Shared Society Trends in Israel - Socio-Economic and Politic...
Shared Society Trends in Israel - Socio-Economic and Political Realities in Jewish-Arab Relations | May 20
Government investments in Arab economic development in Israel have begun to close gaps and create new opportunities for stronger Jewish-Arab relations. At the same time, passage of the Nation-State Law and a divisive elections cycle have brought new challenges to such efforts.
What are the strategies and visions for shared society initiatives in the wake of these contradictory trends?
Join us for an in-depth, 'behind-the-headlines' discussion with the co-executive directors of Sikkuy: The Association for the Advancement of Civil Equality - Ron Gerlitz, Rawnak Natour (outgoing) and Amjad Shbita (incoming).
Ron Gerlitz, Co-Executive Director Ron Gerlitz joined Sikkuy as co-executive director in January 2009. In this capacity, he led the development of the Sikkuy model for mapping the barriers to equality and creating policy recommendations, “From Barriers to Opportunities”, and edited six policy papers as part of this series. Ron is an expert on Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and frequently writes op-eds In Hebrew, English and Arabic about the status of relations between the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel and between the Arab citizens and the state. Ron is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a B.Sc. in mathematics and computer science and an MA in public policy, both magna cum laude. He began his professional career in hi-tech, working for six years as software and algorithm team leader, both in Israel and in Silicon Valley, California. In parallel, and during the years 2000-2008, Ron also devoted his energy to political activism, both in Israel and in the USA. Ron was an organizer and spokesman for a range of Israeli civil society organizations. In 2006, he decided to make a professional transition to the civil society sector in Israel with the goal of having a significant impact on Israeli society. Before joining Sikkuy, Ron was a project manager at the Israel Venture Network (IVN). He took part in developing strategies and implementing projects advancing local economic development in the periphery, both in the Jewish and Arab sectors. The projects necessitated multifaceted cooperation between various NGOs and government institutions.
Rawnak Natour, outgoing Co-Executive Director Rawnak Natour was born in Kalanswa and received her BA in community social work and MA in early childhood education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she was active in the Arab student's association. For a number of years, she worked on the Shatil team advancing equal rights and coordinated the project for special education for the Arab community. She has 20 years of experience in a wide range of fields in social activism and human and civil rights. Among these activities, she led, managed and participated in projects to advance equal rights in employment, education and against discrimination. In recent years, Rawnak held a wide range of managerial positions in frameworks to advance employment opportunities for educated immigrants in Denmark.
Amjad Shbita, incoming Co-Executive Director Amjad Shbita joined Sikkuy in October 2014 as the coordinator for Arabic language media outreach. He is a journalist and a political and social activist and holds two Master Degrees – from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in political science and from the College of Management in communications and management. In the past, Amjad managed Sikkuy’s Equality Policy Department and was MK Dov Khenin’s spokesperson. Today, he is also the secretary-general of the Banki youth movement.