A common workshop of Jewish and Arab women, in cooperation with the Department for Co-existence and Multiculturalism of Naamat
This very special workshop, moderated by Nurit Hadjadj was opened in October at Beit Terezin, initiated by Orli Bitti, vice chair of Naamat and Rochele Marom from Beit Terezin. The participants were Jewish and Arab women from the district, invited by Naamat representatives, who were “obligated” to make a difference in their circles, regarding Jewish-Arab relations. The subject was chosen, inspired by Beit Terezin, as a site dedicated to memorialization – against tendencies of denial.
The workshop was intended to cope with the different memories, different Jewish and Arab narratives, out of the belief that acceptance of a different narrative and not negation of it, is the correct way for a solution. At the first meeting each participant was asked to pinpoint three personal, meaningful events and one event as part of a collective, which influenced and continue to influence her life. The fascinating personal stories brought the participants closer to each other and showed points of disagreement. At the following meetings the women will discuss questions of communication between cultures and deal with personal recollections and the collective memory. For some of the women this was a first-time experience of such a meeting. Getting acquainted personally created a strong bond between them and a will to learn more about “the other side”. “If women would manage the world, it would look totally different“ was one of the conclusions the participants arrived at.
A meeting dedicated to a visit to the Beit Terezin museum had the motto “Objects in the Service of Memory”. The story of the ghetto was explained through different exhibits; an interesting discussion on the meaning of memory followed. Toward the end of the workshop the participants announced that they are interested to continue their meetings and stay in contact with each other.