Over the past several decades, Israeli and Palestinian peace NGOs in the people-to-people community have produced tens of thousands of program alumni who have been transformed by the experience of engaging with the other side Our community’s collective theory of change rests upon the conviction that these alumni are primed for leadership, and can catalyze the change that we envision for the region.
But too often, even the most effective organizations are understandably preoccupied with the ongoing work of recruiting and training new participants rather than ensuring that those who have already graduated are leveraging their power for social and political impact. This is why ALLMEP conducted a field-wide needs assessment, and launched AlumnHub (Formerly the Alumni Leadership Forum).
Since its launch in September 2019, this first-of-its kind program has created a platform that incentivizes partnerships and creates common cause across the societal and political boundaries erected between Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs and Jews. The pilot year brought together 24 alumni coordinators to learn from each other’s best practices, maximize resources, and conduct joint programming to advance and enhance the sphere of alumni engagement. AlumHub seeks to elevate the conversation on what is possible for the region—opening pathways for the next generation of leaders and deepening the investment of young Israelis and Palestinians as partners for peace.
In 2021, ALLMEP conducted a youth poll in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace focused on youth attitudes among Israelis and Palestinians ages 15-21. The survey revealed that the state of youth attitudes are in an alarming position. Majorities in both groups reject the other’s historic or national connection to the land, and regard the possibility of a Palestinian state as low or unlikely in the foreseeable future. Trends also indicate that young Israelis and Palestinians are taking increasingly hardline stances on both sides of the conflict. The status quo, particularly among young people, is troubling, and perhaps even more so in light of the violence in May. However the poll also suggested that majorities of young people might be willing to participate in the sort of joint projects that could disrupt these trends.
Mid East Storytellers
Mid East Storytellers, designed in partnership with B8 of Hope and Pendulum, was created on the premise that stories are a powerful medium for amplifying the values of the peacebuilding community. By highlighting the narratives of peace activists and sharing them with the world, this community has shown that it rejects hatred, bigotry, and racism, and refuses to accept the status quo that denies Palestinians and Israelis equality, liberty, and security. Each year, a panel of judges reviews these stories and awards three activist winners. Further, B8 of Hope and ALLMEP lead a traveling international art exhibition, which profiles these stories in public forums in major cities around the world.
In collaboration with New Israel Fund, ALLMEP cosponsors the Groundwork Podcast. The first season, a miniseries called, “The Mixed Cities Edition,” featured three episodes profiling activists who work in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Lod to find out what it’s actually like on the ground, what are the underlying tensions, and what needs to happen to bring change. ALLMEP and NIF are currently in production of Season 2, set to launch later this year. Available wherever you listen to your podcasts.