Leadership from Beit HaGefen — a Haifa-based Arab Jewish Cultural Center — will be speaking in the Bay Area Nov. 14-20 on “A Jewish Democratic State: Creating Shared Space for All People in Israel.” Register for the free events at Congregation Beth El, Osher Marin JCC, Congregation Beth Am, and the Jewish Community Federation.

Every fifth citizen in Israel belongs to the Arab minority. This group’s integration in Israeli society constitutes a difficult challenge, given that their fellow Arabs in the Middle East are in a state of war against Israel. This challenge is coupled with the collective memory of the events of 1948, which are a central motif in the Palestinian narrative in Israel and the surrounding region.

This presentation will focus on these issues through the personal stories of Ulfat Haider and Asaf Ron as well as their mutual work experience at Beit HaGefen, a Haifa-based Arab Jewish Cultural Center founded in 1963. Beit HaGefen believes that interpersonal acquaintanceship and an encounter with another culture and its narratives are essential for breaking down barriers and building trust. We will focus on the city of Haifa as a unique model of living together with mutual respect and understanding, and discuss how the Bay Area — Haifa’s “sister city” — does the same.

Co-sponsored Beit HaGefen, Consulate General of Israel, New Israel Fund, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Community Federation, Osher Marin JCC, Oshman Family JCC, JCC East Bay, Congregations Beth El, Beth Am, Rodef Sholom, Kol Shofar, and Sherith Israel

Tuesday, November 14 | 7:00 pm
Congregation Beth El, Berkeley

Thursday, November 16 | 7:00 pm
Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael

Saturday, November 18 | following services
Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills

Monday, November 20 | 7:00 pm
Jewish Community Federation, San Francisco