The Tolerance Coalition: Inspiring Hope in Jerusalem

בקואליציית הסובלנות מרגישים תקווה 2

Dozens of shared living and dialogue organizations met this week at the Jerusalem Foundation’s initiative: The encounter included representatives from Ultra-Orthodox, Secular,  Arab,  GLBTQ, and Municipal organizations, as well as  social activists.

The heads of dozens of organizations that focus on tolerance, dialogue, and shared living met on Monday, June 12 at the Jerusalem Foundation to present their accomplishments since the start of 2017. The list included the Jerusalem Open House, the Jerusalem Education Authority, and the Municipal Young Adults Authority, alongside organizations focused on discourse in ultra-Orthodox society, Jewish-Arab dialogue, and social activism.

 “The Tolerance Coalition”, an initiative of the Jerusalem Foundation in partnership with the Young Adults Center, strives to advance cooperation among   organizations and non-profits working to promote shared living in Jerusalem and empower them to increase the scope of their activities.

The meeting was opened by the Jerusalem Foundation’s General Director Anat Tzur, who emphasized that “The Jerusalem Foundation is deepening its work in the realm of dialogue and shared living, a field that has been one of the cornerstones of the Foundation since its establishment. We are trying to combine the strengths of Jerusalem’s activists and see what the added value is when they work together.”

The speakers included:  The Jerusalem Intercultural Center, Rashut Ha’Rabim, the Jerusalemite Movement, and the series of tolerance events that occurred around Jerusalem Day under the framework of “Jerusalemite Day: A Day of the Other”. These events included a family march in Park Hamesila, and building Jerusalem out of Legos. A representative from the Jerusalem Education Authority presented the program “Learning Together in Jerusalem”, which creates encounters between principals and teachers from the eastern and western parts of the city, including joint learning seminars. Additionally, a wide array of educational programs presented their accomplishments, including integrating Jewish teachers into Arab schools and vice versa, Jewish-Arab teacher dialogue, and programs that bring together secular and ultra-Orthodox teachers.

 “We are creating encounters between organizations that work on Jewish-Arab dialogue, organizations that create bridges between the  religious and secular communities, and organizations focused on Jewish renewal – which is far from a given in a city as complex as Jerusalem”, explained Dr. Udi Spiegel, head of education and shared living projects at the Jerusalem Foundation. “Our challenge is to deepen the activities and to expand the impact of these organizations out of an understanding that life in Jerusalem is dependent on our ability to establish a human tapestry of cooperation and dialogue”.