Alumni from ALLMEP member, Achvat Amim, prepare for their next chapter as Cohort 18 comes to a close
Tens of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians, Arabs and Jews, have passed through our members’ programs over the years, and studies have demonstrated that their participation in these programs yields lasting attitudinal and perspectival shifts. Long after the programs conclude, these alumni can be a lasting force for peace and equality in the region.
As such, ALLMEP encourages and supports our members’ efforts to build and engage their alumni community. One such member is a recent addition to the ALLMEP community, Achvat Amim – Solidarity of Nations, and they’ve just concluded their 18th cohort of participants (and almost 9 years of programming!). This cohort adds to a vibrant alumni community of over 140 who have gone through Achvat Amim’s intensive 5 month programming, many of whom continue to work in the fields of human rights and progressive social change, they explained.
Achvat Amim is a movement building platform and educational initiative committed to bridging the movement for justice and liberation in Israel/Palestine with the movement for justice and liberation in the diaspora. Based in Jerusalem, their programming helps Jewish individuals find right-sized political action while building transformative relationships. Achvat Amim equips participants with the tools they need to effectively dismantle structural injustice and inequality: both in Israel-Palestine and in their home communities.
A pivotal part of Achvat Amim’s work is directly connecting participants to projects that aim to end racism, violence, and inequality. The “work placements” are essential to Achvat’s ethos, which strives to empower young people to not only learn about this place and systems of power, but also engage with these values through direct participation in grassroots work.
Participants of the recent Cohort 18 have traversed the stony alleys of Jerusalem, done community projects with Achvat’s partners in South Hebron Hills, drove through the dusty roads in the Negev, and sat in the stuffy mobile office trailers of military courts in Ofer Prison. The culmination of each of these experiences left lasting impressions on the entire group. One such participant remarked, “I didn’t realize how long I had been exploring these questions and these struggles on my own. It’s been so important being able to have a group of amazing people who share my values to explore this place with.”
But their work doesn’t end there, they explained in a recent email to their supporters. As alumni, Cohort 18 are going off to continue their work and commitment to justice and equality in the region. Participants are taking their experience with Achvat Amim and bringing it into the next chapters of their lives: direct action/protective presence in area C of the West Bank with CJNV, a masters program in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies and other studies, jobs in the NGO field and social work, and more.
Their own Director of Outreach and Communications, Elly Oltersdorf, is an alumni of Achvat Amim’s Cohort 10, 2018. Elly told ALLMEP, “It’s a special kind of work to be able to bring people into this space, into meaningful solidarity work and partnerships, and into sustainable forms of activism and community. As an alumni of the program, I know the power it has to give people the courage to make positive change and stand boldly against systematic injustice.” If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about their programming, please contact Elly at firstname.lastname@example.org
They, and so many of our members, are working hard to ensure that building alumni communities remains a priority in their programming and we are thrilled to be supporting them as they do so. To learn more about ALLMEP’s alumni-focused programming, check out our website www.allmep.org/alumhub