About the Racism Crisis Center
When evil doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out: stop!
When crimes begin to pile up, they become invisible.
When sufferings become unendurable, the cries are no longer heard.
The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.
Bertolt Brecht, from the poem “When Evil-Doing Comes Like Falling Rain”
Negative, violent and discriminatory attitudes towards an individual or a group based on ethnic origin, religion, nationality or skin color stems from racism. Israeli law defines racism as “persecution, humiliation, degradation, manifestation of hatred, hostility or violence, or causing strife” against the public or parts of the population, because of their color, race or ethnic-national origin.
Racism in Israel has many facets: it can be expressed via incitement – as graffiti or a flyer; discrimination in the work place or as a customer; and in its harsher expressions can lead to violent attacks or murder. Israel is a diverse country with a plethora of cultural groups including many minorities who suffer from racism. Arabs, Ethiopians, immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, Mizrahim (Jews from Arabic countries), asylum seekers, and migrant workers encounter discriminatory and unequal treatment, part of whom are even exposed to violence and to physical and emotional harm.
The law provides recourse for victims of racism. The racism crisis center was founded in order to assist victims of these crimes to stand up for their legal rights and receive legal and mental help according to their needs. In addition, in order to comprehensively fight against racism, we seek to understand its extent and nature. Gathering information and reports of incidents around the country will be used to prepare annual reports. The center is open to reports from victims and witnesses of racist incidents, and will accept inquiries in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Amharic and English.
The center was founded as an initiative of the Israel Religious Action Center and the Coalition against racism in Israel.
The Israel Religious Action Center
The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) is the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel. Founded in 1987, IRAC seeks to advance pluralism in Israeli society and to defend the freedoms of conscience, faith, and religion. IRAC advocates on behalf of a broadly inclusive Israeli democracy.
IRAC is committed to advancing religious diversity and defending freedom of religion in Israeli society and works to create a broadly inclusive Israeli democracy based on the principles of social justice and equality. Rooted in progressive Judaism, IRAC presents a vision of Israel that retains its Jewish character without compromising on humanistic and democratic values. In this we echo Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which emphasized that the State of Israel will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace; and will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex.
IRAC uses legal action, public policy, and advocacy to advance it goals, as well as direct action to mobilize our own constituencies and the wider Israeli public.
The Coalition against racism in Israel
The Coalition against racism in Israel is an umbrella organization organizing over 45 organization, groups, and organizers, that fight against racism and discrimination against groups and individuals in our society and in general: racism against Arabs, Ethiopians, Mizrahim, immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, asylum seekers and migrant workers, refugees, and gender based racism. The coalition operates to advance a mission of an equal society free from racism.
Member organizations include: The Israel Religious Action Center, Tmora Center, Mossawa Center – the Advocacy Center for Arabs in Israel, Sikkuy, The Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow, Achoti Movement, the Negev Coexistence Forum, Coalition of Women for Peace, Ma’agalim Halakat, Physicians for Human Rights, Tmura – the Antidiscrimination Legal Center, Tebeka, Kav LaOved, Mahapach Tahir, Gedar, Movement of Democratic Women in Israel, Maan, Herac, Mahsom Watch, The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, The Follow-up Committee on Arab Education, Hkeshet in Arad, Arbbat, the Abraham Fund Initiatives, Mixed Families, Morshteno, Psychoactive, Reshema Leekhot Hmektsowaa, SOS, Racism not in my country, Neve Shalom School, Herakona, ASSAF, Merhaveem, Israeli Children, Shatil, Ossim Shalom, Ealam Center, Adam Hadash Movement, Hagalil Forum, Russian Graduate Association, Beit Assadaqa Tamra, Intima wa Atta Tirah.
Adv. Samah Darwish
Lawyer and social activist from Jerusalem. Graduated with a bachelor's degree in law specializing in criminal law and criminology and a master's degree in public policy and conflict management from Tel Aviv University, and is a mediator certified by the court's administration. In recent years, she has been engaged in providing legal advice and representation in the field of civil rights. Lecturer on activism and social change, and host of bi-national and multicultural meeting groups dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the purpose of leading processes of change.
Advocate Ori Narov
Alum of the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan. Has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tel Aviv University. Member of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) Israel Fellows. Member of the Israeli Bar Association since 2010.
Spokesperson of the Coalition against racism. Journalist and social activist. Has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an alum of many courses in the field of communications in Israel and abroad.
Produced TV series “Red Cards”, about the challenges and barriers of Arabs in Israel in a variety of areas and topics.
Graduated with a master's degree in conflict research, management and resolution (Hebrew University). Social activist in the fields of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Rabbis for Human Rights, in the field of food security in the organization Shakhen Tov (Good Neighbor), researcher and instructor on the topic of non-violent struggle.
Russian Intake Coordinator
Born in Ukraine, headed the Reform community in Cherkassy. She learned Hebrew in a Jewish Agency Ulpan in Sunday School. Since 2000, has worked providing aid to immigrants within the framework of IRAC’s Legal Aid Center for Olim, where she served as the Intake Counselor.
Amharic Intake Coordinator
Was born in Ethiopia and made Aliya in 2002.
An assistant in Special education in Porstein school in jerusalem. A social activist and a volunteer at the “life Story” foundation