Shaharit began its work in local communities already in 2012, bringing together citizens who are concerned about the towns and cities where they live and are interested in bringing the spirit of the social protest movement to City Hall.
Some 150 individuals from 25 municipalities attended the event that launched our multifaceted initiative, which, since its inception, has brought together citizens’ groups, new political initiatives, city council members, and elected mayors to articulate and advance an agenda of the common good- a City Hall that works for all its communities.
Our multifaceted work leading up to the Fall 2013 local elections nurtured and networked a wide range of new initiatives in places like Dimona, Ofakim, Ashdod, Gedera, Mevasseret Zion, Sederot, Tirat Carmel, and Rehovot. Our work in bringing together disparate communities in Tel Aviv, Sederot, Lod, and Tirat Carmel and in drafting vision statements for their shared future became a benchmark for the debate in the election, created alliances between unlikely groups, and thereby set the stage for future initiatives that bring the multicultural voices of a town together. A series of election events that, at times, reached standing-room-only capacity brought together candidates for office as part of our “Choosing Well” campaign. This work has given significant on-site exposure to Shaharit and to its ideas, which resulted in coverage in local media. Because of Shaharit’s conferences and workshops, a cluster of young leaders jumped into local politics and credited Shaharit for urging them to make the leap. Our intellectual work and articulation of the idea of building political communities—where the focus is not on individual candidates but rather a citizen-politics partnership for social change—became the organizing principle in a host of campaigns.
In the aftermath of the local elections, Shaharit is gearing up to build citizens’ coalitions that bring together disparate communities by creating shared values for their common futures.
Check out this video about our community organizing efforts: