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Shared society in Israel in light of the new government: opportunities and challenges

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 5 Nisan 5782

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Gordon Gladstone in conversation with Dr. Thabet Abu Ras and Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu, co-CEOs of Abraham Initiatives, and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Ghadia Rinawie-Zoabi (Meretz). Presented by Congregation Sherith Israel and the New Israel Fund.


The last year has been a tumultuous one in Israel. In addition to grappling with an unpredictable on-and-off pandemic, last May saw a war not just in Gaza but in the streets of Israel’s mixed cities, where neighbors — including children and teenagers — turned on each other in harrowing scenes of violence.  A month later, a new Israeli coalition, one spanning the entire political spectrum and including for the first time a party representing Arab society, replaced the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The tragic events of last May and the new government have created unprecedented political space for progress to be made in building an equal and shared society for all Israeli citizens - Jewish and Palestinian.  We hope you will join us for a conversation with The Abraham Initiatives’ co-CEOs Dr. Thabet Abu Ras and Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu, alongside Member of Knesset Ghadia Rinawie-Zoabi, a member of the governing coalition for Meretz party. They will talk to Gordon Gladstone about the progress we have made on critical issues facing Israeli society in the last year as well as opportunities to expand the partnership between government and civil society moving forward. 

Watch the event on YouTube here:

The Abraham Initiatives, New Israel Fund’s grantee, strives to fulfill the promise of full and equal citizenship and complete equality of social and political rights for Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens, as embodied in Israel's Declaration of Independence. The Abraham Initiatives aims to create widespread positive social change in the field of Jewish-Ararelations in Israel. Their initiatives focus on advancing policy change, both at the national and local government levels, as well as state institutions and other key areas in Israeli society. 

MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi
Deputy Speaker of the Knesset / Chair of Knesset Caucus for Shared Living
Coming from a rich background of work in strategic consulting, organizational development and community activism, with special attention to women’s rights, MK Ghaida Rinawie-Zoabi was the founding Executive Director of Injaz Center for Professional Arab Local Governance, a post she held from 2008 until 2017. She holds an MBA in Impact Investment, is an alumni of the Oxford Said Business School Impact Measurement program, and was the director of ACTO- the Academic Centre for Impact Investing and Entrepreneurship at the Management College in Rishon L`Tzion Colman Israel. She also holds an MA in Hebrew Literature and a BA in Psychology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  Rinawie-Zoabi was included in 2018 at the Forbes- Israel list of "50 most influential women in Israel", and was the Head of the Friends Association for the Baruch Padeh Medical Center Poriya prior to serving in the Knesset. She is currently a member of the Knesset for Meretz, where she serves on the Finance, Economics Affairs, and Arab Society committees. She is also Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, the first Arab woman to hold the position.
Dr. Thabet Abu Ras 
Co-CEO of The Abraham Initiatives 
Dr. Thabet Abu Ras joined the Abraham Initiatives in 2014 as co-Executive Director and has significantly strengthened the organization's partnerships with public and political leaders in Arab society. Dr. Abu Ras had a central role in creating the "Future Visions" documents, which have provided a roadmap for the demands of Israel’s Arab community. Before joining Abraham Initiatives, Dr. Abu Ras directed Adalah's Negev office, was co­-director of “New Horizon” – The Arab­-Jewish Center for Dialogue and a Shared Society, and co­founded the Association of Environmental Justice in Israel. He sits on the general secretariat of "A Land for All", an Israeli-Palestinian peace movement, and has served as board co-chair for Hand In Hand schools in Israel. Dr. Abu Ras obtained his PhD in Regional Development & Middle East Studies from the University of Arizona. He is a political geographer who has taught at Ben-Gurion University and Sapir College. An expert on Arab politics in Israel, and a prominent voice promoting Jewish-Arab political partnership, he continues to publish articles regularly in the Hebrew and Arabic press.

Amnon Be’eri Sulitzeanu
Co-CEO of The Abraham Initiatives
Amnon Be'eri Sulitzeanu has served as Co-CEO of the Abraham Fund since 2004. Prior to joining The Abraham Fund Initiatives, Amnon acted as the Director of Marketing Communications at the Jerusalem Foundation, from 1996 to 2004. He served as Spokesperson of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption from 1992 to 1996, under Minister MK Yair Tsaban (Meretz) and was involved in shaping Israel's policy of Immigrant absorption during the waves of immigration from the FSU and Ethiopia. Amnon Holds a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration and bachelor's degree in African Studies, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Amnon was born in Kibbutz Alonim in 1966. He is married to Orit, father of 3 and lives in Tel-Aviv.

The New Israel Fund is the leading organization advancing and defending democracy in Israel. Widely credited with building Israeli progressive civil society, we have provided over $300 million to more than 900 organizations since our inception in 1979.

Learn more about NIF on our website at

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