Donors Raise $15,000 for Innovative Workshops
Just as the Israeli school year started on Sunday, NIF donors concluded a new type of fundraising campaign to support inclusive hip-hop workshops in Israel in partnership with System Ali. Our original goal was $10,000 – but we ended up raising more than $15,000!
More than 80 donors joined together to make this happen.
There are those who want to divide Israelis from one another – we’ve seen that this past year with the passage of the Nation-State Law. This program is part of building an alternative to that Israel, using the power of the arts. The hip-hop workshops help young Jewish and Arab Israelis to articulate their own narrative and to learn about, and respect, the stories of their peers.
System Ali is a unique multi-lingual hip-hop troupe, made up of nine musicians. The group — founded in the Ajami neighborhood in Jaffa more than a decade ago — creates music in four languages: Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and English. They embody an inspiring multicultural spirit.
They also run a non-profit organisation called Beit System Ali (House of System Ali) that brings multi-lingual hip-hop workshops to youth around the country, particularly to lower-income areas.
Life in Israel can be tense. Too often people are pitted against each other because they come from different “tribes.” They might be Arab and not Jewish, or Russian and not Sabra, or Mizrahi and not Ashkenazi.
System Ali gives voice to all of these narratives (and others). And they have shown — through art, personal example, and community — how these strands can be woven into a single, rich fabric.
Music can be a tool for self-expression, for building new partnerships, and for making change.
Here’s the message that System Ali band members Neta Weiner and Muhammed Mugrabi are sending to the donors that backed this initiative: