Achvat Amim: Summer Solidarity Cohort IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NEW ISRAEL FUND
Dates: June 25, 2023 - July 31, 2023 Application Deadline: May 25th, 2023
Achvat Amim’s Summer of Solidarity is an opportunity to spend five weeks this summer on the ground and working directly with Palestinians and Israelis in the movement for justice and liberation. Participants will join a dynamic learning community in which we will explore and shape Jewish culture, identity, and activism as well as gain critical frameworks for understanding power, change-making, and movement-building. As a community we will directly partake in solidarity work together on the ground designed to strengthen resistance efforts, build relationships, and develop skills.
Who Should Apply?
Achvat Amim's Summer Solidarity Cohort is open to students, workers, teachers, travelers, activists, all of the above, or something entirely different. Applicants can be living in the region for a semester or can be permanently residing in the region (though as a note, the communal living component of our 5-week summer program is required). We aim to bring people together who are motivated to make real change in the world around them. Achvat Amim connects participants to projects that aim to end racism, violence and inequality as an essential building block for a society based on values that are central to Judaism - justice, equity, and peace.
We are seeking participants who are excited to develop a creative and participatory learning environment for exploring Jewish history, tradition and culture in order to build identity and community.
The Living Component:
Living in a Communal Home Participants live together in an apartment in West Jerusalem. The group is made up of between 6-10 people who share kitchen space, learning space, working space and space for relaxation. Most participants share bedrooms. We work to balance the many amazing elements of collective living with the importance of personal space and privacy. Like all things on Achvat Amim, norms are set through a process of intentional conversation. Responsibility is shared on household chores, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. We view communal living as one expression of tikkun adam, bettering one's self, and one's community. Living together is one way in which we can radically care for each other throughout our time on Achvat Amim.
The space is your home, and also a community hub. It is yours to host meetings in, shabbat dinners, birthday celebrations, and enables you to be at the center of a thriving, politically active, community in Jerusalem. A Pluralistic Home Participants in Achvat Amim come from a wide variety of Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds, communities, and contexts. House norms around ritual practice, observance, and public space are shaped through a group process in which every participant is encouraged to bring in their whole self and the full breadth of their identities. Through compassionate and creative conversation participants build a warm, inclusive, and mutually affirming home.
Explore Jerusalem You are going to be living in Jerusalem, a city full of complexity and diverse cultural life. You will go to cafes and bars and art exhibits. You will join learning circles, minyanim (communal prayer gathering), celebrations, and explore community. You will discover the connections and tensions between East and West Jerusalem, as well as the vast and very real meanings behind words such as conflict, occupation, peace, justice and self-determination. You will have meetings and go to work at your volunteer placement. You will learn all over the city and all over the country.
The Learning Component:
Achvat Amim’s learning process begins with the central belief in self-determination for all people in the place they call home. Importantly, Achvat Amim does not define “self-determination”, “people”, or “home”. We take the meaning of these concepts as a starting place for inquiry and exploration. Over the course of the learning process we go in depth into the topics of Home/Land, People/Hood, Self/Determinationthat together make up our learning arc. Over the course of our five weeks together, we will go out into the field to meet with activists, educators, lawyers, and community leaders who are experts on a given topic. We build shared knowledge and understanding of the complex reality on the ground and envision our role in the struggle for a society rooted in justice and equality. Achvat Amim approaches learning from a place rooted in identity, and much of the learning is through a Jewish lens. We engage with Jewish history, thought, and culture from a multitude of perspectives as we build a diverse learning community and shared understandings.
A taste of some learning days:
Zionism and Diasporaism: Home in the Jewish Imagination
Narrative, Nationalism, and Nakba: Palestinian Identity formation
Environmental Racism, Food Systems, and Justice
Gaza Learning Day: Border Tour
Policing, Law Enforcement, and the Deadly Exchange
Hebron Tour with Breaking the Silence
Queerness, Gender, & Feminism
Achvat Amim has longstanding partnerships with a wide range of human rights, community, and educational organizations. We believe that a strong movement and a commitment to co-resistance requires nimble adaptation to the circumstances and a diverse array of activities. As such, the exact project(s) our summer program will engage in will depend on the needs of our partners and the skills of our participants. Examples of possible projects include: restoring a well in the South Hebron Hills, working at a summer camp for Israeli and Palestinian children, supporting local women harvesting honey. Over the course of the summer, participants will engage in one or two projects multiple times a week, allowing them to deepen their understanding and relationships with the leaders and community members running these projects on the ground.
Some potential placement opportunities can include:
Are you currently interested in longer immersive programming? Find out more about our 5-Month Immersive. Are you already living in the region and are interested in educational programming without communal living? Find out more about our Weekly Justice Fellowship .