A Jewish Democratic State: Creating Shared Space For All People in Israel | Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

A Jewish Democratic State: Creating Shared Space For All People in Israel

Thu, November 16, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

beit Hagen

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A Jewish Democratic State: Creating Shared Space For All People in Israel

Join us for a candid conversation with Beit HaGefen, a Haifa-based Arab Jewish Cultural Center founded in 1963. Beit HaGefen believes that interpersonal acquaintanceship and an encounter with another culture and its narratives are essential for breaking down barriers and building trust. We will focus on the city of Haifa as a unique model of living together with mutual respect and understanding, and discuss how the Bay Area — Haifa's "sister city" — does the same.

Every fifth citizen in Israel belongs to the Arab minority. This group's integration in Israeli society constitutes a difficult challenge, given that their fellow Arabs in the Middle East are in a state of war against Israel. This challenge is coupled with the collective memory of the events of 1948, which are a central motif in the Palestinian narrative in Israel and the surrounding region. This presentation will focus on these issues through the personal stories of Ulfat Haider and Asaf Ron as well as their mutual work experience at Beit HaGefen. Ulfat will speak on her personal experience growing up as a Palestinian in Israel. She will touch on the question of Arabs defining their identity in their own eyes, as well as those in the Jewish majority. Asaf Ron will focus on the challenges of a Jewish democratic and Pluralistic state. The discussion is a rare opportunity to hear from two community members who work to bridge the divide between Jews and Arabs every day. Q & A with our speakers to follow.


Ulfat HaiderUlfat Haider is the Program Director of the Arab Jewish cultural Center. There, she combines her education and passion for outdoors by leading diverse groups of students to the Alps. She has a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from Bar-Ilan University and is the only Arab member of the Israeli National Women’s volleyball team. She was born and raised in Haifa, where she still lives today.

Asaf RonAsaf Ron is the Director of Beit Hagefen, working closely with local political figures, community leaders and clergy members to spearhead initiatives that break down barriers, and ultimately build trust and cultural competency. Before that, he worked with Arab and Jewish schools, encouraging students to mingle and socialize. The goal is to broaden social circles, and subsequently, to broaden viewpoints.


Location: Kurland/Gallery

Osher Marin JCC
200 N. San Pedro Road
San Rafael, CA 94903