February 2017   

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Upcoming Events


| Feb 25-28 - Washington, DC

Myriam-Mazen JCPA's annual conference is marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem with a session on shared spaces and shared life education in the city. Hear from civil society leaders, Myriam Darmoni Charbit from the Center for Educational Technology, Mazen Faraj from the Parents Circle, and Father Josh Thomas from Kids4Peace to hear about efforts to bridge divides and strengthen connections among Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem.



Update and insights into Israeli Hope in the Academia
| Mar 9 - NYC

Ayala HendinPresident Reuven Rivlin's initiative, Israeli Hope in the Academia, aims to promote diversity and multiculturalism in the higher education system as a key component of his broader Israeli Hope initiative. Join us to hear from Ayala Hendin, Director of Israeli Hope in Academia (Joint Initiative), about the initiative's goals—including enhancing academic excellence and diverse intellectual and social leadership; updates on its implementation across Israel's universities and colleges; and insights into how the initiatives complements other efforts to create shared campuses in Israel.



JFN International Conference
| Mar 19-21 - Atlanta

At this year's JFN international Conference there will be multiple activities highlighting Jewish-Arab relations and Arab citizens of Israel including a Task Force coordinated session on the Government's Economic Development Plan for Arab Society, a breakfast meeting of the Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society, an art exhibit by Jewish and Arab youth..

JFN-NEWFive years and 15 Billion NIS: Closing Gaps Between Israel's Jewish and Arab Citizens by 2022 - Tuesday March 21st, 9:15am

Meeting: Collective Venture Philanthropy for Shared Society - Monday March 20th - 7:45am

Art Exhibit: Shonim B'Yachad - Embracing Our Differences - on display throughout the conference



Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi at the NCJW National Convention
| Mar 23-25 - Atlanta

NCJW_ConventionGhaida Rinawie-Zoabi, Executive Director of Injaz Center for Professional Arab Local Governance, will be a plenary speaker at this year's NCJW convention as well as a panelist at its "Spotlight on Israel" session. At both, she will speak about the changing roles of women in Arab community development, including increased participation in local government and the workforce, along with the added complexity of being an Arab woman in the Jewish state.


Recent Publications and Resources

Arab Philanthropy in Israel: Insights into Strategic Giving

Arab_Philanthropy_paperThe past decade has seen gradual developments in Arab philanthropy in Israel. While most Arab philanthropy remains almost entirely within traditional and religious charitable customs, there are now Arab organizations and leaders who are looking at it as a vehicle for community development and social change. This briefing paper discusses the current status of strategic Arab philanthropy in Israel, and highlights the work of individual leaders and organizations furthering a culture of giving and philanthropic leadership in Israel's Arab society.

Read about the report in eJewish Philanthropy:
Do Arab Philanthropists in Israel Exist? - eJewish Philanthropy - Jeffrey Solomon and Michal Steinman - 1.24.17


Home Demolitions and State-Minority Relations: The Events in Qalansawe and Umm Al Hiran

Home_Demolitions_briefingIn mid-January, two highly publicized demolitions of homes took place in the Arab localities of Qalansawe and Umm Al Hiran in Israel, resulting in the tragic deaths of one police officer and one Bedouin teacher. This Task Force update briefly summarizes the sequence of events, the questions they have raised related to the government frameworks for resolving land and planning issues, and the broader context contributing to heightened tensions about these issues.


Shared Life Education Program Database

SLE_databaseThe Task Force recently launched a Shared Life Education Program Database, a pilot initiated and supported by the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation. The database compiles organizational data (operational and financial) about programs in Israel's public education system that aim to develop tools, experiences, and awareness for cultivating a shared society in a diverse and multicultural country, as described in our briefing paper, Shared Life Education in Israel's Public Education System.


Recent Events

   Conference Calls

Home Demolitions and State Minority Relations: The Events in Qalansawe and Umm Al Hiran

ThabetFollowing two highly publicized home demolitions in Qalansawe and Umm Al Hiran, the Task Force hosted a conference call on January 24th with Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, expert on land and housing Israel's Arab society and co-Executive Director of The Abraham Fund Initiatives. Abu Rass discussed the recent demolitions and related events, public responses, and the possible implications for land and planning for Israel's Arab citizens.


State-Minority Relations and Trends in Arab Political Leadership in Israel

On January 4th, Meir Elran, Senior Fellow and Head of the Programs on Homeland Security and Socio-Military Relations at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) spoke on a conference for Task Force members about recent events in Arab political leadership, including the abstention of Arab MKs from Peres' funeral and the investigation into MK Basel Ghattas, and state-minority relations.


   Events and Presentations

Educating the Next Generation of Arab Citizens
| Miami, New York, Cleveland

DaliaDr. Dalia Fadila, President of Al Qasemi Engineering and Science College and Founder of Q Schools, spoke to audiences in Long Island, Miami, Washington DC, and Cleveland about women's empowerment, the role of education, and the next generation of Arab citizens looking to build a more shared society in Israel.


Building Shared Society in Israel: Challenges and Opportunities |

AmalThe Task Force, Beth Sholom Synagogue of Memphis, and the Memphis Jewish Federation hosted an evening presentation with Amal Elsana Alh'jooj, Director of North American relations of AJEEC-NISPED, who shared her personal story as a Bedouin women in Israel and discussed current efforts by Jewish and Arab civil society leaders to build a more shared society in Israel. Amal also held separate events with Memphis members of the Lions of Judah, and additional Jewish women's leadership.


Creating a Shared Society Between Jewish and Arab Citizens in Israel
| Los Angeles

Mohammad_DarawsheMohammad Darawshe, Director of Planning, Equality and Shared Society at Givat Haviva, was hosted by Temple Israel of Hollywood to speak about recent developments in efforts to create a more shared society in Israel and the work of Jewish and Arab leaders to achieve equality for all citizens as established in Israel's Declaration of Independence.


Models for Arab Academic Success at Israel's Only Majority-Arab College
| New York

Zefat Academic College (ZAC), set in a city with a large Ultra-Orthodox population, has the largest number of Arab students in an Israeli college or university, and is the only campus that has an Arab majority (of whom a growing majority are women.) The Task Force hosted a breakfast with President of ZAC, Professor Haim Breitbart, to discuss how the college creates a welcoming environment where its Arab students can succeed.


10th Anniversary Other Israel Film Festival
| New York City

OtherIsraelAt this year's Other Israel Film Festival, the Task Force co-presented several films featuring Arab citizens and Jewish-Arab relations, including episodes from Sayed Kashua's newest semi-autobiographical television series, The Writer, and Sand Storm, Elite Zexer's directorial debut about Bedouin society which won the Ophir award for Best Picture, Holy Zoo and Nazareth Cinema Lady.


Israel's Women and Minorities in the Workplace: Employment and Equal Opportunity
| New York City

In partnership with NCJW, the Task Force hosted Adv. Mariam Kabaha, Commissioner of Israel's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), who shared her personal journey as a professional Arab woman in Israel, her vision for the EEOC going forward, and discussed its current efforts to ensure equal access to employment for all Israelis.


Online Resources

Visit iataskforce.org for ongoing updates and resources


Missions in Israel

Contact us for support planning your next mission to Israel.

Jewish Federations of North America - Small Federations | February 2017

JFNA_logoJFNA's mission for 30 small-size federation executives visited Laqiya to learn about Israel's Bedouin society in the Negev. The Task Force introduced Bedouin society and coordinated meetings with Ibrahim Nsasra, a Bedouin entrepreneuer, philanthropist and founder of the Tamar Center for Bedouin Excellence, who shared his story and spoke about developments in Bedouin access to higher education. Participants also visited a local high school to meet with Bedouin students in Tamar's STEM enrichment classes.

Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford | January 2017

Hartford_FederationParticipants from the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford's Men's Mission were hosted by the Task Force in Nazareth. They visited the Nazareth Industrial Park and met with Reem Younis, Co-Founder of Alpha Omega. She spoke about high tech in Arab society and her involvement as a leader and philanthropist in promoting economic development, equal opportunity and shared society in Israel today.

Central Conference of American Rabbis | January 2017

CCAR_logo The Task Force arranged a half-day of learning on Arab society in Israel for 15 participants from CCAR's leadership program. Participants visited Givat Haviva for a presentation with Mohammad Darawshe, Director of Planning, Equality and Shared Society at Givat Haviva. They continued to Kfar Qara to meet with Amna Kanane, a local activist and Director of Awareness for You. Amna shared her story of empowerment and dedication to empowering others and enhancing Jewish-Arab dialogue.

JAFI: Machon Youth Leadership Institute | January 2017

JAFIParticipants from Machon Youth Leadership Institute met with Ibrahim Nsasra, Bedouin entrepeneuer, philanthropist and founder of the Tamar Center for Bedouin Excellence in Beer Sheva, who spoke about his personal background and challenges and opportunities facing Bedouin youth in accessing higher education in Israel. They also met with Bedouin high school students, who participate in the Tamar Center's STEM enrichment classes every Friday.

Jewish Federations of North America - Large and Intermediate Federations | January 2017

JFNA_logo The Task Force organized a half-day of learning for the 15 members of JFNA's Large Intermediate Federations' Executive (LIFE) mission. Leadership from federations in Houston, Colorado, Columbus, and Vancouver to name a few, met with Thabet Abu Rass, Co-Executive Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives , who spoke about the current realities of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel, and visited the Riyan Employment Center in Taibeh to learn about JDC's involvement in enhancing employment opportunities for Arab citizens with an emphasis on women.

Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society | December 2016

SVF_logoThe Task Force organized a meeting for the Social Venture Fund with Aiman Saif, Director General of the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab Sector at the Ministry of Social Equality, as part of their mission's focus on the current status of Government Resolution 922 and opportunities for partnership in its implementation. Aiman Saif shared current developments regarding the economic development plan and discussed the role of American Jewish philanthropy.

Upcoming Visits

CONTACT US to arrange a meeting or event with a visiting colleague.


Samah Salaime of Neve Shalom - Wahat al-Salam and founder of Arab Women in the Center will be traveling on the East Coast to speak about Jewish-Arab relations and the experience of living in a shared Jewish-Arab village in Israel, as well as about the status of Arab women and efforts to combat gender-based violence in Arab society.

Visit Details:
2.19 - 2.28; NY, Boston, Florida, and DC.

Eitan Moran, CEO of the Society for the Advancement of Education (SAE), and Ali Hayder, Project Director of SAE's Arab-Israeli Initiative, will be traveling in the US to speak about the educational needs of Arab youth in Israel and the work of SAE to address gaps in opportunities for these youngsters through the development of schools and leadership programs.

Visit details: 3.12 - 3.16; NY, Baltimore, and DC.



Yifat Ovadia of Collective Impact, will be traveling in the US to speak about the Initiative's unique model of partnering with private sector companies, the President's office, and NGOs to increase and enhance Arab employment in Israel.

Visit Details:
3.13 - 3.21; NY, Boston, DC, Atlanta

Co-Executive Directors of The Abraham Fund Initiatives, Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu and Thabet Abu Rass will be in New York to speak about the status of Jewish-Arab relations and efforts to advance shared society in Israel.

Visit Details: 4.5 - 4.6; New York 



Rawnak Natour and Ron Gerlitz, Co-Executive Directors of Sikkuy, will be traveling on the East Coast to speak about initiatives to advance equality and close gaps between Jewish and Arab citizens.

Visit Details: 5.15 - 5.19; NY, Boston, and DC

Co-Executive Directors of AJEEC-NISPED, Ariel Dloomy and Kher Albaz, will be in the US to speak about the organization's work promoting economic development and strengthening civil society in the Negev.

Visit Details: May 2017; East Coast

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