Shared Paths Program
Social tourism in Arab localities
Deepening familiarity with Arab society in Israel and promoting a shared society
Shared Paths merged into Merchavim in 2023
Social tourism brings people, cultures, and narratives together and can bring about social and economic change and bring hearts together.
To increase the cohesion of Israeli society, it is necessary to allay mutual concerns through direct acquaintance between the different groups, creating a personal connection, and becoming familiar with the similarities and differences in the lifestyle of the other. All this happens in walking tours of Arab localities, at the entrance to the mosque and enrichment of knowledge about Islam, in encounters with a variety of figures and voices from Arab society, in hospitality in local homes, and even in virtual meetings. Social tourism has additional value in supporting the economy in Arab localities and in developing local pride.
The program began its activities in 2013 as part of the Sikkuy-Aufoq association. In 2020 it became an independent association, and in 2023 it partnered with the Merchavim Institute to enrich our toolbox with social tourism tools.
The program’s activities:
The activity is suitable for various audiences: high schools, organizations, workplaces, groups from the public sector, leadership programs, groups from abroad, and privately organized groups.
Through their personal stories, the local guides tell about their locality and the Arab-Palestinian society in Israel in a connecting, heart-to-heart approach. In all the tours, you walk through the alleys of the settlement, hear the local stories of history and legend, meet with diverse characters, visit the mosque, taste the delicacies of the rich Arab cuisine, and more.
The tours and activities, both physical and virtual, are designed to create personal, meaningful, and “eye-level” acquaintances with people from Arab society. The participants discover the cultural treasures of the place and meet with its people for a conversation from a personal angle, which provides a glimpse into the daily life of the community and the way of thinking of its residents.
A variety of activities throughout the country:
- Walking tours of Arab communities throughout the country, including Taybeh, Shfaram, Glajulia, and Kafr Qasim
- Meetings and conversations with local people where you will meet the Arab society from a personal perspective
- Home visit with an open heart and a table full of goodies
- Online interactive sessions and open dialogue with authentic characters
The people who make it happen
Shared Paths Program Manager
Born in Israel, Haifa, Ilanit lives in a moshav in the Sharon. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA with a specialization in marketing from the College of Management. She began her career in marketing in the private sector, and after nearly a decade opened an independent office for event and tourism productions specializing in the business sector. At the same time, she lectured in academic institutions on the subject of event productions and tourism. She began her career in the field of social tourism as a volunteer at the initiative of the Sikkuy-Aufoq association in cooperation with local authorities to promote tourism in Arab localities in the Sharon region. For the past nine years, Ilanit has been developing social tourism within the framework of Shared Paths in Arab localities. She has developed social tourism in the Southern Triangle area and other communities throughout the country, and has been managing the Ramadan Night Shared Paths tours project for several years. Working in Merchavim since February 2023
ילידת ישראל, קיבוץ רמות מנשה, מתגוררת בעברון. בעלת תואר ראשון במדעי המדינה וסוציולוגיה ותואר שני בסוציולוגיה ארגונית עבדה שנים רבות כסמנכ”לית משאבי אנוש בתעשיה ובפיתוח ארגוני. בשנת 2012 עשתה הסבה לתחום החברתי, עמדה בראש ארגון “אהדה” התומך במשפחות ילדים ובוגרים עם מוגבלויות בתנועה הקיבוצית. בוגרת בית ספר מנדל למנהיגות חינוכית שם התמקדה בחיים של אנשים עם מוגבלויות בקהילה. בעלת נסיון רב בהובלת תהליכים ארגוניים ושל שינוי חברתי. עובדת במכון מרחבים משנת 2018.
To contact Ilana: email@example.com