Local communities are pervaded by an atmosphere of "othering." Members of one group see members of another group solely as the "other." They focus on what is different and not what they have in common, such as shared culture and interests. Perceptions of other groups are often based on stereotypes and generalizations, not true personal knowledge, experience and understanding. We believe that the root cause of tensions between groups is the lack of a meaningful, complete and united "story" or narrative, that could serve to bridge the gaps between sectors, created by differences and controversies. Now more than ever, Israel is in need of strong voices that speak out against racism and work for coexistence not in spite of Judaism, but in the name of Judaism.
As a leader of Jewish pluralism and social action in Israel, BINA has committed to increase our efforts to combat racism and foster coexistence and shared society in Israel, through:
• Hands-On Coexistence: Increased efforts to bring Israeli Jews and Arabs together, to get to know one another, to address challenges together, and to work together to solve problems and create shared society. (Current projects include Tikkun Olam Co-Existence Track & Neighborhood Projects in mixed neighborhoods across Israel including Jaffa, Beersheva, Ramla and Lod.
• Education: In the educational programs that we run for thousands of Israelis each year (students, teachers, IDF soldiers, children and adults), we have placed a new focus on coexistence, on combating racism, and on reaffirming tolerance and pluralism as Jewish values. Key programs in this field include: Mifgashim: Arab-Jewish Encounters, Irgun Noar (the BINA Youth Core) (For more information on our work with school students & teachers click here; for more information on our work in the IDF click here.)
• Public Advocacy: In the public sphere we will act as a strong Jewish voice that rejects racism and calls for tolerance and understanding in the name of Judaism and Jewish values. (Click here for recent articles and statements from BINA.)
Click here to donate now to show your support for BINA’s commitment to coexistence, pluralism, and shared society in Israel. Or contact us to get involved or learn more about our work.