TheJerusalem Initiative project will benefit Christians from the Old City and EastJerusalem who live in Israel and want to integrate into Israeli society. The project will take place over the year of 2021 and the activities will take place in Jerusalem, with 5 trips around the country.
Anew phenomena is happening in Jerusalem where Christians are beginning to want to be integrated into Israeli society as equal citizens and to begin to enjoy all their rights and fulfilling all their duties, whilst retaining their unique culture and religious identity as Aramaic Christians. This project assists these Christians to begin to integrate into Israeli society and to move from being in a parallel society toward joining all aspects of Israel’s vibrant democracy. The main pillars used to overcome barriers to integration are through Hebrew language courses, educational & enrichment programs, and providing assistance to overcome Israeli bureaucracy (which prevents many Christians from obtaining their full rights).
Christians in the Middle East face persecution on different levels of severity throughout all the countries in the region. This has led to large waves of emigration and the dwindling of local Christian communities of all denominations. Israel remains the only country in the region where Christians feel safe and can thrive. Following the recent spread of radical Islamic ideology throughout the region (e.g. ISIS), many Arabic speaking Christians in Israel have come to see their future more as partners of a democracy.
This project builds true bridges bringing equality and prosperity to all faiths that want to access their rights and contribute to the country they live in - Israel
The project assists with integration by:
1)Educational activities designed to strengthen native Christian identity
-Small group Hebrew lessons divided by age group including teenagers & adults
-Enrichment activities such as tours of historical Christian, Muslim and Jewish sites in Israel.
-Extracurricular lectures on subjects such as the meaning of democracy, seminars on reconciliation and self-identity.
2)Activities to provide the “soft skills” required to succeed in the modern Israeli job market:
-Sessions on how to plan a career, writing your CV, how to conduct a job interview and accessing study scholarships in Israeli Universities.
-Establishment of a public inquiries hot desk that will operate once a week for 4 hours to provide assistance on dealing with Israeli bureaucracy and overcoming legal obstacles.