SPRING 2018

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Upcoming Events


JCPA 2018 Plenary and Breakout Session on Shared Society
| April 23

JCPA's 2018 conference features a plenary panel and Israel breakout with Task Force speakers on April 23rd. Hear about shared society trends in Israel, including efforts to close gaps between Jewish and Arab citizens, strengthen Jewish-Arab relations, and challenges these efforts face within complex and fluctuating political realities. How can American Jewish communities bring these issues to their communities to deepen understanding and connection to Israel?



Sikkuy Seminar in New York City
| April 29

SikkuyOn Sunday, April 29th, Sikkuy: The Association for Advancement of Civic Equality is hosting a one-day seminar in New York City on New Strategies for Advancing Equality and Shared Society for Arab and Jewish Citizens of Israel. Sikkuy is a leading NGO on issues of shared society, state-minority and Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and has lined up a series of expert presentations and discussions on current trends and civil society responses.



Washington Jewish Film Festival: The 21%: The Lives of Arab Citizens of Israel
| May 6

The Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues and the Edlavitch DCJCC are proud to present The 21%: The Lives of Arab Citizens of Israel, an in-depth exploration of the daily lives and challenges of Arab Citizens of Israel. The program will feature a screening of the moving documentary In Her Footsteps, short films produced by Israeli high school students as part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s triangular school partnership program, and in-depth discussion about Bedouin society in Israel with filmmaker Rana Abu-Fraiha and Safa Abu-Rabia, post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, moderated by Joshua Arnow of the Arnow Family Fund..


Recent Publications

Government Resolution 922: 2016-2017 Implementation Update

In 2018, Government Resolution 922, the unprecedented five - year economic development plan for Arab society, entered its third year. In a January Steering Committee meeting, government officials reported on accomplishments in the first two years and the current status of plan implementation as part of the efforts to maintain transparency and close coordination between Arab mayors and the government. This update is a summary o f the reports provided by the government at this meeting and thereafter, including areas of progress, delays and barriers to implementation.


Task Force Population Brief: Negev Bedouin

BedouinNegev Bedouin are part of Israel’s Arab-Muslim minority and share their interests and concerns. At the same time, with a unique history and culture, they constitute a subgroup with a distinct set of challenges and changes. Today there are three major issues affecting Bedouin society: (i) large economic gaps and economic development efforts, (ii) an ongoing land dispute with the state, and (iii) internal dilemmas around modernization, culture change and community development. This short paper serves as an introductory resource about this community and an overview of these major areas of developments and change.


Task Force Population Brief: Druze in Israel

Druze populationThe Druze in Israel number around 140,000 people, constituting 8% of the Arab citizen population and 1.7% of the total population in Israel. Officially recognized as a distinct ethnic group and autonomous religious community in 1957, Druze are at once part of Israel's Arab minority, but have their own religious courts and are included in Israel's mandatory military conscription. This update provides an overview of their unique identity, relations with the state and current socio-economic status.


Recent Events and Conference Calls


First-Person Experiences in Bilingual, Jewish-Arab Education in Israel | Washington DC

On April 11th, two recent graduates of Hand in Hand / Yad b’Yad, a chain of bilingual, Jewish-Arab schools in Israel, spoke to members of the Washington Jewish community about their experiences learning in an integrated school system at a dinner arranged by the Greater Washington Forum and hosted by Rabbi Bill Rudolph at Congregation Beth El. The two later taught an adult education class on Israel and spoke the following day to groups at Temple Micah and Christ City Church.



Enhancing Access to Higher Education for Arab Citizens of Israel | New York City

In 2016, Israel's Council for Higher Education initiated its second multiyear plan to enhance access to higher education for Israel's Arab citizens. Aran Ziner, Senior Coordinator for Society, Community and Preparatory Programs at Israel's Council for Higher Education (CHE) who is responsible for all CHE investments in Arab society, spoke at a Task Force breakfast about the impact of the first multiyear plan, lessons learned and new efforts under way in the second plan.



Dr. Dalia Fadila on the Complex Identity of Israel's Arab Citizens | NY, Chicago, Philadelphia

Dr. Dalia Fadila is founder of Q Schools for bilingual Arab/English education, Director of Al-Qasemi College for Science and Engineering in Baka al-Garbiyyeh, and official advisor to the Knesset on matters of education for Israel’s Arab society. An Arab, Muslim, woman citizen of Israel, Dalia navigated the complexity of her own identity to develop an empowering vision for the next generation of Arab citizens of Israel and for education as a platform for change. The Task Force hosted Dalia Fadila on a speaking tour in Jewish communities in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia where she shared her story and mission education Arab citizens to be part of a more shared Israeli and global society.


Mayor Mohammed Al Nabari on Drivers of Change in Negev Bedouin Society
| New York City

On February 22nd, the Mayor of the City of Hura, Mohammed Al Nabari spoke to Task Force audiences about advancing projects and partnerships that advance state-minority cooperation and Bedouin leadership around a new vision for the future. Both Bedouin leadership and the Government of Israel seek socio-economic development for Israel's Bedouin communities. Yet, fluctuating state-minority relations and the impact of socio-economic change on traditional culture present challenges that require innovative efforts to a development goals.

Citizenship, Identity and Political Participation: Measuring the Attitudes of the Arab Citizens in Israel

 In December 2017, the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation (KAS) published findings of a 2017 survey on measuring Arab attitudes on citizenship, identity and political participation in Israel. On March 21st, the Task Force hosted a call with survey co-author Arik Rudnitzky, KAS Project Manager and Mohammad Darawshe, Director of the Center for Equality & Shared Society at Givat Haviva to discuss survey findings, Arab perceptions of equality and belonging in Israel, and views on civic and political participation.


Recent Conferences


JFN International Conference | Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

This past March, the Jewish Funders Network included issues related to Arab citizens in the plenary and workshops of its annual international conference. Dr. Dalia Fadila was featured in the opening plenary, National Equal Employment Commissioner, Mariam Kabha, was part of a workshop panel on Israeli leadership; a panel on developing Arab society featured business-woman and philanthropist, Julia Zaher; Ghaida Rinawie-Zoabi, Project Director, Community Development Fund for Arab Society and Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya, Project Director at the Israel Democracy Institute; and an arts workshop included Um-Al-Fahem Gallery owner, Said Abu Shakra.



Community Education Day: The Arab Population in Israel 1948 to Today | Washington DC

The Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues in partnership with American University and the Washington College of Law hosted an afternoon of programming on Jewish-Arab relations and shared society in Israel. Speakers included Tamir Sorek of the University of Florida and Mohammed Wattad of Zefat Academic College School of Law, Nabila Espanioly, Director of Al-Tufula and former MK, Liron Shoham from the Inter-Agency Task Force, and Thair Abu Rass from the University of Maryland.



Dr. Dalia Fadila at the URJ Biennial
| December 6 - Boston

DaliaIn a panel discussion titled, Social Justice: One Way for Teens to Care about Israel (Youth Engagement), Dr. Dalia Fadila shared how her work integrating personal development into Arab youth education in Israel is part of changing the paradigms by which they think about their own identity as Arab citizens of Israel. Her insights were part of a larger conversation on how American Jewish teens can be engaged around issues of co-existence and dialogue between Jews and Arabs (Muslim and Christian) to strengthen their connection to Israel and to their own Jewish identity.


Online Resources

Visit iataskforce.org for ongoing updates and resources


Missions in Israel

Contact us for support planning your next mission to Israel.

Taglit-Birthright Training Days | 2017-2018

Over the past six months, the Task Force prepared and led eight full training days for around 200 Birthright educators. Conducted in the Negev and Lod in conjunction with leading civil society organizations, these training days included presentations on Arab society and Jewish-Arab relations, meetings and discussions with leaders and activists, and in-depth debriefing sessions in preparation for future tours.

Chicago JCRC Delegation | March 2018

The Task Force organized a presentation for a group of prominent Chicago female elected officials and civic leaders about socio-economic and shared society trends in Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. The group met with Task Force's representative Avivit Hai and Mohamed Marzouq, Director of the Community Department at Hand in Hand, which runs bilingual, Jewish-Arab schools throughout the country.


NCJW, Jewish Women Funding Network, Dafna Fund Mission | March 2018

logoThe Task Force provided an overview of Arab society and majority-minority relations in Israel, with a specific focus on women, to a group of 60 participants on Force for Change: Israel Through a Gender Lens, a joint mission of the National Council for Jewish Women, the Jewish Women's Funding Network and the Dafna Fund. The presentation was held at Sindiyanna of Galilee in Kfar Kana and gave an overview of Arab society and majority-minority relations in Israel, with a focus on women's issues.


JCRC of New York Leadership Mission | February 2018

logoA delegation with the JCRC of New York visited the Municipality of Shefar'am in Israel for a meeting with Hannan Hadad, Municipality Spokesperson and Navot Goldwin, a graduate of Atidim – Cadets for the Municipal Service who has been placed in the municipality to enhance capacities and provide support and expertise. The group heard about the realities in Shefar'am, an Arab city with a mixed community of Muslims, Christians and Druze, and the status of government efforts to support economic development for Arab society in Israel.


UJA-Federation of New York | February 2018

The Task Force helped organize and accompanied a New York federation mission to Israel focusing on Government Resolution 922, the government development plan for Arab society in Israel. Participants received an overview from a Task Force representative and had field visits on urban planning and development in Baqa al-Gharbiya and Iksal organized by Sikkuy, a lunch with Dr. Hanna Sweid of the Arab Center for Alternative Planning, and summary discussions with representatives from INJAZ, JDC-ELKA and Sikkuy regarding the successes and challenges of GR-922.


Jewish Federation of St. Louis | February 2018

logoThe allocations team from the Jewish Federation of St. Louis met with a Task Force representative for an overview of recent developments in Arab society, government investments in economic development of Arab society, and trends in Jewish-Arab relations in Israel.


Central Conference of American Rabbis | February 2018

Reform Rabbis from the CCAR learned about recent trends in Arab economic development, identity and Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. They attended a presentation by Mohammed Darawshe, Director of Shared Society and Planning at Givat Haviva and a Task Force representative. The group then continued to the Um El Fahem Art Gallery, where they met with Founding Director Said Abu Shakra, who discussed his work empowering Arab society and enhancing Jewish-Arab relations through the power of art.


JFNA Fundraising University Mission | January 2018

The Task Force arranged a half-day of learning about economic development in Arab society for participants from 16 federations on JFNA's Fundraising University mission. The group attended a presentation on recent trends and government investments in closing socio-economic gaps by Aiman Saif, Director of the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassian Sectors and travelled to the Riyan Employment Center in Tira, where they met with its Director, Samah Heib Jaljuli and regional director, Nibras Taha, staff and a group of women participating in a Hebrew language course.


JCPA 2017 Leadership and Frank Fellows Institute Israel Mission | December 2017

The Task Force arranged a presentation in Lod with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs Leadership and Frank Fellows Institute Israel. The group of 30 heard from Shirin Natour Hafi, Principal of the Scientific Arab Ort School, who shared her personal story about growing up in the mixed city, becoming a teacher of Hebrew literature in a Jewish school, and then spearheading the establishment of the Ort Scientific School in the context of her vision for a shared Israeli society.


Upcoming Visitors

Contact us to arrange a meeting or event with a visiting colleague



Rebecca Bardach, Director of Resource Development & Strategy and Mohamad Marzouk, Community Department Director with Hand in Hand Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel will be traveling to the United States and Canada to speak about the status of shared society in Israel and the role of joint Jewish-Arab education.

Visit Details
: 4.24-4.26 Chicago and Toronto

Asaf Ron, CEO, of Beit Hagefen,will be visiting New York with two gap year volunteers to speak about Jewish-Arab relations in the mixed city of Haifa and the impact of joint volunteering experiences on Jewish and Arab youth.


Visit Details: May, New York



Naim Obed, CEO of Akko Center for Arts & Technology, A-CAT, will be in the United States with a municipal delegation to visit other sister arts and technology centers from the Manchester-Bidwell Corporation. He will speak to Jewish communities about strengthening Jewish-Arab relations in the mixed city through informal and vocational education.

Visit Details
: June 11 - 15 New York

Nizar Helawy of Alwan, an Arab division of Israel Gay Youth (IGY) will be in the United States to speak to American Jewish communities about the complexities of Arab LGBTQ identity in Israel, raising-awareness and understanding within the Arab community for LGBTQ issues, and in the Israeli LGBTQ community for Arabs citizens of Israel.

Visit Details: June 15th-July 1st, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco

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Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues
P.O.Box 530 132 E 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017

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