JFN International Conference | Mar 19-21

JFN International Conference | Mar 19-21

March 21, 2017

This year's JFN International Conference featured multiple sessions and activities that focused on Jewish-Arab relations and issues related to Arab citizens of Israel:

Session Details:

Five Years and 15 Billion NIS: Closing Gaps Between Israel's Jewish and Arab Citizens by 2022Tuesday, March 21st - 9:15-10:30am
Last year the Government of Israel launched the biggest plan ever developed to close economic gaps between the country’s Jewish majority and Arab minority. If the plan succeeds, within five years thousands more Arab engineers will be integrated into the high-tech sector, Arab students will increase from 13% to 17% of Israel’s undergraduates, informal extracurricular education will be developed throughout Arab localities, and day care options will be available to many more Arab women so they can work. Within five years, the Israeli economy—no longer sustainable without enhanced Arab participation, according to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economy—should start to see a difference. In the process, more of Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens will work together, study together, and learn about each other, and Israeli society will see a difference as well. Key leaders behind the creation and implementation of the plan will discuss why it is crucial for Israel’s economic sustainability, its key features and fields of investment, how it is perceived within Israel’s Arab society, barriers for successful implementation, and the role philanthropy can play to ensure the plan succeeds.


  • Amir Levi, Director of the Budgets Department at the Ministry of Finance
  • Ghaida Rinawie-Zoabi, General Director of Injaz Center for Professional Arab Local Governance


  • Shuruk Ismail, Program Director -- Arab Community at Yad Handiv


Meeting: Collective Venture Philanthropy for Shared SocietyMonday, March 20th - 7:45-9:00am
Learn about the Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society (SVF), with cochairs Wendy Rudolph and Bob Gordon. SVF is a group of over twenty American and Israeli funders who have worked together for eight years to close socioeconomic gaps between Jewish and Arab Israelis. The group aims to increase Israel’s strength and cohesion as a whole by focusing grantmaking on education and economic development for Arab citizens, as well as innovative approaches to emerging issues. Join us for breakfast and to meet some of our members, learn about the value of collaboration for achieving impact, and hear from Sigal Shelach, CEO of TEVET–the employment initiative of the JDC and Government of Israel–about government plans and work being done that takes economic development for Arab citizens to the next level.



Art Exhibit: Shonim B'Yachad - Embracing Our Differences - on display throughout the conference
Shonim b’Yachad, “Embracing our Differences,” is a multicultural art contest for Jewish and Arab elementary and secondary school students in Tel Aviv, Israel. The annual contest, started in 2015 by the Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism, culminates in the exhibition of the winning posters in key locations in Tel Aviv. The first exhibit, at Jaffa Port in March-June 2015, featured ten foot tall versions of the winning student artwork, which depicted themes of connecting with and "embracing others" who differ in their religion, ethnicity, race, physical features, or socio-economic status. The entries of the second annual contest winners were displayed in June 2016 at the Dizengoff Shopping Center in Tel Aviv, one of the largest and most frequented shopping centers in Israel.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, Gerard and Ruth Daniel Foundation, and the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

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