Update from Jerusalem – Fighting Incitement and Violence

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We were all shocked to learn of the November 29 arson attack on the Max Rayne Hand in Hand school for Bilingual Education. Since that terrible night, people in Jerusalem and around the world, have come together and responded overwhelming against the violence and incitement.  Events have been organized –on a local and international level –for people to show their support and to reject racism and intolerance. On Thursday, December 4, the Jerusalem Education Authority, together with the Beit Yehudit Community Center, led hundreds of schoolchildren, teachers, parents, community organizations and interested individuals in a solidarity walk down the Railway Park, which runs from the center of town through Beit Safafa and to the school. On Friday, December 5, some 2,000 supporters from Hand in Hand communities from throughout Israel as well as in Jerusalem participated in a similar walk along the Railway Park, ending at the school for a variety of activities for children and adults.

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These activities join a range of efforts by the Jerusalem Foundation to fight hate crimes and incitement. Monday, November 24 featured two events – first a conference by the Yesodot organization that specializes in promoting democratic values in Jewish religious education. That same night, the Jerusalem Intercultural Center held an Open Space Workshop for Activists and Organizations, which brought more than 100 people together to expand and develop further initiatives. On December 14, the Jerusalem Foundation, together with the JEA, the Shatil organization and other partners are organizing a conference entitled, “A Different Dialogue – Meeting and Speaking Together about Education in Jerusalem.” The conference seeks to enable educators to address issues of racism and violence in both formal and informal frameworks.

Jerusalem is home to Jews and Arabs, religious and non-religious, rich and poor…  It is a shared city and despite the challenges and the tension of these last months, the people of Jerusalem continue to show their resilience and their belief in shared living.  The Jerusalem Foundation continues to work with all our partners to improve the lives of all residents and to advance the values of tolerance and respect.

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