‘Moving Forward, Leading Change’ on tap at Temple
Temple Sholom on Route 7 in New Milford will present a program, “Moving Forward, Leading Change,” with Samah Salaime and Lihi Levian Joffe of, Wahat al-Salam- Neve Shalom, Oasis of Peace on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
WASNS is the only intentionally established community for Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.
It is a village of Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel dedicated to building justice, peace and equality in the country and the region.
Situated equidistant from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the community was established in 1970 by the Rev. Bruno Hussar on land of the Latrun Monastery.
The community has established educational institutions based on its ideals and conducts activities focused on social and political change.
Many of the village members work in peace, justice and reconciliation projects.
It has a population of 70 families and will grow to 150 families.
Salaime, director of communication and development for WASNS, is the founder of AWC, Arab Women in the Center, which seeks to promote the status of women in the cities of Ramla, Lod and Jaffa and to combat gender-based violence against women, particularly in Arab society.
In 2017 and 2018, she was chosen by the Israeli National Newspaper, Yediot Achronot,” as one of the 10 most influential social activists in Israel.
She holds B.A. and master’s degrees in social work from The Hebrew University.
She is a graduate of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.
Salaime is a journalist with articles published in Hebrew, Arabic and English, and is a regular contributor to +972 Magazine.
She is active within WASNS and is a leading voice in Israel’s Arab community.
She has served as WASNS director of the educational institutions and director of WASNS communication and development department for the past two years.
Most recently she organized an Arab Jewish demonstration against gender-based violence in Tel Aviv, which was attended by 30,000 people.
This year, Salaime became the first Arab female to be elected to the local regional council and to the Board of Governors of the HebrewUniversity.
Levian Joffe, a practicing dietitian, is one of the newest residents of the community of WASNS who came to the community with her partner just over a year ago.
Born in Jerusalem, Levian Joffe spent eight of her childhood years living in the US. She returned to Israel with her family, where she grew up close to Tel Aviv.
As a student, she became involved in activities focusing on strengthening Jewish Arab relations.
She created a Jewish-Arab student group working for tolerance on campus and a shared future.
Levian Joffe has extensive experience working with young people and heads up the Nadi, the WASNS youth program.
She focuses on strengthening the young people’s pride and connection to the village and the shared way of life their parents have chosen.
Her vision includes preparing young people to become ambassadors for the community and opening the Nadi activities to Jews and Arabs from all over the country.
She has been a guest speaker at the United Nations, talking about the role of women in ending the conflict.
She is a board member for the Coalition of Women for Peace, a Jewish Palestinian nongovernmental organization.