Heart of a Nation’s Engagement Platforms
Heart of a Nation brings together progressive Americans, progressive Israelis, and progressive Palestinians to make all three societies better. By connecting through collaborative content, cooperative efforts, and the creation of unique initiatives, we seek to engage and empower thought-leaders and activists who want to Better Not Batter the Nations They Love. To do this, Heart of a Nation has constructed platforms for five kinds of engagement:
On a weekly basis, Heart of a Nation posts to Medium and distributes written and recorded content to a curated list of 1,200 individually identified American, Israeli, and Palestinian thought leaders and activists. Content includes articles and essays, and discussions by influential progressives, illustrating and amplifying the important work being done by social justice activists and NGOs from all three societies. These pieces provide the connective tissue for idea generation, relationship building and promotion of Heart of a Nation’s core values.
Heart of a Nation nurtures and expands its Community of Purpose by hosting content-rich interactive HeartForums at least once a month. These programs have featured Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Emerge CEO A’shanti Gholar, Middle East experts Hussein Ibish and Aaron David Miller, Jerusalem cultural warriors Karen Brunwasser, Riman Barakat, and Apo Sahagian, and many others. Transcripts of these forums are produced for distribution and provide a springboard for action, motivating Heart of a Nation activists to support important new initiatives.
Heart of a Nation hosts in-person gatherings for thought-leaders and activists throughout the year. These have included a discussion about fostering shared societies featuring Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM), in dialogue with Givat Haviva’s Mohammad Darawshe and Michal Sella, as well as an intergenerational discussions on Israel in the Mind of America and How a New Form of Constructive Engagement Can Bring Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians Closer Together. Heart of a Nation leaders make presentations in synagogues and community forums across throughout the United States.
Postponed from 2021 due to Covid travel restrictions, Heart of a Nation in 2022 will bring together fifty of its Founding Committee Members from all three societies for a groundbreaking, immersive visit to both sides of the Green Line. This Heart2Heart mission will foster bridging and bonding social capital among participants and introduce American thought-leaders and activists to Israeli and Palestinian progressive activists, cultural warriors, and NGOs working to address inequity, discrimination, as well as strife within and between the societies. This one-of-a-kind itinerary will form the basis for others that Heart of a Nation will customize for interested organizations, foundations, philanthropists, and activists.
Unique Social Action Initiatives
In addition to the efforts described above, Heart of a Nation is currently developing the following initiatives which will be launched in the coming year:
Teen Essay Competition
In 2022, Heart of a Nation will invite American, Israeli, and Palestinian teenagers to submit short essays, poems, songs or multimedia narratives in English, Hebrew, or Arabic on the topic: “What would you most like to improve about your own society and how would you do it?”
Regardless of the language of their submission, for those teens from each society who are looking to refine their narrative skills, master the art of advocacy presentations, and increase their written and verbal proficiency in English, Heart of a Nation will provide online workshops with a variety of communication experts free of charge.
A group of nine teen judges – evenly divided between the three societies -- will select the 15 best submissions for publication/presentation -- five from each society. Criteria for selection of winning submissions will include: passion, eloquence, pathos, idealism, practicality and optimism.
Commitments have been secured from The Jerusalem Post (Israel’s oldest English-language daily newspaper) and Al-Quds (the Palestinian territories’ largest-circulation Arabic language daily newspaper) and The Christian Science Monitor (which has been publishing continuously since 1908 and has won seven Pulitzer Prizes) to promote this competition and publish/present the winning essays in three languages: English, Hebrew, and Arabic.
Heart of a Nation is a not-for-profit organization which believes that America, Israel, and Palestine are works in progress; and that with the right combination of good will, dissatisfaction, resources, and effort, each society can progress toward greater justice, equality, and compassion. We believe that Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians who are committed to realizing these objectives accomplish more by working together; and that more will be achieved by bettering, not battering, these nations we love.
Social Action Hackathon
As a cornerstone of our effort to foster ongoing relationships across progressive chasms - and inspired by successful efforts to crowdsource solutions to challenges in the tech space - Heart of a Nation will design and facilitate a Hackathon for social entrepreneurs. This platform, P3X, will bring together teams of progressive activists from all three societies to brainstorm and develop cyber solutions to elements of shared social problems, such as Civic Incivility, Income Inequity, Racial Discrimination, Criminal Justice Disparities, Gender Barriers, and Climate Change. This initiative will begin with an online competition and culminate with finalists making presentations in the Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) between Israel and Jordan, funded by the U.S. Congress to support the Arab-Israeli Peace Process, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC.
Fellowship Exchange Program
Heart of a Nation seeks to launch a Fellowship Exchange Program that will recruit, facilitate, and sponsor American, Israeli, and Palestinian progressive activists to work in each other’s non-governmental organizations. The goal of this program is the breakdown of siloing, suspicion, and antagonism among potential allies, the exchange of best practices across cultures, and the empowerment of a new generation of social change agents. Only applicants and organizations who embrace Heart of a Nation’s credo - Bettering Not Battering Nations We Love - will be eligible to participate in this program. Fellows and host organizations will receive financial support and participate in seminars, site visits, and community service initiatives.