Yozmat Orot

For the past decade, Yozmat Orot has made it its mission to bridge the gaps between the sectors of Israeli society, strengthen Jewish identity throughout and encourage people to come together to find suitable solutions for relevant issues.
Location: Jerusalem
Year founded: 2006

Description

Yozmat Orot specializes in developing educational programs for enriching Jewish identity and culture. Using a dynamic innovative and hands-on approach, we are able to demonstrate the vibrancy of Jewish traditions, values and lifestyles to tens of thousands of people throughout Israel from all walks of life.

Plugta, one of our flagship initiatives, brings people together from all walks of life, and gives them a respectful environment to bring topics of dispute and friction to the table. Additionally, the program aims to develop cross-sectoral initiatives by encouraging said parties to join forces, take responsibility and find suitable solutions for local issues. This is done through learning, art, mediation and dialogue.

Plugta Jerusalem

About

Plugta Jerusalem creates a platform that brings people together from all walks of life to discuss topics and find solutions to issues that relate to the citizens of Jerusalem. Plugta Jerusalem uses various mediums to encourage cross-sectoral initiatives, leadership, community, Jewish identity, art and culture.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Plugta Jerusalem
operates within the Plugta method and has made it its mission to help mend the
tear between the various sectors and citizens of Jerusalem. Plugta Jerusalem
aims to bring a critical mass of representatives from the different communities
to the table and fosters open, respectful dialogue among them. We achieve this through cross-sector
learning, discussion of conflict topics, mediation courses, writing courses,
art sessions and more. Through this we are able to relay the understanding that
while we may not all agree, it okay to agree to disagree and understand that we
all live in this space together and should take responsibility for it.

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Program Description

Plugta Jerusalem creates a connection between different cultures in Jerusalem, especially between the ultra-Orthodox and the secular, by bringing them together through the art, learning and creativity process. The program was founded in response to the daily, multifaceted reality that exists in Jerusalem and enriches the intra-communal and public discourse by re-examining the Jerusalem public space and its various cultures. The project will enrich the cultural toolbox and the inspiration of veteran Jerusalem artists or those at the beginning of their careers, from all cultures. The series are designed for groups of about 30 young people (25-35) from different fields of writing and art, and from all cultures in the city, such as secular, religious, ultra-Orthodox, immigrants. Jerusalem is rich with history, culture, religion, and architecture where artists can draw their inspiration and come together as a society to share their joint passion.

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Demonstrated Need

The citizens of Jerusalem come from all walks of life and
each has their own philosophy and identity. Jerusalem is a magnet to immigrants
from around the globe and all of parts of Israeli culture and religion are
represented in the city. Living in such close proximity to one another in a country
that is small as it is, causes a lot of tension between the sectors. Surprisingly,
regardless of the close proximity, we find that often a secular Jew may never
speak to an Orthodox one as each group is influenced by the media or their
misconceptions. This creates tension and unnecessary animosity. Furthermore, connecting
artists from various sectors it is unheard of to try and connect ultra-Otrthodox
and secular artists to use their art form as a way of encouraging dialogue. This is
extremely beneficial for all parties involved.

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Program Accomplishments

Aside from its regular study sessions, Plugta Jerusalem has made a name for being a leader in mediation and dialogue and has been sought after by politicians, the Swiss Department of External Affairs, cities across the country where there is tension among the locals, universities, the IDF and more. Specifically, we are known for being able to bring the ultra-Orthodox community to the table (a place where most organizations struggle).

One of our most notable accomplishments in Jerusalem is in the Kiryat Yovel which iis known for the discourse within the community. A few Plugta series have brought the locals a long way in understanding, acceptance and responsibility.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Our success is measured a few different ways: by the number of participants from each sector, the internal initiatives that stem from the series, the level of art or creative writing that is produced etc. At the end of each series participants fill out a questionnaire which provides us more information for qualitative research.

The art portion of the Plugta program is reletively new and we plan on having the work evaluated by professionals.

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No grants received yet

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