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The Jerusalem Tolerance Coalition
The Jerusalem Tolerance Coalition was established in 2016 following the murder of Shira Banki during the Jerusalem March for Pride & Tolerance. The Coalition, conducting its activities under the auspices of the Jerusalem Foundation, is a union of about 70 organizations and institutions working toward the development of more tolerant and accepting public space in the city, promoting Shared Living in Jerusalem.
The Coalition’s Goals:
- To advance the values of tolerance and acceptance of the ‘other’ in Jerusalem, relating to the diverse population living there and promoting respect and acceptance of the varied ways of life.
- To strengthen the Coalition’s member organizations and their activities and impact on the city toward the development of a healthy urban society and the proper function of the city for all its residents.
- To expand circles of impact in Jerusalem, spreading tolerance, particularly in the spheres of education, society and recreational/ leisure activity
- To stimulate and encourage Shared Living among the Jerusalem public, particularly among the city’s decision-makers.
Some of the Coalition’s activities are in-depth, long-term and target focused population groups, while others are activities and events exposing thousands of Jerusalem residents and others around the country.
The Coalition’s member organizations take action in a variety of arenas, relating to the variety of social rifts and conflicts in the Jerusalem context: The Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) – secular Jewish and the Jewish-Arab rifts, attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community and more.
The Coalition’s member organizations and institutions have a wide variety of activity spheres, among them formal and informal education, life in Jerusalem’s community space, sports and culture, promoting (Hebrew and Arabic) language instruction, providing assistance to underprivileged/ underserved populations and advancing agendas in specific spheres. The varied activity spheres of the Coalition’s members enable them to touch the lives of a broad target population and manifest a relevant, influential change agent in Jerusalem.
The Coalition’s Modes of Action:
- Increasing cooperation with municipal and other establishment agencies
- Learning and discussion sessions in a variety of fields, such as acceptance of the ‘other’, proper management, fundraising and getting to know East Jerusalem
- Conducting professional forums of the member organizations, established through the Coalition, such as a forum working to strengthen connections with the Haredi population, a language (Hebrew and Arabic) instruction forum and more.
- Expanding and strengthening activities among the Jerusalem public, encouraging the organizations to conduct various activities in the field in order to disseminate the Coalition’s ideas among the public. Among them: Youth Parliament activities with Jordan Rift Valley area youth, promoting tolerance and learning about the ‘other’, or the Jerusalem Kulna organization’s Rickshaw that was intended for shared Jewish-Arab cultural events and during Covid-19 lockdowns was used to transport food and hygienic products to needy East Jerusalem households;
- Strengthening the infrastructure of Coalition member organizations, expanding their impact by disseminating messages and information
‘The Shared Living Space’ – A Home Base for Civil Society Organizations
The Shared Living Space is a shared work space for civil society organizations in the city and headquarters for Jerusalem Tolerance Organization member organizations. Established within the head office of the Jerusalem Foundation in the city’s Talpiot neighborhood, The Space includes private offices, a conference room and a shared open space for social activities and civil society organization events.
The space regularly hosts organizations that see it as their base, such as Jerusalem Kulna that promotes shared cultural events for Jews and Arabs, the Kehilat Zion community that conducts a variety of activities with Arabs and asylum seekers in Jerusalem, and the Learning Together project that conducts positive encounters and joint learning experiences for school children, teachers and principals from East and West Jerusalem schools. The space also hosts brainstorming sessions, workshops, planning meetings and events, aiming to develop strong working relationships and partnerships among civil society NGOS and activists and to embark on activities tgat will expand the circle of impact and tolerance in the city.