NATAL’s program “Stronger Together” aims to build bridges and connections between Arab and Jewish women to strengthen social cohesion and reconciliation.
In Israel’s mixed cities where Arabs and Jews live in close proximity, tensions between the two communities have intensified over recent years, due to a high number of recent escalations. Women are, and continue to be, the backbone for these communities carrying the responsibility for maintaining their family’s physical and psychological wellbeing. NATAL’s program encourages tolerance and understanding between Arab and Jewish women by facilitating joint meetings which will equip them with conflict resolution and trauma coping skills, enabling them to be agents of change in the community, especially during emergencies.
NATAL’s program enables both Jewish and Arab women who live in the same mixed community but may have never had the chance to interact, to develop relationships and encourage tolerance and understanding between them, during the duration of the program and afterwards.
To date, NATAL has operated pilot programs for 4 groups in the mixed cities of Acre, Jaffa, Haifa and Lod. After these programs ended we found that the women who participated in these groups served as much needed positive role-models in their communities during subsequent security situations.
Moreover, the relationships between the women became so strong and supportive, that they continue to meet independantly to maintain open lines of communication with each other and continue the friendship.