Sikkuy - The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality

Department for a Shared Society

We seek to promote, expand, and shape a reality that embraces a shared society and shared spaces

Department Activities

More on Shared Society Department

Separation between Jews and Arabs is a  commonly accepted  reality in Israel. This is visible  in many realms of life, starting with where we reside and where we are educated. One of the painful results of separation is the exclusion of the language, culture, heritage and history of Arab citizens from Israel’s public spaces, as well as discrimination in resources and budgets. The pervasive separation also contributes to intensifying  negative attitudes between Jews and Arabs, which is reinforced by the relentless backdrop of the ongoing national conflict. Separation also contributes to augmenting the fear and alienation that fosters hatred and racism.  Sikkuy’s Shared Society Department seeks to promote actual change on the ground and in public awareness,  in order to forge a path toward a natural, ongoing encounter between equals.

The Department assists government agencies, local authorities, organizations and public entities to promote, create and strengthen shared society and shared spaces that are grounded in mutual respect, trust and deep encounters between Arab and Jewish citizens.

In order to build a shared society, Sikkuy works to strengthen the status of the Arabic language and Arab culture in shared spaces, with the aim that every shared space – be it for leisure time activities, employment,  academic studies, or at a bus stop – will provide  a sense of equal belonging for both Jews and Arabs.  Sikkuy has initiated, and is now energetically pursuing,  a major  effort to build a  shared tourism infrastructure in Arab communities.   “Shared Paths” tours have enabled , thousands of Jewish visitors to learn  first-hand about Arab society,  and the  history, culture and heritage of Arab towns and their residents. In addition, given the structurally separate school systems in Israel, Sikkuy is working to embed tools and principles of education for shared throughout all segments of Israel’s educational system. Finally, in shared spaces in which Arab citizens feel threatened simply by virtue of being Arab, we are working to ensure that public spaces are safe from manifestations of racism, exclusion, and incitement.

In recent years, Sikkuy has also worked to to ensure that academic institutions would be shared and equal spaces, and that the language and culture of Arab students and faculty are  present.  Sikkuy published , and n partnership with other organizations, has convened academic conferences in Arabic in order  to promote Arabic-language signage on university and college campuses, and to advance the integration of Arabs in university and college administration and faculty. A major outcome of this work has been the establishment of Israeli Hope, a major project initiated by President of Israel, Reuben Rivlin, and the Israel Council on Higher Education to foster shared space within academic institutions, including with regard to issues of Arabic language and culture in academic spaces.

Silence is Golden