Community Organizing Accomplishments

  1. Expanded Afterschool Programs in Rehovot: Building an unlikely coalition of marginalized families from five neighborhoods primarily populated by Mizrahi and Ethiopian immigrants, activists organized by our Rehovot organizer recruited the support of daycare teachers and aids and succeeded in pressuring the municipality to significantly expand the hours of publicly-subsidized afterschool programs, enabling the parents of more than 600 children to work full-time jobs for the first time.
  2. Economic Revitalization in Ashdod’s D Neighborhood: we organized 70 merchants together to successfully push for the municipal revitalization of a run-down commercial center in the downtown core of the city.
  3. Special Needs Children in Tirat Carmel: we organized parents in Tirat Carmel, pressuring the city into offering subsidized transportation to school for special needs children.
  4. High School Transportation in Jerusalem: we organized parents representing some of the 2,100 children in the Har Homa neighborhood who are forced to travel an hour or more on public transportation in each direction every day in order to get to high school, forming an unlikely alliance between Haredi, Orthodox, and secular parents that mounted a highly visible public pressure campaign and engaged the city council and Ministry of Transportation in finding a solution. Plans for new transportation options for Har Homa school children are now being incorporated into the Ministry’s work plan for Jerusalem.
  5. Diversity in Rehovot: all of the photos that the municipality of Rehovot used were of northern European children in public advertisements for schools and activities – in a city where the majority of the population is of Mizrahi or Ethiopian background. A diverse group of Rehovot residents worked with the municipality’s PR office to ensure that all new public advertisements will represent the communities actually living in the city and strengthening their sense of belonging.
  6. Education in Ashdod: Shaharit prevented the closure of the only Religious school in the northern part of Ashdod and pressured the municipality into providing places for seven special needs children who were told that they had no school to go to.
  7. Neighborhood connections in Tirat Carmel and Rehovot: In Tirat Carmel, young mothers used food baskets and offers of round-the-clock help to support each other. This network also served to reduce tension and suspicion between the older neighborhoods of the city and a brand-new neighborhood that will double the population of the city in the next five years. In Rehovot, activists held a tour of Haredi, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, and Ethiopian synagogues before Rosh Hashana that more than 100 residents attended and brought together leaders from adjoining neighborhoods who had never before been to the other community.
  8. Municipal Services in Jerusalem: Shaharit pressured the city into taking responsibility for public space in the Gilo neighborhood, including adding trash cans and cleaning up fields that have been abandoned for years.
  9. Special Needs Teenagers and Young Adults in Rehovot and Ashdod: Shaharit worked with a team of mothers of young adults with special needs, holding a large-scale public event in which more than 70 volunteers crossed the city, publicly celebrating the businesses that hire young adults with special needs and asking businesses to commit to hire them. In Ashdod, Shaharit gathered more than 40 parents of special needs teenagers to discuss how to integrate them into the education framework of the city. The parents are now meeting regularly and creating an action plan for implementation by the municipality.
  10. Infrastructure in Rehovot and Tirat Carmel: Shaharit worked with neighborhood leaders in Rehovot’s primarily Ethiopian Kiryat Moshe neighborhood to help facilitate the best deal for them while the neighborhood undergoes Israel’s biggest urban regeneration project. In Tirat Carmel, Shaharit raised awareness of increased stress on infrastructure as the city’s population is in the midst of doubling itself, which led to citizens’ direct engagement with the Ministry of Transportation.