Shared Society in Israel: A Morning of Learning | Oct. 30
Shared Society in Israel: A Morning of Learning | Oct. 30
In 2019, Israelis went to the polls–twice. In both elections, Arab-Jewish partnership was a major feature of the political discourse and Arab parties have risen to new prominence in the Israeli political landscape. What do these changes signal about trends within Arab society and Jewish-Arab relations beyond the headlines, and how do they relate to daily realities and ongoing efforts to advance shared society?
Join the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues, the New Israel Fund, UJA-Federation of New York and the Union for Reform Judaism for a morning of learning with leading shared society experts and co-directors of four major civil society organizations. Hear their insights into these developments and continuing efforts to promote equality and partnership between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Formal Program: 8:30 am-10:30 am ET
Additional discussion time: 10:30 am-11:00 am ET
Location information provided upon RSVP
Please RSVP to [email protected]
About the Speakers
Amnon has been the Co-Executive Director of The Abraham Initiatives since 2004. Prior to his position at The Abraham Initiatives, he served as the Director of Marketing Communications at the Jerusalem Foundation, under the leadership of the late Mayor Teddy Kollek. Before this, he served as the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption under Minister Yair Tsaban (Meretz). Among other tasks, he was active in developing and communicating public policy during the massive waves of immigration from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia. Amnon holds a B.A in African Studies and an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born in Kibbutz Alonim, he is married and a father of three.
Dr. Thabet Abu Rass
Thabet joined The Abraham Initiatives in April 2014, with a rich background in civil society organizations. Thabet is a political geographer and an expert in land and planning; he obtained a Ph.D. in the field of Geography and Regional Development from the University of Arizona in the United States in 1997. He teaches courses at Ben Gurion University and Sapir College such as ethnic relations, land, planning and regional development. He served on Adalah’s Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008, and joined the staff in October 2010 as the director of Adalah’s office in the Negev. From 2007 to 2009, Thabet was a co-director of the NGO “New Horizon” – The Arab-Jewish Center for Dialogue and a Shared Society; from 2003 to 2005, he served as the director of Shatil’s office in Be'er Sheva; and from 2005-2007, he directed a development project for the recently-recognized villages in the Negev. He is a member of the Board of Director of several environmental and Jewish-Arab educational organizations. He has been the co-chair of the board of Hand In Hand, the Bilingual Schools.
Samah Salaime is a member of Wahat al-Salam / Neve Shalom (WASNS), a social worker, community activist and feminist. She is the founder of AWC, Arab Women in the Center, an NGO which seeks to promote the status of women in the cities of Ramla, Lod and Jaffa and to combat gender-based violence against women, particularly in Arab society. In 2017 and 2018 Samah was chosen by the Israeli National Newspaper, "Yediot Achronot" as one of the 10 most influential social activists in Israel. She was awarded her B.A. and Master’s Degrees in Social Work from The Hebrew University. She is a graduate of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. She is an accomplished journalist with articles published in Hebrew, Arabic and is a leading voice in Israel’s Arab community. She has served as WASNS Director of the Educational Institutions and Director of WASNS Communication and Development Department for the past two years. Most recently she organized an Arab-Jewish demonstration against gender-based violence in Tel Aviv, which was attended by 30,000 people. This year Samah became the first Arab female to be elected to the local regional council.
Lihi is one of Wahat al-Salam / Neve Shalom's newest residents and is a practicing dietician. She came to live in Wahat al-Salam Neve Shalom (WASNS) with her partner just over a year ago and hasn’t looked back! Born in Jerusalem, Lihi spent 8 of her childhood years living in the US. She returned to Israel with her family, where she grew up close to Tel Aviv. As a student Lihi became involved in activities focusing on strengthening Jewish-Arab relations. She created a Jewish-Arab student group working for tolerance on campus and a shared future. She has extensive experience working with young people and heads up the Nadi, the WASNS youth program. She focuses her energies on strengthening young people’s pride and connection to the village and the shared way of life their parents have chosen. Lihi's vision includes preparing the young people to become ambassadors for the community and opening the Nadi activities to Jews and Arabs from all over the country. Lihi has been a guest speaker at the UN, talking about the role of women in ending the conflict. She is a board member for the Coalition of Women for Peace, a Jewish-Palestinian NGO.
Co-Executive Director of AJEEC-NISPED since 2014, Ariel was born and raised on Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Western Negev. He holds a Master’s Degree in Middle East Politics from the University of London and a Master's in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Ariel has extensive experience with community development and conflict resolution, having worked with the Arab Bedouin community of the Negev for more than 15 years. He founded and developed a variety of socio-economic and community development programs in Israel, in the Middle East and in the developing world. Under his leadership, AJEEC-NISPED has received the President of Israel’s Excellence Award. Ariel lectures about international development, community work and dialogue between communities in conflict. He has published articles on these subjects in a variety of publications in Israel, Europe, North America and Iraq.
K'her Albaz is a highly trained and experienced social worker with extensive experience managing large social service and civil society organizations and developing policy plans in social development systems, particularly in the Arab Bedouin communities of the Negev, where he is an established leader. Nationally, he has diverse experience in both the public and civil society sectors, serving as a board member of many prominent organizations, as well as being an appointed member of several state and governmental policy development committees. He specializes in cross-cultural interventions, focusing on culturally sensitive issues, with attention to Jewish-Arab partnerships. As Chairman of AJEEC-NISPED (Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation – Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development), and previously as the co-executive director of the organization, his work focuses on creating a world where everyone is accepted and can live in dignity. K'her is a Board member of several national and local organizations, including Ben Gurion University, The Abraham Initiatives, Sapir College, Igul Le'Tova (Circle of Good), Desert Stars, Midot, and Social Workers for Peace. Mr. Albaz holds a BA in Social Work from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, an MA in Social Planning and Policy from WLU in Canada and an MBA from the University of Haifa, in addition to a number of quality courses in the field of social systems management. Mr. Albaz won several awards for his work and contribution to the country: 2019 – The Spitzer award for excellence in social work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. 2019 - Exemplar to people who designed the social work and the welfare policy in Israel, The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services. 2018 – "The Negev Pioneer," The Ministry of the Negev and the Galilee Development. 2015 – Person of the Year in the South, "Yedioth Aharonot" Newspaper.
Fida Nara Tabony
Fida is the Co-Director at Mahapach-Taghir. She was born in was Nazareth, and grew up in Neve Shalom, an Arab-Jewish village. She has two daughters. Fida holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Tel-Hai College and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from Bar Ilan University. Fida has always striven to learn and develop personally and professionally. She has participated in different courses, including Conflict Management, Community Organizers for Social Change, Facilitators Training. Member of the National Secretariat of Hadash – The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality. Fida was on the Hadash list (number 8) during the 2019 elections. Besides her passion for learning, Fida is committed to advancing social justice. For the last 25 years, Fida has dedicated her life to women’s empowerment and social change. Her activism started as a young woman Volunteer at the Hotline for Victims of Sexual Violence. Fida worked as Coordinator of the Awareness Raising Project at “Women Against Violence” for 13 years and became to be the Director of the Social Change Unit at Women Against Violence. Fida began her work at Mahapach-Taghir as Co-Director in 2013. Mahapach-Taghir means ‘change’. The organization is a feminist grassroots Jewish-Arab initiative for social change, established to promote a shared society in Israel with equal opportunities for all.