Come and really get to know Israeli society
“My Brother – The Israel” project invites young men and women in their twenties to embark upon an experiential journey to discover Israeliness in all its various aspects.
For a period of 4 months, the group will live communally among host communities from various sections of Israeli society, each month in a different sector:
The members of the group will be in direct and unmediated contact with the people of the local sectors: they will work with them, travel with them, learn with and from them, create a shared dialogue with them, experience their way of life, and partake in workshops pertaining to the local culture.
In addition, the participants will develop tools to help them define their own Israeli identity, as well as the tools needed to promote social action. They will study the Bible and Aramaic, hike throughout Israel, and enjoy many social activities.
“My Brother –The Israeli” is one of the projects of the recently established “Hinom Center for Social Tolerance”. The Center’s purpose is to serve as a hothouse for the development of initiatives that foster dialogue and deep understanding between various groups and sectors of Israeli society.
The Center has neither sectoral nor political affiliation. Rather, it devotes itself to the promotion of tolerance as a goal in itself, and thus makes itself available to a wide range of communities. The guiding principle for the Center’s initiatives is the promotion of unmediated, long-term and meaningful familiarization with the Other and his world, with an emphasis on respecting differences and appreciating what is held in common.
The members of the Center’s staff share a high level of social concern and a deep commitment to work towards a unified pluralistic society and social solidarity. It includes Adv. Yoron Kanner, Lt.Col.(res.) Eitan Honig, Adam Muhlbauer, and others.
Israeli society is characterized by polarization and by antagonism between various groups which view each other through generalizations and labels. We believe that real and meaningful familiarity reduces the fear of the Other, a fear that leads to hate, violence, and discrimination.
Only a few organizations are involved in trying to meet this challenge. Moreover, most of the activity that does try to further tolerance is characterized by short and superficial exposure to the Other. Encounter groups and short meetings (for example, between the religious and the secular, between Arabs and Jews) do not give the participants an understanding and respect of the Other and of his place in society. Sometimes these interactions may even have the opposite effect, entrenching already held attitudes and sharpening feelings of alienation.
“My Brother-The Israeli” is a unique project that offers a journey to a deep and unmediated understanding of Israeli society in all its hues. A group of young women and men will live together in a commune for a period of four months, each month in a different sector of Israeli society: in the Arab village of Dir El Asad in the Galilee , in the settlement of Ofrah, in the old city of Safed with the ultra-orthodox community, and in a neighborhood of Ethiopian immigrants in Kiryat Moshe in Rehovot.
In each of the host communities the group will engage in theoretical studies and experiential activities concerning issues of identity and society, and will work as volunteers within that community. Most importantly, the group will live with the community, and will come to know its world through structured activities, shared social initiatives, and meetings with key figures of the community.