Israel and Palestine

CRT supports a variety of women’s empowerment and interfaith peace projects in Israel and the West Bank.  Projects include the Young Women’s Parliament and Women Reborn, both developed in partnership with Shin, the Israeli Movement for the Equal Representation of Women (Shin’s website: http://www.shin-women-equality.org.il/ )  A variety of other grassroots projects have also been supported by CRT over the past five years.

Young Women’s Parliament (YWP)

Young Women’s Parliment was developed in 2011 with a small grant from CRT.  The project brings Israeli Arab and Jewish high school girls together to work on issues of common concern. The project’s goals are to: (1) increase understanding and tolerance between Israeli Jewish and Arab high school girls; (2) increase participants’ understanding about women’s rights and critical thinking about gender issues and feminist principles; (3) train a generation of potential leaders skilled in political advocacy and experienced in working on social and political issues with members of other groups. By building bridges between groups and giving the girls experience with social change, the ppic1rogram hopes to increase the future participation of young women in conflict resolution.  In 2015, with CRT assistance, Shin received a sizeable USAID grant to expand YWP.  Currently the program operates in nine Israeli towns and villages (5 Jewish and 4 Arab municipalities, including one Druze village).  Plans are currently being made to add another 7 municipalities, including one in the West Bank.

For further information
First Year Project Report
2011-2012 Project Report
2013-2014 Project Report
First Quarterly Report USAID Oct-Dec 2015
Second Quarterly Report USAID Mar 2016

Women Reborn

Women Reborn is a unique collaboration among women leaders from two Arab villages in northern Israel; Shin, the Israeli Movement for the Equal Representation of Women; and CRT. Women Reborn began in 2008 under the leadership of Ibtisam Mahameed, whose family has lived in Fureidis for generations. In 2011, the program expanded to a second nearby Arab village, Jisser az Zarka. In contrast to Fureidis, where few women worked but most had a basic education, many of the women in Jisser could not read or write Arabic, knew no Hebrew, and were employed in very low-wage jobs. The primary goal of the program is to empower women socially, economically and politically. Activities include leadership development, educational courses and vocational training; study tours and trips both inside and outside Israel; community projects and events, including an annual International Women’s Day Celebration; political organizing for municipal elections; and networking with other Arab and Jewish feminist groups. To date, thousands of women have been involved. Women Reborn has had a direct impact not only on the women involved, but also on husbands, children, extended families, and other women and men in the villages. The program has worked closely with the municipal government and other community institutions in both villages, is widely seen as a positive force for economic growth, and has stimulated the development of several related projects, including the Young Women’s Parliament (see above).

For further information:
First year Summary Report
First year Evaluation Report
Summary Report for Phase II covering July 2011 – June, 2012
United States Institute of Peace Book Chapter.

Other CRT Projects:

Women’s Interfaith Leadership Development

In 2007, a 3-day meeting of fifteen women from across the Middle East – five Jews, five Muslims, and five Christians – was held in Amman, Jordan. Women were selected on the basis of religious affiliation, experience with peace building, leadership capacity, and commitment to working in an interfaith context. Intensive workshops, dialogue and planning led to the development of a model for developing women’s interfaith leadership.

Read the Final Report

Garden of the Mothers

Trust-Emun opened the Garden of the Mothers in 2011 at the Community Center of Daliat HaCarmel, a Druze village in northern Israel. The garden, which includes a stone engraved with the park’s name and 44 trees planted in honor of families affected by a regional forest fire, serves as a place for women’s peace gatherings.

View the video on YouTube
Read the Final Report

Religious Pluralism in Palestine

Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, founder of Wasatia, hosted a 2-day workshop in 2011 for 25 young leaders in Palestine. Topics included religious tolerance, voluntarism, leadership, communications, gender equality, religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue. Participants were recruited from NGOs and universities.

Read the Final Report

Healing Trauma

In 2012, a six-part course was held dealing with various aspects of trauma, including working with the body (sensory-motor psychotherapy) and self-regulatory techniques. Participants included 14 local professionals – two clinical psychologists, three educational psychologists and eight social workers – to increase the likelihood that knowledge would filter down into the wider community.
Read the Final Report

Children Building Peace

In 2012, the Association for the Commemoration of Bat-Chen Shahak brought together Jewish and Arab Israeli school children living in two neighboring communities in the central area of Israel — Lev Hasharon and Tira. The goal was for the children to get to know each other and to learn about each other’s culture, community and religion. Together they designed and built a “peace pole” which was signed by each child and placed in each school’s play yard.

Read the Final Report

Reiki for Peace

This project, conducted in 2012, established two free reiki clinics for peacemakers in the West Bank, one for men and one for women. The clinics were staffed by an interfaith team of volunteers and practitioners, and were designed to help students learn to trust each other at a level far deeper than words can effect, leading to reduced tensions and the development of open communication, trust, and friendship.

1325 – Woman and Peace

This project, also known as 1325 Women Making Peace and Women 4 Peace, is an ongoing online social enterprise dedicated to issues concerning women and peace. The project developed two online initiatives – a website and a facebook page – and held one field meeting, a workshop on the creation of an online campaign for peace.

Read the Final Report

MerMer (Narmati)

This project used Voice-in-Movement Integration, which releases women’s natural musicality and frees up both expressivity and listening, to enhance connections, understanding, and teamwork among Palestinian and Jewish educators at the David Yellin Academic College in Jerusalem. A total of 8 workshops were held in 2013 – 2014.

Read the Final Report