Sunday, September 18

Bring in the Clowns: The Arab Jewish Community Center for (Wealthy) Jews Only?

The clown had a white face, a big red mouth and wore a black/pink glittery tux. His Hebrew was impeccable, sheinkin style.

Adjami is somewhat blessed by a fancy community center, supposedly catering to all Jaffaites from all ages. It has a multi culti name, the Arab Jewish Community Center.
Both staff and management are mixed Arab Jewish and all signs are in both Arabic and Hebrew.
Yet that's where equality stops.

Today the registration for courses and workshops started: a mobile stage on a truck travelled throughout the neighborhood. On the stage were a clown, a young darbuka drummer, balloons and a loud sound system.
The truck stopped in many corners and children and adults came to watch the show and participate in the fun and acticvities.
The only problem, the clown spoke only Hebrew and the music was American. There is nothing wrong with that as such, yet the young kids here do not speak Hebrew. Where i live, the children know only Arabic. Thi swas also the case in the public housing estate of Kedem street. And right now in front of the community center, where the party goes on. Where i live people like Arab music, local as well as Lebanese singers and Arabic speaking rappers, not American country music etc.
True, the flyers handed out were in both languages. But Adjami is an Arab neighborhood. So WHO exactly do they wish to attract to the center? The few failrly well to do and rich Jews living here?
It IS nice the center caters to all kids, the Jewish kids included.
Yet the tour strongly created the impression the center prefers its Hebrew speaking clients.
Perhaps because they have more money? Perhaps because they do not ask for a discount? I wonder.

I know quite a few children where i live, who would love to participate in the workshops, yet their parents cannot afford it, so the children stay out on the street. Is that what the clown wanted?


Salam said...

I volunteered there and most of the workshops are less than 7$/many many Arab children came everyday/ Duh, everyone loves American music (joke). Also, we put on a GREAT event in the gym for mother's day in the Arab world-the Arab mothers and their daughters came out that night and had a fantastic time-the girls put on a delightful balet performance for their moms and we spent a lot of money on delicious food/decorations, and ALL of it was for Arabs. I know it is only one example, but don't don’t you dare paint the AJCC in a negative light due to one event you viewed.

yudit said...

Why dare? hmm, this is still a democracy and i can criticize and write what i want.
Moreover, that sounds threatening. Why should you and who are you to threaten someone for writing her well founded opinion?
You may not agree, that is your right. And you can express it. But threaten? What are you, the thought police?
one event? you gotta be joking.
i live here.
we (my neighbors and me), tried several times to demand kids from poor families (60% of Ajami's Palestinian children are from poor families dependent on welfare) will get admitted for a symbolic price or even for free. No such thing.
As a result the large majority of the center's kids are Jewish and wealthy as they can afford it.
Discrimination created by financial means. As a result the center serves the wealthy only.
The moadonit of the Ahva sdchool is NOT an activity of the center, the municipality rents the space for the moadonit.
As a community center it is supposed to serve the LOCAL community, all of it, not only those with money. This is not the case in Abushindi land.
As to work with teenagers, those most in need, this is hardly done at all, because they are not really wanted and made to feel that way. (give and take the dance classes for young girls from nice families). When kidum noar wanted to do a special project for dropouts, they were kicked out.
The position of the community center is highly problematic inside the community.And that position is based on a long and not so nice history.
As a result of that history the center has become a "no go place" for many, those who most need it.
It is not really a center for the community, but rather a "duki show" (duki as in "du-kium". Sad but true.

Salam said...

I'm not too proud to admit that the way I worded my 1st post was clearly offensive and I apologize. The only thing I can say is that I did not mean it in any sort of threatening way what so ever; I meant it as a plea to not dissuade potential AJCC involvement-if you help spread the idea that Arabs are not allowed the more likely it will potentially dissuade Arab involvement (even if it is already stifled). Moving on. Just because Jewish kids can afford the 7$ course fee does not translate to wealthy; there is FREE computer and internet access to anyone who strolls in. There are many many Arabs at the center, plain and simple. Could there be more? Of course. Should there be more? No question.