The Abraham Fund Initiatives is a leading non-partisan, non-profit Israeli organization working to advance a shared society of coexistence and equality among Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens. It creates large-scale shared society models through a series of groundbreaking national initiatives that gives them the credibility to advocate for policy change and government reforms.
Previous Project: Israel's Institutions of Higher Education, Catalyzing Policy for Diversity & Inclusion
The Abraham Fund in partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, ran a pilot program which, for the first time, trained University staff to provide culturally attuned services, fostering a multicultural Jewish-Arab campus. In 2017 The Abraham Fund submitted recommendations for diversity and inclusion to be recognized within a funding mechanism, and more specifically, cultural competency trainings for staff. In November 2017 the Planning & Budgeting Committee of the Council accepted these recommendations.
The Citizens' Accord Forum (CAF), founded by former Member of Knesset Michael Melchior, is one of the leading voices in Israel with the goal to create a shared society for its Jewish and Arab citizens. The CAF strives for a more democratic and pluralistic society, in which all citizens are equally treated by the government and authorities. CAF programs include community development and political advocacy on a local and governmental level.
Project Example: the Protection of Muslim Holy Sites in Israel
Leading influential Ultra-Orthodox rabbinical figures took part in dialogue workshops during 2013, in order to address and advocate for the protection of Muslim holy sites in Israel. The rabbis developed a position paper on their vision for a Jewish-Arab shared society in Israel.
The position paper was presented at the Jaffa-Convention in the ultra-orthodox city of Elad. In 2014 it will be presented at the Knesset.
The Deutsche Journalistenschule (DJS) is the most renowned journalism school in Germany. Since 1949, around 2,200 young people have been trained as editors. The graduates work successfully at newspapers and magazines, at radio and television stations, online editorial and press offices or as freelance journalists.
Previous Project: Exchange Program for Journalism Students in Germany and Israel
The objective of the project was to arrange for an academic exchange for 16 students of journalism from the DJS in Germany and 16 students from the Tel Aviv University in Israel. Its intention was to provide the students with insight into the complex relationships and backgrounds of the other society and to create joint media reports. The students chose mutually agreed upon topics: refugees, Veganism, Alternative Transportation, the Rights of Homosexuals, Beer Culture and a documentary about the student exchange itself. The objective was to provide the students with insight into how the societies deal with these issues as well as introducing the students to various journalistic approaches and positions regarding the matter. The result of the exchange program were video, audio and written articles, created in mixed teams of Germans and Israelis, which creatively reflected the content of the exchange, by interviewing local people and institutions in both countries. The articles can be viewed on our website "building bridges" .
Community Events in Palestinian Nature Reserves
The Palestinian Environment Quality Authority and HSF cooperated on a project for raising environmental awareness among the Palestinian society through implementing community events in the nature reserves. These events develop a sense of belonging and responsibility towards the nature reserves especially in C Areas and use the Mahmiyat.ps website as an environmental education tool. The project targets the Palestinian society from all over the West Bank including families, children, women and students. Different activities are implemented in the community events to portray the potential of the nature reserves for ecotourism such as birdwatching tours, flora and fauna identification, and cleaning campaigns.
Gvanim Association for Education and Community Involvement is a non-profit and non-governmental organization, situated in Sderot in proximity to the Gaza Strip, with more than 40 programs and projects. Gvanim works closely with the Municipality of Sderot and the Educational Authorities. The programs support people with disabilities, immigrants, children, youth and families at risk. They focus on community resilience, young leadership and democratic participation.
Previous Project: Multicultural Community Leadership in Sderot
Gvanim Association and the Hanns Seidel Foundation engaged young adults from different ethnic backgrounds (Ethiopia, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Former Soviet Union) and promoted joint initiatives, social change and activism in Sderot. These initiatives have received substantial support by the municipality.
Previous Project: Social Contract.
This project was conceived and developed by members of Sderot‘s Multicultural Incubator in collaboration with other local residents, in order to draw up a social contract. Their goal was that every mayoral candidate signs and commits to the terms of the contract, thereby creating a collaborative environment between the city’s communities and the municipality.
I`lam- Arab Center for Media Freedom, Development and Research is a non-profit NGO based in Nazareth. Founded in 2000 by a group of Arab-Israeli journalists and academics, the main goal of I`lam is to contribute to a shared society, by promoting media rights among the Arab society in Israel. Media rights include impartiality and conformity with democratic values. Their project activities target journalists, civil society actors and media students active in the local Arab and Hebrew media landscape.
Previous Project: Debating Society
The I’lam project ”Future Leaders of the Palestinian Community in Israel”, in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation, targets Arab-Israeli university students in Israel and engages leadership and political engagement through intellectual exchange, dialogue and debate on topics that impact their lives.
Mahmiyat.ps is the first web presence for the Palestinian nature reserves launched in 2016. The website was implemented by the Hanns Seidel Foundation with supervision of the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority. It aims at raising environmental awareness among the Palestinian Society about the nature reserves in the West bank and Gaza strip by providing information about the reserves and nearby historical and cultural sites as well as nearby services such as guesthouses and points of sale for local products. In addition, it provides simple and user-friendly databases of the Palestinian flora and fauna that made the website an online educational tool serving different sectors of the society. In 2018, the logo of Mahmiyat.ps was officially registered as a trademark in Palestine.
Municipal Engagement in Promoting Ecotourism in the Nature Reserves
The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and HSF developed a project to mainstream ecotourism into the planning of the local Governments near the nature reserves. The aim is to contribute to the local economic development of the villages and to the nature reserve’s conservation goals.
Shatil is leading social change in Israel, promoting a shared society based on social, economic and environmental justice, human and civil rights, and cultural and religious pluralism. Shatil’s work strengthens Israel’s democracy by increasing citizen involvement in the process of government and the quest for equality and social justice.
Previous Project: Promoting Political and Civic Participation
The Hanns Seidel Foundation decided to endorse a greater democratic participation in local governments for the upcoming October 30, 2018 municipal elections. Shatil's training program for local policy making was successfully completed in June.
Tel Aviv University (TAU) is a public research university in Tel Aviv, Israel. With over 30,000 students, the University is the largest in the country. The University is the center of teaching and research of the city, comprising 9 faculties, 17 teaching hospitals, 18 performing arts centers, 27 schools, 106 departments, 340 research centers and 400 laboratories.
Previous Project: Exchange Program for Journalism Students in Germany and Israel
The objective of the project was to arrange for an academic exchange for 16 students of journalism from the Deutsche Journalistenschule in Germany and 16 students from TAU in Israel. Its intention was to provide the students with insight into the complex relationships and backgrounds of the other society and to create joint media reports. The students chose mutually agreed upon topics: refugees, Veganism, Alternative Transportation, the Rights of Homosexuals, Beer Culture and a documentary about the student exchange itself. The objective was to provide the students with insight into how the societies deal with these issues as well as introducing the students to various journalistic approaches and positions regarding the matter. The result of the exchange program were video, audio and written articles, created in mixed teams of Germans and Israelis, which creatively reflected the content of the exchange, by interviewing local people and institutions in both countries. The articles can be viewed on our website "building bridges" .
The University of Haifa was established in 1972, becoming Israel's fourth university. About 18,100 undergraduate and graduate students study in the university a wide variety of topics, specializing in social sciences, humanities, law and education. Beyond the objective of a first-rate higher education, the University of Haifa aims to provide equal educational opportunities to all, and in particular to encourage mutual understanding and cooperation between the Jewish and Arab populations on and off campus. The university is a home for students from all sectors of Israeli society - Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, religious and secular students.
Previous Project: the German-Israeli Textbook Commission
For the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany in 2015, the joint German-Israeli Textbook Commission published its findings. During their five-year research, the bilateral Textbook Commission analyzed and evaluated the presentation of each country in the fields of history, geography and social studies.
Out of the chosen Federal States, the Bavarian textbooks stood out positively in the way they presented Israel as part of a broader context instead of the common narrow context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
In addition to analyzing the textbooks, the Commission also gave recommendations. One of these recommendations was the establishment of bilateral teacher working groups, in order to develop supporting material for use in schools. The high-schools that we partnered with for this project were the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa and the Ignaz-Taschner-Gymnasium in Dachau. The academic head of the project was Dr. Arie Kizel, University of Haifa, who also served as the Israeli coordinator of the Textbook Commission.