A year ago, we launched ELEM’s Arab Community Field. Last week, for the first time, we held a professional development day for the field’s employees. ELEM has been working with Arab youth for many years across all our programs. We are happy to now have a field dedicated to improving and expanding our programs and services to them.
Our team raised valid and important questions such as: What does an Arab community mean in a mostly Jewish organization? What does it mean to be an Arab employee in a mostly Jewish organization? What does cultural sensitivity mean? And what does Arab youth at-risk mean?
ELEM’s goal is to include in our work all the different shades and identities that make up Israeli society, and to be a united organization that gives room to differences without encouraging segregation. Distress has no color, shape, gender or sector. However, it does require us to adapt to the demographic we meet as a social change organization. Ensuring all demographics receive proper care is vital as distress worsened due to COVID and especially after the summer months.
We strive to provide ample space for the identity, difficulties, and characteristics of the Arab community. We hope to be an example of shared living in a society that has room for everyone.