In Iqrith after meeting with a local activist
Community in Action from March to May 2017
The participants of “Community in Action” have had a productive term since March, when Sadaka-Reut joined the Global Giving Platform. Besides volunteering 4 days a week in various schools and community centers, the Palestinian and Jewish youth went on three tours, took part in a seminar and implemented an initiative.
The first tour they went on was called “from Jaffa to Beirut”, where they learned about and got to see the sites of destroyed former Arab neighborhoods in Jaffa, Haifa and Iqrith (which is in viewing distance of Lebanese villages, where many Palestinians fled to temporarily, but weren’t granted to return). A month later, the group visited the Jordan Valley, where they met with Bedouin residents and local activists to learn about and witness the harsh living conditions and uncertain future they face due to the reality of military occupation and settlements that surround them. The third tour took the group to Jerusalem, where they met with an activist of the Israeli Black Panthers and hold a seminar about the different forms of structural discrimination based on the similarities of the struggles Mizrachi Jews and Palestinians face in Jerusalem.
During these tours the participants gained a lot of new knowledge about the history of Israel, the occupation and different forms of discrimination opposing the current mainstream narrative in the country. Coping with this information and including it critically in one’s personal understanding of the conflict is not easy for most participants and negative feelings can easily occur.
-“I am angry that I do not know information about the past. Knowing more and being revealed to history makes me want to invest more in changing my society and myself.”- (Palestinian)
Fighting these negative feelings it is part of Sadaka-Reut’s approach to encourage the Jewish and Palestinian youth to find an issue they all consider a problem in their society and implement an initiative to raise awareness about it. Inspired by “The Women’s March”-movement, they decided to hold different workshops dealing with gender equality themed “Until We Become Equal” in a popular park in Jaffa. Additionally, there was a children’s playground, where the women coming to the park could let their children play while they engaged in the workshops or just stopped for a coffee. The idea of the initiative was that the participants could reach out to women that wouldn’t usually go to a lecture about gender equality and hence offer them a different approach to the important issue.
-“Unlike the rest of the Jewish group, I think that I need to find a way to deal with the difficulties that arise when I am revealed to new information that shows my people, or my side, in a negative light.”- (Jewish)
The initiative was very successful and encouraged the Palestinian participants to take a lead in the group’s activities, since the Jewish participants took a step back and trusted their partners in identifying the specific needs and best ways to organize the workshops that would address the Arab community in Jaffa.
All this is possible because of the many generous donations Sadaka-Reut received from you.
Thank you for supporting our project and helping the youth of Israel to create a more equal and just society!
Meeting with a resident of the Jordan Valley