Background

The UK Task Force on issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel was established in 2010 as a broad-based coalition of 39 organisations committed to the welfare of Israel and its secure and peaceful existence. Spearheaded by an executive committee comprising The Abraham Fund Initiatives, The Board of Deputies of British Jews, New Israel Fund UK, UJIA, and Pears Foundation, members of the UK Task Force supported Israel’s Declaration of Independence, including the article promising social and political equality for all its inhabitants — Jews and Arabs alike.

Vision

The UK Task Force’s vision was of the British Jewish community supporting an inclusive Israeli society. Its mission was to inform the British Jewish community about issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel and facilitate partnerships to advance the opportunities of Israel’s Arab minority.

Educate, Engage and Empower

Through its Educate, Engage, and Empower strategy the UK Task Force has had a significant impact on the Jewish community’s awareness and understanding of the issues facing Israel’s Arab citizens.

Achievements

In 2017 as a reflection of the organisation’s success in achieving its core goals of awareness-raising and engagement, the UK Task Force decided to wind down its role, with its core educational activities transferred to a new Education Officer role at UJIA.

The impact of the work of the UK Task Force’s coalition has been extensive: thousands of people across the British Jewish community each year have participated in, learnt about, engaged with, and become empowered to educate on issues relating to Israel’s Arab citizens. In 7 years, over 5,000 people attended 200 UK Task Force educational events and sessions in the UK. Our events, often hosted by community organisations and synagogue communities from across the religious spectrum, helped raise awareness of issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel within the British Jewish community. Organisations from across the religious and ideological spectrum have been exposed to issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel through one of the UK Task Force’s study trips to Israel or events in the UK. Having engaged meaningfully in this way, over 80% of trip participants report that they are actively engaging with the issues on their return.

Over the last seven years the UK Task Force partnered with over 350 organisations and individuals on study trips, educational sessions, events and briefings. Working in partnership has been key to the UK Task Force’s success. We proved ourselves to be a trusted education provider, connector and facilitator for individuals and organisations looking to engage with issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel; we partnered with member organisations to create new education and engagement opportunities and brokered match funding opportunities for charitable foundations with the Israeli and British governments.

In the last few years the UK Task Force’s educational engagement and output increased significantly, particularly with Jewish schools, youth movements, and students. We provided over 100 sessions engaging 3,500 young people, with the number of sessions delivered doubling each year from 2014-2017. As a coalition organisation, we were able to reach the whole spectrum of the British Jewish community. Framing the issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel in a Jewish context also ensured that there was a shared language that could be used in our engagement and education work.

Where to find out more on issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel

Education

The UK Task Force’s education programmes are now run by UJIA. If you are an educator in the Jewish community, or work in a school, with youth movements, students or young people, and are interested in including these issues in your Israel engagement programme, please contact Idit Pick, Israel Engagement Officer focusing on issues relating to Arab citizens, at UJIA: idit.pick@ujia.org

Programming

There are a number of organisations in the British Jewish community that offer programming related to these issues. These include The New Israel Fund UK, UJIA and UK Friends of the Abraham Fund Initiatives.

Philanthropy

If you would like advice on philanthropic strategies supporting shared society in Israel, Pears Foundation are happy to act as a first point of contact. Please email contact@pearsfoundation.org.uk

Subscribe

To subscribe to weekly media highlights of news, analysis, opinion pieces, and features that focus on issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel, please register for the newsletter of our American sister-organisation, the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Resources

As part of our youth engagement work, the UK Task Force developed tailored educational resources for seven youth movements. As an educational organization whose remit does not extend to advocacy or political activities, our role was to advise youth organisations on how best to engage people with issues relating to Israel’s 20% Arab minority.

Educational Resources

In 2013, the UK Task Force received a grant from the Jewish Youth Fund to develop tailored electronic resources for seven Jewish youth movements, to educate their members on issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel. Although the UK Task Force worked with each movement on an individual basis to develop the content, as a collaborative effort, the youth movements showed a strong commitment to the inter-movement nature of the project throughout the development process - sharing ideas for educational activities to include in the resources and speaking about the benefit of partnering with the other movements to their members.

The project also gave the youth movements an opportunity to involve their lay and religious leadership, who contributed to the content so that the resources would be tailored to their ideological values and also encourage movement members to connect caring about Arab citizens of Israel to their sense of Jewish identity. Furthermore, the content was designed to equip madrichim with the knowledge and tools they need to educate on the complexities of these issues in a sensitive way. As such, all of the e-resources included a range of information materials and activity ideas for the madrichim to use as a basis for developing their own sessions.

With thanks to the Jewish Youth Fund.

Jewish Youth Fund