CAF’s mission is to build a shared society in a sustainable democracy in Israel. CAF works to mend rifts between groups in conflict by building bridges, encouraging constructive engagement and promoting and empowering civil leadership. Recognizing that the conflict between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel poses one of the major obstacles to maintaining a shared society and healthy democracy, CAF’s primary focus is on building a just and equal relationship between Jews and Arabs in Israel and helping them find effective ways to engage with each other.
CAF’s vision is a socially cohesive and inclusive society in Israel. CAF believes that shared society is a tangible expression of an ideal democracy and is characterized by mutual responsibility, full participation and equal opportunity among all citizens.
CAF operates in three main areas:
• Civic engagement
• Advocacy and policy change
• Education and leadership development.
CAF continues to build bridges between diverse groups and facilitate the search for avenues of cooperation between them. CAF targets all Israeli society, youth, women and men from diverse groups including ultra-Orthodox Jews and traditional segments of Arab society. The participants come from all sectors including, academics, religious leaders, social activists, Knesset members and the general public.
In its work, CAF seeks to address root problems of Israeli society, employing Deliberative Democracy principles and a multi-track methodology, targeting both ordinary citizens and decision-makers. CAF's has the ability to work with groups generally excluded from the mainstream discourse, such as ultra-Orthodox Jews, traditional Arab women and more.
CAF was established in 2001, by then Member of Knesset, Rabbi Michael Melchior and is managed by Jewish and Arab co-directors, Udi Cohen and Ibrahim Abu Shindi. Its Board of Directors includes ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews, Muslims and Christians.