence at the workplace, community resilience and more. The new series we started this week deals with “Tikkun Olam” and involves Israeli and Jewish experts and volunteers from all over the world who focus on helping people outside the Israeli/Jewish community.

Tikun Webinar 1 snapshot

Tikun Webinar 1 snapshot

The first webinar was on “the Jewish Response to Genocide” (see the Israeli and American invitations). The 30 participants were from the US, Israel, London and San Paulo. The first presentation was by DR. WILLIAM RECANT, Assistant Executive Vice-President, the Joint Distribution Committee. He focused on the “Agahozo Shalom Youth Village”, for kids who survived the genocide in Rwanda. This village is based on a similar project that was conducted in Israel in the 50’s for kids survivors of the Holocaust.

Next, RUTH MESSINGER & GITTA ZOMORODI, respectively the President and Senior Policy Associate of the American Jewish World Service, gave a presentation about their work in Darfour. The last presentation, by YIFTACH MILLO, Director of ASSAF, the Aid Organization for Refugees & Asylum Seekers, provided an analysis of genocide as a recurring phenomenon in modern Africa.

Altogether this was an excellent opening to the series. The next webinar in this series will be held in mid-January 2009.

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Rabbi Bob Kaplan in Acre

Rabbi Bob Kaplan, Director of Cause-NY (of the JCRC-NY) and our New York partner in the New-York Jerusalem Experts Exchange, toured Acco today as part of his visit in Israel. Rabbi Kaplan presented to local leaders and mediators the inter-identity crisis intervention model he uses in NYC. With the help of the Gishurim Project, a Community Dialogue and Mediation Center is currently being established in Acco. The meeting was set in order to help the center in its research and development process for designing the optimal implementation of such an institute in Acco. The recent events in Acco highlighted the urgent need for community dialogue and mediation in the city.

Acco

Acco

About 40 participants from various identities and agencies arrived to the meeting where  Rabbi Kaplan and Dr. Hagai Agmon-Snir (JICC’ director) presented various models from NY and Israel.

Kaplan and Agmon-Snir at the Acco meeting

Kaplan and Agmon-Snir at the Acco meeting

The principal invitees to the meeting were the Imam of Acco, Sheikh Samir Asi and the Chief Rabbi of the city, Rabbi Yossef Yashar. They both had to attend a meeting with Israel’s President, Mr. Shimon Peres, on the same morning, but Rabbi Yashar saw it as important  to open the meeting and discuss some of the issues with Rabbi Kaplan.

Acco Chief Rabbi Yashar and Rabbi Kaplan

Acco Chief Rabbi Yashar and Rabbi Kaplan

Following the main assembly, the Community Dialogue and Mediation Center staff conducted a working session with the visitors from NY and Jerusalem, where next steps were formulated and peer consultation with the JICC and CAUSE-NY was put in place.

Acco Community Dialogue Center staff and the guests

Acco Community Dialogue Center staff with guests

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Lod – Rabbi Bob Kaplan meets the Mayor

Rabbi Bob Kaplan, Director of Cause-NY (of the JCRC-NY) and our New York partner in the New-York Jerusalem Experts Exchange, visited Lod today as part of his visit to Israel. The purpose of the visit was to present the Inter-Identity Crisis Intervention model Bob uses in NYC. In a special meeting of the Lod Multicultural Forum, together with Lod’s Mayor, the NYC model was introduced and compared to the model currently implemented in Lod, with the support of the JICC.

Rabbi Kaplan at the Lod Mayor's Office

Rabbi Kaplan at the Lod Municipality

Orit Yulzari, Director of the Lod Community Dialogue and Mediation Center, was an intern at Cause-NY a few years ago. Upon her return to Israel she began receiving on-going consultation from the JICC. As aprt of her work she initiated the Lod Multicultural Forum which focuses on ways to make Lod a more culturally competent city and importantly it also serves as the city’s inter-identity crisis intervention team. A few weeks ago when there was an arson of a synagogue in Lod the forum was used for this purpose.

During the presentation, the Mayor and all the participants emphasized the importance of the Crisis Intervention Team. Insights and tips from similar work in NYC were discussed.

Update, Nov 25:     just a few days after this visit, Orit Yulzari received a call about an incident at an Arab school. A 10-years old kid threw a stone at a police car and the police officer slapped him and called him “Hammas member”. Orit and the Mayor immediately got to the place and ensured that the incident was appropriately dealt with. The fast intervention assured that no disinformation and incitement took place. Later on that day other members of the Forum met with all the relevant sides.

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