Webinar: Resilience and Solidarity in Times of Crisis - 8.3.23
Hand in Hand’s latest webinar, which took place on March 8 2023, featured an enlightening discussion between three Hand in Hand leaders: Dani Elazar, CEO of Hand in Hand, Shada Mansour, Director of the Communities Department, and Efrat Meyer, Principal of the Max Rayne Jerusalem High School.
The panelists answered the questions, what does it take to continue affecting social change and building a shared society in a volatile political climate? How have the alarming political changes in Israel affected our work? And what are Hand in Hand’s plans for growth, in spite of recent challenges?
Dani Elazar, Hand in Hand’s CEO remarked, “Israel is facing a big crisis that has different layers to it, which are all connected. Probably the most significant internal crisis in its modern history. Where are we — Hand in Hand — in this complex situation? In the school and communities, we are in sessions of studying and dialogue. Our most important role is continuing to do our day to day work and creating a model for shared society and equality in our schools and communities.”
Shada Mansour, Director of the Communities Department spoke of how the recent changes have affected her as a Palestinian citizen of Israel, as a mother to a daughter at Hand in Hand, and as the head of Hand in Hand’s communities. “The election results were like a punch in the stomach for me as an Arab—a statement of what Israeli society wants, and what it looks like… This new extreme government is moving us all into a much more harsh and divided reality. It’s taking me back to the days I felt not wanted here — by the people, by society, by the system itself. This is deepening the separation, and creating a more divided society.
But on the other hand, seeing my daughter Nai celebrating Purim for the last week with her Arab and Jewish friends at school in a very comfortable, confident, natural way, fills me with hope. This keeps me functioning and working towards change, but also fills me with hope about the next generation that we are raising at Hand in Hand.”
“I think our students feel that they are on the right side of history. And I think they are very optimistic about their futures, because they have skills to go out to the world, having met others who are different from them, and are able to feel empathy, and engage in dialogue.” — Efrat Meyer, Principal of the Max Rayne Jerusalem High School
Efrat Meyer, Principal of the Max Rayne Jerusalem High School, spoke of whether our students are optimistic. “There is a huge conflict here which is getting worse and worse. But we are on the side that is making efforts to fix it. I think our students feel that they are on the right side of history. And I think they are very optimistic about their futures, because they have skills to go out to the world, having met others who are different from them, and are able to feel empathy, and engage in dialogue. They are bilingual, and excellent at math and physics and literature—both Hebrew and Palestinian. I think that gives them a lot of optimism, to see their future as safe and successful.”
Tune in to hear more of this profound and important conversation.