Conference call: Current events and Jewish-Arab relations in...

Conference call: Current events and Jewish-Arab relations in Israel: What is the role of civil society organizations?

Jul 10, 2014 12:00pm

How are civil society leaders responding to escalating tensions in Israel? What is the role of organizations focused on strengthening Jewish-Arab relations and advancing civil equality in such times?

two civil society leaders, Ronit Heyd from Shatil and Dr. Thabet Abu Rass of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, discussed current events, the pressure they create for civil society leaders, and how they anchor and advance their visions in times of crisis.



About the speakers:

Ronit Heyd
Executive Director of Shatil

Ronit joined Shatil in 2001 and was appointed Executive Director in 2010. She oversees the management of all Shatil projects, consultation and training, coalition activities, fundraising and administration and serves as the primary link between Shatil and the New Israel Fund and its Board of Directors. Prior to becoming Shatil’s Executive Director she coordinated our Religious Pluralism Project, and more recently, directed the Social and Economic Justice Initiative. Ronit received a B.A. in Psychology and Multi-disciplinary studies and an M.A. in Social Psychology, graduating both “with exceeding excellence”, from the Hebrew University. She has also worked as a teacher, editor and writer, and has published a children’s book titled “Maneira the Witch”.

Dr. Thabet Abu Rass
Co-Executive Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives

Dr. Thabet Abu Ras, Co-Executive Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, is a political geographer and a lecturer at Sapir College. Previously, he served as Negev branch director of Adallah - the Legal Center for the Rights of the Arab Minority in Israel. In that capacity he dealt with advancing the rights of the Arab-Bedouins of the Negev. Over the past few years, Abu Ras has also served as Co-Chairman of the board of Hand in Hand, an NGO for Jewish-Arab education in Israel. In his previous positions Abu Ras was Director of Shatil's Negev Branch and Director of the "Abu Basma Project," a joint project by the New Israel Fund and JDC-Israel for the advancement of the newly recognized Bedouin villages in the Negev.