The Women’s Hub has been recently established by leaders of the neighbouring communities of Tsur Baher Village and East Talpiot, in Jerusalem. Residents of the Palestinian village and Israeli neighbourhood typically live very separate lives, despite sharing local public spaces, which fosters an atmosphere of mistrust – and ultimately, can result in incidents of violence.
The two communities are divided along socio-economic, cultural, and linguistic lines. Tsur Baher has existed for hundreds of years, and is home to 40,000 residents, of which 98% are Muslim. The population is overwhelmingly young – 40% are under the age of 18 – and people struggle with problems relating to their political status in Israel, as well as poverty, borne from limited education and employment opportunities. Most speak Arabic rather than Hebrew, which further narrows the jobs available to them.
East Talpiot was established by Israel in 1974, and is home to less than 20,000 people, 99% Jewish. Most residents are financially comfortable, a mixture of immigrants, native Israelis, and religious and irreligious people – the community is set to grow by some 50% in the next five years. East Talpiot and Tsur Baher are serviced by completely separate education, welfare and transport systems, as well as community councils. The two communities have had almost no contact since the first Intifada, some 30 years ago.
The Hub is a coalition leadership team of local women, from both Tsur Baher and East Talpiot, who work together towards achieving mutually beneficial goals. It was founded by Tami Lavie Nissim, employee of the East Talpiot community centre, who recognised that many local women were interested to work with those from Tsur Baher. Since 2018, the project has become part of the Israel Association of Community Centers’ (IACC) ‘Israeli Future’ programme, which encourages relations between Palestinian and Israeli communities living alongside each other.
Crucially, the team tackles social issues which affect women disproportionately, such as a lack of educational, health and sport opportunities, as well as violence against women. In addition, they address local environmental issues. The team has been assembled covertly by Tami and her colleague, Ms Wafa Attoon of the Tsur Baher Community Centre. They could not make use of local newspapers or social media marketing, due to residual tensions between the two societies and for fear of public protestation. Impressively, the Women’s Hub has been created through word of mouth alone.
The project helps to unite the disparate communities through the act of teamwork itself. As women get to know one another, they create a sense of familiarity and finally trust. The central position of women within the family means that by extension, their partners, children and wider familial networks in Tsur Baher and East Talpiot begin to develop a more positive outlook towards their once alien neighbours. In addition, they help to generate interest in the Hub’s projects and initiatives. The Women’s Hub is supported with professional supervision from the IACC, and the Achord Research Center, which studies the social psychology of intergroup relations, and provides ongoing evaluations.


  1. Form a joint group that focuses on creating a significant level of familiarity and trust among the participants.
  2. Jointly study the subject of developing community projects and acquisition of resources.
  3. Develop common initiatives and provide professional accompaniment during the development of the projects. (Each project will be developed by two, three, or four women from Tzur Baher and East Talpiot).
  4. Implement the projects with the help of mentors from the community and the program staff.


  1. To build a group of 20 women from the village and the neighbourhood who have the will, time and capability to create and execute initiatives in the Communities.
  2. To create an outstanding and professional program that gives women the knowledge and tools they need to succeed.
  3. As a pioneering pilot, we expect 4 initiatives to be executed by joint teams of the women until November 2020.
  4. Developing and Improving the initiatives during 2021-2022 in order to ensure their sustainability and enlarge the number of people taking part in them.