Sessions at Limmud Conference on issues relating to Arab citizens of Israel
Including the excluded: the need for involving Arab voices at every level of Israeli society
Sunday 25 December 18:50-20:00
In order to ensure a truly integrated and equal Israel from top to bottom, Arab citizens must be represented in all aspects of Israeli socieyt. The Abraham Fund Initiatives have undertaken a number of programmes with this goal in mind, enuring that Israel’s minorities become an equal part of Israel’s decision makers.
Civil religion and national narrative: how Israel has and will change in the coming decades
Monday 26 December 09:15-10:15
One of Zionism’s greatest triumphs was the restoration of a Jewish national narrative – the creation of “Israeliness”. But this set of beliefs, customs, and practices (a classic “civil religion” in the sociologist Robert Bellah’s terminology) always excluded many Israelis. With shifting demographic realities where might the Israeli story be headed?
Robin Moss is the head of the UJIA Centre for Israel Engagement. He finds new and engaging ways to connect the British Jewish community to Israel, across the political and religious spectrum. He is also an officer of Liberal Judaism, the publications co-chair for Limmud, and edits Limmud On One Leg.
Being a Zionist Druze: the story of MK Hamad Amar
Monday 26 December 12:00-13:00
We will take a deep look into the Druze minority as an active participant in Israeli society. We wil also learn about a variety of minorities in the State of Israel.
Hamad Amar has been a Knesset member for the Yisrael Beiteinu party since February 2009 and is now deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament. He is also chair of the Israel-Albania Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Is Arab-Jewish coexistence in Israel still possible?
Monday 26 December 12:00-13:00
What is the role of the Jewish majority towards the Arab minority in the state of Israel? What are the critical issues that prevent of advance Arab-Jewish coexistence in Israeli society? Why is this one of the most important issues facing Israel today? Come and discuss and learn.
Ron Kronish is the founding director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI), now a department of Rabbis for Human Rights. He blogs for the Times of Israel and the Huffington Post, and is currently working on a book on interreligious dialogue in Israel as a form of peacebuilding.
Panel discussion: How can Muslims and Jews coexist?
Monday 26 December 13:15-14:15
Jews and Muslims have a common heritage and in some ways a shared history. Jews lived for centuries in Muslim lands with varying degrees of acceptance. All this changed with the movement of Jews to Palestine and the creation of Israel. Going forward how can Muslims and Jews coexist in the Middle East and the rest of the world?
Panellists: Dr Thabet Abu Rass, Co-CEO, The Abraham Fund Initiatives; Rabbi Ron Kronish, Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel; Raheel Raza, Intercultural and Interfaith Diversity Consultant; Mike Prashker, Founding Director of Merchavim. Chaired by Toni Rickenback, Director, UK Task Force
Is Israeli democracy under threat?
Monday 26 December 20:10-21:20
How can Israel reconcile Jewish nationhood, democratic norms, and a large ethnic minority with competing nationalist claims? Why can’t Israel write a constitution? What of the purportedly “anti-democratic” bills that seem all the rage in the Knesset in recent years? Warning: there won’t be many satisfying answers here. Come for the questions.
A veteran journalist and analyst, Haviv serves as The Times of Israel’s senior analyst. He’s reported from over 20 countries and served as director of communications for the Jewish Agency for Israel, Israel’s largest NGO. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and two sons.
Post-Brexit, what can Israel teach us about building a shared society?
Tuesday 27 December 09:15-10:15
As the UK struggles with a spike in racism and xenophobia, what can we learn from Israel’s groundbreaking efforts to tackle these dangerous phenomena, create a shared vision for the future, and work towards a more equal society?
Adam has been chief executive of NEw Israel Fund UK since 2011. Prior to joining NIF he worked in sustainable development, latterly at UKSIF the sustainable investment and finance association. He has worked in Jewish youth leadership, including as mazkir of Habonim Dror and co-chair of the Zionist youth Council. Adam is a graduate of Oxford and LSE.
Being a Palestinian citizen of Israel: an introduction
Tuesday 27 December 14:30-15:30
Today, Arab Israelis make up 20% of Israel’s citizens, but are disproportionately represented in almost every aspect of public life in Israel. The challenges and benefits of living in a country rooted in the sometimes conflicting duality of Judaism and democracy will be discussed, with plenty of time left for questions.
Since 2015, Thabet has strengthened The Abraham Fund Initiative’s practical partnerships with key figures in Arab society. Thabet’s PhD from the Unviersity of ARizona in Political Geography and Regional Development and his decades of work with Jewish-Arab NGOs have facilitated his expertise on the Negev.
Beer Sheva – a microcosm of Israel society
Wednesday 28 December 09:15-10:15
A sociological review of Israeli society in the capital of the Negev, Beer Sheva, as a case study. We will discuss the five main divisions in Israeli society: Religious, Ethnic, Ideological, Socio-Economic and National, and will show how these are reflected in the city, a fascinating place that contains a variety of people.
Dagan is the Jewish Agency’s shlichah to FZY. She was born and raised in Israel, and served in the IDF as an education officer at Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. She has a BA in Middle East studies, Sociology and Anthropology. Her last position was coordinator of the Perach Mentoring Project.
Positive policy reform vs. negative public opinion: analysis of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel
Wednesday 28 December 12:00-13:00
Despite a number of recent Israeli government decisions signaling a change in attitude towards Arab citizens, mainstream Israeli discourse continues to be charged by racisim and incitement. The Abraham Fund Initiatives’ co-CEOs will provide their insight, offering a blueprint for widespread change.
A discussion with the Jews behind the world’s largest Arabic book gifting programme
Wednesday 28 December 16:40-17:50
Learn about and discuss Maktabat al Fanoos, a groundbreaking initiative that gifts Arabic children’s books to nearly 100,000 Arab Israeli children and families each month – reaching 100% of 3-5 year olds in government schools. Maktabat al Fanoos is a partnership of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Price Family Philanthropies, and Israel’s Ministry of Education.
Tamar Remz works with philanthropists Harold and Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, to support Jewish life through the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. One of the Foundation’s signature programmes, PJ Library, brings Jewish stories to more than hal a million Jewish children and families around the world.