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Social Society

Understanding the demographic makeup of Israeli society and its public discourse allows students to see Israel beyond stereotypes and rigid ideologies.

Rainbow Tours TLV

Activity description:

During this two-hour rainbow walking tour of the White City you’ll discover why Tel Aviv is the LGBTQ capital of the Middle East, hear what it’s like to be gay and Jewish, learn some queer Hebrew slang, and discuss current topics impacting the community. You’ll visit some of Tel Aviv's historical and modern pink spots, learn about leaders in Tel Aviv's LGBTQ movement, and see what a same-sex Israeli family's life is like.

Rainbow Tour TLV tells the story of Israel’s vibrant LGBTQ community in Tel Aviv, and uncovers the secrets of the largest LGBTQ community in Israel. Rainbow Tours TLV strives to promote empowering conversation in and out of the LGBTQ+ community and expose participants to the rich and colorful history of the queer community in Tel Aviv. Through meeting community members, participants learn about the diversity in Israeli society and engage in important conversations around identity, social justice, and acceptance. All tours are guided by LGBTQ guides and a significant portion of the tour income is donated to various community organizations. 

Low

Tel Aviv

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The Orchard of Abraham's Children

Activity description:

Take part in a heartwarming visit to the bilingual kindergarten in Jaffa, meet Jewish and Arab educators, and learn about the challenges they face in their quest for normalcy in a complex reality.

The Orchard of Abraham’s Children nonprofit was born out of an exceptional love story between Ihab, a Muslim Arab from Jaffa, and Ora, a Jewish Israeli from the Galilee. When their first son, Nur, was born they established this unique multicultural kindergarten for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children that reflects their interfaith lifestyle and love and acceptance for all religions and cultures in the Holy Land. Over time, the parent community around the kindergarten grew, and they established the Human First Education Center, a community center that offers multicultural human interactions and empowerment activities through workshops, lectures, art courses, spiritual teaching, and religion sessions.

Low

Tel Aviv / Center

Shared Path

Activity description:

Stroll the streets of Arab Israeli villages and towns and get an in-depth look at the life of residents. Meet local residents and discuss their everyday lives, hopes, dreams, and challenges.

Social tourism brings people, cultures, and narratives together to create social and economic change. Shared Path promotes social tourism in Arab communities in Israel, offering a variety of physical and virtual tours, activities, and meetings in Arab towns throughout the country. The tours and activities are designed to create a personal, meaningful, and equal introduction to Arab society. All activities are led by local guides who provide a firsthand glimpse into daily life in the community in the past and present as well as their hopes for the future.

Medium

Center / North

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Mavrhatey

Activity description:

Visit a traditional Ethiopian “gojo” built out of mud and straw, experience community traditions and hear the story of the Ethiopian Jewish community from Yonie Skiba in this unforgettable experience. 

Approximately 155,300 Ethiopian immigrants live in Israel today. When they arrived in Israel, most had no formal education and experienced deep and ongoing culture shock. Yonie Skiba, a Jewish Israeli Ethiopian activist who immigrated to Israel in a harrowing two-year journey as a young child, established Mavrhatey, which means "my light”, following her personal experiences of discrimination and protest. Through this initiative, Skiba, who currently works in group guidance, psychodrama, and teaching, hopes to bring people closer to the social tapestry of Israel by hosting groups in the Jewish Ethiopian tradition and values. 

Medium

North

Desert Daughter

Activity description:

Meet with Mariam Abu Rakik for an empowering conversation about her life, her choices, and the business she founded against all odds. Learn about Bedouin society and about the role of women in it, and about an inspiring young woman trying to find her own path. 

Born to a traditional Bedouin family in the village of Tel Sheva in the Negev, as a young adult Mariam Abu Rakik traveled to England to earn her bachelor’s degree. While there, she noticed people’s growing awareness of the importance of natural healing while at home, her community was forgoing its natural lifestyle and losing its holistic view of the world. When she returned to her village, she took up her ancestors’ traditions and combined them with formal studies of medicinal herbs at a local college. Over the next several years, she developed a small business from a household workshop, maintaining ancient traditions and enhancing them with innovations and natural production processes to create a unique line of ointments and cosmetic products. Her products are all based on black cumin and atriplex oil renowned for their healing properties, as well as other organic desert herbs and natural oils. 

Other

South

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Hinam Center for Social Tolerance

Activity description:

Visit the Hinam Center for Social Tolerance, and participate in a textual study with a scholar, or take a tour of the village of Abu Gosh and visit a local church and mosque. Lunch, dinner, or a Dabke dance workshop are also available.

The Hinam Center, situated near Jerusalem in the Arab village Abu Ghosh,  works to reduce polarization and alienation by creating meaningful bonds between members of the various sectors and cultures in Israeli society. All programs are designed to bring people together with deep consideration and sensitivity to each culture and its characteristics and strive to create in-depth and direct acquaintance with the “other” in a natural environment, emphasizing commonalities without ignoring or fearing differences.

Medium

Jerusalem

Einat Wilf

Activity description:

Engage in conversation with Dr. Einat Wilf about the challenges of Israeli society and how they are reflected in its political system and structure.

Dr. Einat Wilf is a leading intellectual and original thinker on matters of foreign policy, economics, education, and Israel and the Jewish people and her opinion articles are regularly published in international publications. A member of the Israeli Parliament from 2010-2013 on behalf of the Labor and Independence parties, Dr. Wilf has a BA in Government and Fine Arts from Harvard University, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Cambridge. Born and raised in Israel, Dr. Wilf served as an Intelligence Officer in the Israel Defense Forces. She is the author of six books that explore key issues in Israeli society including “It’s NOT the Electoral System, Stupid” (published in Hebrew); “Winning the War of Words”, which compiles her key essays on Israel and Zionism; “Telling Our Story”—a collection of Wilf’s essays on Israel, Zionism and the path to peace; and “The War of Return” on the perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee issue (published in Hebrew). 

Other

Center

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Nivcharot - Esty Bitton-Shoshan

Activity description:

Meet with Esty Bitton-Shoshan and discuss the role and position of women in Haredi society and in politics in particular.

Esty Bitton-Shoshan is a social activist, entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Nivcharot—ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Women for Voice and Equality. As a journalist writing for the Haredi press, she used a male pseudonym after being told that “it was the only way anyone would take her writing seriously”. In 2012, she launched the social media-based protest movement “No Voice, No Vote”, calling on ultra-Orthodox women not to vote for parties that barred women from their ranks. This movement formed the base for Nivcharot, which raises awareness of issues of Haredi women’s rights and promotes equal representation of women in Haredi society and politics through leadership courses, social media, and advocacy. Bitton-Shoshan is active in social media, managing several open and closed Facebook groups that enable an honest exchange of views on subjects such as divorce, birth control, sexual harassment and abuse, arranged marriages, and other topics that are taboo in the Haredi world. She lectures widely on issues pertaining to Haredi women and society and in 2015, told the story of Nivcharot in a TED talk in Jerusalem. 

High

Jerusalem

Fay Sukenik

Activity description:

Feminism in black and white: Learn about the lives of women in the ultra-Orthodox community that includes Fay’s personal story as well as her insights on the status of women and their aspirations within this traditional segment of Israeli society.

Feminism in the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel is a complex and multifaceted issue. On the one hand, there are ultra-Orthodox feminists advocating for greater rights and equality for women within their community, including access to education and leadership roles. Others argue that feminism is incompatible with traditional ultra-Orthodox values and beliefs. Fainy is the chairperson and founder of "Ba’asher Telchi"—an organization that provides support for ultra-Orthodox and religious women during divorce and separation—and the partnerships manager of "Drawing the Lines," a collective impact initiative. She is also  fellow in the Young Leadership Program of the World Economic Forum in Davos and a member of the founding team of the "Feminist Emergency" collective in Israel. She has received numerous awards and prizes in recognition of her dedication and impact in the fields of education, feminism, and social justice, including being chosen to light a torch at the Israeli National Independence Day Ceremony in 2016. Fainy has also served as a teacher, educational consultant, and counselor, working with diverse communities and organizations to make a positive impact.

High

Jerusalem / Netanya

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Muslala

Activity description:

Experience Muslala, an environmental endeavor in the heart of Jerusalem, in a visit to the Terrace—a space that connects art, environmental awareness, and sustainable thinking. Tour this unique green roof, a space for research, and a creative play space for public use in art, sustainability, and community. Meet with members of Muslala for a conversation about Jerusalem’s unique social and environmental challenges.

Muslala is a non-profit established in 2009 by artists, residents, and community activists of the Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem that strives to create a new model for artistic activity with a social orientation. Most of the activities take place outdoors in the public realm and have a widespread impact that extends beyond East and West Jerusalem. Muslala currently has five projects in Jerusalem including The Terrace, a unique green roof on the Clal building; the Food Rescuers, who are tackling Jerusalem’s poverty and nutrition challenges by saving produce surplus at the wholesale market; the Sinsila Community Center in East Jerusalem; the Workshop, a community carpentry shop; and the Roof Organization, founded to create rooftop culture in Jerusalem.

Low

Jerusalem

Kuchinate

Activity description:

Interact with African culture as you meet with th asylum-seeking women of Kuchinate in their colorful and lively studio in South Tel Aviv! Join a traditional East African coffee ceremony, learn how to crochet a beautiful basket to take home, participate in a bracelet-making workshop, or enjoy a delicious home-cooked Eritrean meal.  You’ll also have a chance to hear an overview of the status of asylum seekers in Israel and the empowering stories of the women and the collective. 

Kuchinate is an arts-based economic and psychosocial collective for African asylum-seeking women that helps women heal from trauma through art, community, and therapy. Members earn a fair wage by designing and creating crafts rooted in African culture and hosting events, crochet workshops, and traditional coffee ceremonies. Kuchinate has exhibited at major museums and galleries, building bridges with communities in Israel and abroad. Since its founding in 2011, Kuchinate has transformed the lives of hundreds of women and takes pride in using a unique approach to strengthen, uplift and empower hundreds of the most vulnerable women within the African asylum-seeking community in Israel.

Low

Tel Aviv

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