Grassroots Israeli Activism
Targum Shlishi Supports The Yerushalmit Movement’s Community Organizing Initiative
(Miami, April 3, 2016)—The Yerushalmit Movement, which works on a grassroots level to empower social activism, foster pluralism, improve quality of life, and prevent negative migration, has expanded its efforts beyond its specific initiatives and beyond Jerusalem to help nurture the development of community organizing in Israel.
Targum Shlishi is supporting Building Networks and Going National: The Shaharit Program Partnership. Shaharit is modelled on community organizing in the U.S. but with the objective of developing a uniquely Israeli approach that reflects Israel’s multicultural population and its priorities.
“There is a critical need in Israel to nurture a political culture that can move beyond the classic left and right narrative and reflect our rich multicultural reality,” says Shira Katz Vinkler, CEO of The Yerushalmit Movement. “With this initiative, we are joining our strengths as a grassroots civic movement that cuts across traditional sociological boundaries with Shaharit’s ability to provide the tools, training, and mentoring in the community organizing arena in order to train a new generation of homegrown community organizers.”
This initiative is a response to ongoing issues and challenges in Jerusalem and Israel at large, particularly around infrastructure, education, and culture. Targum Shlishi’s support is helping with community organization on a neighborhood level; Yerushalmit is working with local core leadership in neighborhoods to engage the community members, develop partnerships, identify projects, develop strategies, and conduct training.
To date, significant progress has been made in the two years since the inception of Building Networks and Going National. Yerushalmit has been working with municipal elected officials, grassroots leaders, and community organizers to grow this effort in Jerusalem as well as in Ashdod, Tirat Carmel, and Rehovot. Achievements include community campaigns, the opening of a new boys’ high school in response to grassroots campaigning, and a redesign (now in the works) of Zion Square to both create a community meeting point for Jerusalem’s diverse cultures and to rename the square to reflect the spirt of tolerance and acceptance that it represents.
“The Yerushalmit Movement has accomplished major positive change since its inception in 2009,” says Aryeh Rubin, director of Targum Shlishi. “It has consistently challenged the status quo and worked to improve the daily lives of the people of Jerusalem. With this newest initiative, it seeks to empower others, both in Jerusalem and throughout Israel, to continue to work effectively at the grassroots efforts to effect meaningful progress. This is exactly the kind of big thinking that is needed in today’s troubled political and cultural climate. It is encouraging to know that, thanks to The Yerushalmit Movement, more people will be doing this important work.”
About The Yerushalmit Movement
Since 2009 The Yerushalmit Movement has been empowering social activists and fostering pluralism in numerous neighborhoods throughout the Jerusalem with the aim of strengthening the city’s human capital, improving quality of life, and preventing negative migration. Through its grassroots approach, The Yerushalmit Movement imparts messages of shared society, community building, and collective impact. It works to empower the growth of Jerusalem as a vibrant, pluralist, and inclusive city that reflects the unique variety of its citizens, and it hopes to expand its reach to bring this successful and vital model to Israeli society on a national level. For more information on The Yerushalmit Movement, visit its website: http://yerushalmim.info/eng/.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org. Follow Aryeh Rubin, Targum Shlishi’s director, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Aryeh5.