Washington DC: Fifth Annual Community Education Day on Arab ...
Washington DC: Fifth Annual Community Education Day on Arab Citizens of Israel | Feb. 22Feb 22, 2015 1:30pm
On Sunday, February 22, the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues held its 5th Annual Community Education Day on Arab Citizens of Israel. The event was held in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary Washington Jewish Film Festival and featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Dalia Fadila; a panel with Dr. Fadila, Safa Garb and Dan Arbell; the DC premiere of Dancing Arabs by Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis; and a “word café” where participants shared their thoughts and reactions.
Dr. Fadila provided a thought-provoking academic overview of education for Arab citizens of Israel, including the challenges faced by Arab citizens, background on the Israeli school system, and efforts to move toward social equality through education and employment. Ms. Garb focused on the path from education to employment, including efforts and models to increase Arab participation in the labor force. Mr. Arbell highlighted the Government’s work in education, such as the investment in higher education for Arab citizens through Professor Trajtenberg’s work on the Council for Higher Education and programs funded directly by the Ministry of Education such as the teacher integration program.
Approximately 250 people attended the sold-out program. The participants gave the Day of Education strong reviews and felt they had gained new knowledge about a key internal societal issue in Israel. The main take-away, as shared in follow up feedback surveys, was that in order for Arab minorities to have employment opportunities and improve their overall economic status, education must be a priority. The participants felt that American Jews should talk more about these issues and understand that ensuring the health, welfare and education of ALL of its citizens is essential to Israel’s fulfillment of its democratic values.