The program starts with a screening of the moving and insightful documentary 77 Steps, which is followed by a panel discussion featuring Fida Nara, Co-Director of Mahapach-Taghir, a grassroots, feminist, Jewish-Arab organization that works for social change through education and community empowerment and Reem Zoabi Abu Ishak, director of Nazareth 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. The conversation will be moderated by David Bernstein, President and CEO of JCPA.
Sponsored by the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues and the Edlavitch DCJCC.
Lead Support provided by The Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation and The Lois and Richard England Family Foundation.
Sunday, May 21, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
1529 16th Street NW
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adas Israel Congregation; Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation; Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community of Greater Washington; American Jewish Committee, Washington Region; American University Center for Israel Studies; Anti-Defamation League, Washington DC Region; B’nai Israel Congregation; Bender JCC of Greater Washington; Beth Shalom Congregation, Columbia, Maryland; Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County; Embassy of Israel; Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues; Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington; Jewish Council for Public Affairs; Jewish Federation of Greater Washington; New Israel Fund; Shaare Tefila Congregation; Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society; University of Maryland Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies; Washington Hebrew Congregation.
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