77 Steps

Dir. Ibtisam Mara'ana
(56 min, Israel, 2010)
English Hebrew Arabic with English subtitles

The personal journey of the director Ibtisam Mara’ana, who leaves her Arab-Muslim village and moves to Tel-Aviv. In an attempt to find an apartment in the city, she encounters discrimination and refusal by most landlords because of her Arab origins. She finally finds an apartment and meets her neighbor Jonathan, a Jewish-Canadian man who immigrated to Israel. A love story evolves, but everything is complicated by their religions, backgrounds, and society at large.

Presented as part of the 7th Annual Community Education Day on Arab Citizens of Israel.


Sunday, May 21, 4:00 pm
Edlavitch DCJCC
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC


Followed by a conversation with Reem Zoabi Abu Ishak, Fida Nara, and David Bernstein as part of our 7th Annual Community Education Day on Arab Citizens of Israel.

Fida Nara  is  the Palestinian co-Director of Mahapach-Taghir. She lives in Nazareth with two daughters Shaam (15) and Samaa (11) and holds a Bachelor of Arts in social work from Tel Hai College and a Masters in Gender Studies from Bar Ilan University.

Nara has been active in the field of women’s empowerment and social change for the last eighteen years, both as a professional and as a volunteer/activist. She became involved in civil society as a volunteer in the Crisis Center of Violence and Sexual Violence in the Arab society.

After five years Nara began working in a Project to raise awareness about the topic of sexual violence in Arab schools and then to facilitate groups of women on the same topic. Before joining the staff of Mahapach-Taghir as co-Director, she served as the Manager of the Community Activities unit at Women Against Violence (WAVO) in Nazareth.

Reem Zoabi Abu Ishak is the director of Nazareth’s Riyan Employment Center – one of 21 employment centers established in Arab society through Al Fanar, via a strategic collaboration between the Israeli government, JDC-Tevet and Yad Hanadiv Rothschild Foundation.

Between 2012 and 2014, she worked at Al Tufula Center in Nazareth as the coordinator for “Atida,” an initiative for integrating Arab women into the labor market, in cooperation with JDC-TEVET, which was a pilot” model of the Riyan Employment centers.

From 2010 to 2012, Reem coordinated community projects as well as a project titled “women for a fair budget” in Kayan, a feminist Arab organization in Haifa.

Reem worked as a social worker and then as Deputy Director at “Alhanan House,” a boarding school for girls at risk in I’iblin and then in “Duroob,” an institute in Yarka developing services for Arab youth at risk.

Reem has first and second degrees in Social Work from Haifa University, specializing first in children and then in Organization and Administration. She also participated in Haifa University’s yearlong program on women and gender issues.

David Bernstein is the President and CEO of JCPA. Prior to his position at JCPA, Bernstein served as a consultant dedicated to assisting organizations and communities in strengthening their Israel education, engagement and advocacy work. He is also founder of CultureSolutions LLC, which works with non-profits on strategic planning and culture change efforts.

He served as Executive Director of The David Project from August 2010-September 2014. During his time at The David Project, Bernstein transformed and re-branded the organization, focusing on the need for expanding relationships with campus opinion leaders, intensifying efforts at particular campuses and utilizing a more nuanced approach for discussions about Israel.

Bernstein also spent 13 years at the American Jewish Committee, where he began as director of the Washington regional office and served in management roles overseeing regional offices and national and local programming and advocacy. During his time at AJC, David was a leading advocate for Israel on the legislative, diplomatic, media and inter-group relations fronts. He has provided pro-Israel media training in cities across the country and to Israeli diplomats based in the U.S. David was a leading player in the successful nationwide effort to overturn the decision of the Presbyterian Church USA to divest its holdings from Israel. Bernstein is also a passionate advocate for education change, writing a series of opinion pieces for the Washington Post and Education Week.


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This event finished on May 22, 2017.