Sadaka-Reut’s Graduates – Agents of Change
Marking 30 years of Sadaka-Reut’s activity is a great opportunity to stop and ask where we are and what we have achieved thus far.
Over the years Sadaka-Reut has strived to promote an equal, shared and just society for Palestinians and Jews. We swam against the current, and have educated youth to voice their opinions, take responsibility and act for social change.
Numerous changes have occurred in the organization and in the relations between Jews and Palestinians during the past 30 years; nonetheless, in essence, Sadaka-Reut has been and still is today an organization that educates Jewish and Palestinian youth to be political activists.
A research recently published by Dr. Keren Ross from the University of Indiana found that Sadaka-Reut’s graduates over the past 30 years demonstrate a critical perception about the Israeli society, with two-thirds of them actively involved in initiatives that aim to change the Israeli society, namely through promoting equality for Palestinian citizens and other minority groups.
We have chosen to devote the 30th anniversary to our graduates who are involved in initiatives, movements, organizations and political parties that are committed to promote social change in the spirit of Sadaka-Reut’s vision.
This page tells the stories of some of our graduates, the initiatives they are involved in and the linkages they found between their participation in Sadaka-Reut and their activism today.
Saleh, 40 years old, is a Palestinian advocate who specializes in human rights. He is also active in Ramle’s local political party “Progress and Equality” and in various other social change initiatives. Among the legal cases he focused on was a petition that demanded to cancel the mandatory clause of a military service as a condition to apply for a job in the Israeli airport, followed with a request to fine the company for discriminating Arabs who apply. Additionally, Saleh was active for equal representation of Palestinians and women in the municipal committees in Lod: while Palestinians comprise 30% of the population of the city they are completely unrepresented, as do women.View Profile
Gal, a Jewish woman is in her late thirties and a mother of a five year old son, is one of the founders of the Social Justice Program at the Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv, where she is also one of the leading teachers on topics of education for social and environmental justice and peace education. Alongside this, she teaches in a graduate program on social change in the Society and Arts College in Netanya and in various other academic programs across the country and abroad. Gal also facilitated conflict groups in a number of organizations over the yearsView Profile
22 years old Samer studies Political Science and Sociology at Haifa University. He is one of the initiators and main activists in the campaign against the mandatory military service of the Druze. Samer said:
We are a group of Druze who refused to go to the army, and now we are active to abolish this law…. Through the campaign I want to reach out to youth and expose them to alternative options, because serving in the military disconnects the Druze from our nation. The whole idea to be active as part of a group came from Sadaka-Reut. There I learned what it means to work together, the importance of a group and the strength that comes with it.
Oren, a Jewish man, 28 years of age, lives in South Tel Aviv and works as a photojournalist. He is one of the founders of “ActiveStills”- a collective of photographers. Through photography, the members of ActiveStills are intensively involved in various social and political struggles in Israel and in the popular struggles in the West Bank against the separation wall. Oren recalls the establishment of the collective in 2005 during the demonstrations in Bili’n:
We came there to photograph because we supported the struggle, we didn’t come as photojournalists that were sent by someone else .
In his late thirties, Amit, a Jewish father to two, grew up in Petach Tikva and moved to Haifa, where he lives today, following his involvement in Sadaka Reut. Amit has been working for the past three years at Elem (an association for youth at-risk) with multi-cultural and multi-ethnic population, accompanying youth at risk, and responsible for training and supervision of volunteers. Additionally he is active in the bi-lingual school initiative in Haifa.View Profile
Rula a Palestinian woman, 30 years of age, lives between Ramallah, Jerusalem and Haifa. She works as a curator, an art teacher in colleges and is the academic director of the Arab students at the Bezalel Art Academy. Rula conceptualizes her work as means to impact and change reality:
When I choose the topics I curate it is important for me that the issues bring about change. Change is not only achieved through demonstrations and shouts but also through awareness raising and art. All the themes of the exhibitions I curated deal with a social problem… we need to discuss issues, not avoid them; we need to be more political.View Profile
26 years of age Zohar, a Jewish woman, is a film student at the Tel Aviv University and works as the Resource Development Coordinator at the “Coalition of Women for Peace”, a feminist organization comprised of women from diverse communities, who joined forces in the struggle to end the occupation and to promote a just society. In addition Zohar edits and writes in “Café Gibraltar’ – a cultural website that recognizes Israel’s geographical and cultural position as part of the Middle East and as an immigrant society, giving a voice to different experiences and life stories and marginalized artists. She also produced in the Acre Theater Festival and in Tmuna Theater the play “We are building a harbor” by Neta and Raz Weiner and Yonatan Kunda, all three Sadaka-Reut graduates.View Profile
Rawan, a Palestinian woman in her early twenties, has a BA in Communications and English Literature, and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Psychoanalysis and Literature. She works at a youth center in Al-Achuwa school in Jaffa, where she volunteered while in Sadaka-Reut’s ‘Community in Action’ project in 2011-2012.
“It was my first experience in an Arab – Jewish framework. There is no option to not confront the other. It was important for me that ‘the other’ listens to what I have to say, and I also wanted to listen. As time went by I realized that the Jewish group did not know much about our reality as Arabs, and therefore the discussion with them was so crucial.”