Lissan Lissan
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Thank you to the Leichtag Foundation and B8 of Hope for your generous launch prizes to each NGO!

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Language is Power. Language is Opportunity

"Learning Hebrew was a turning point for me. Knowing the language gave me a sense of security and independence and opened the door for me to integrate into the Jerusalem public sphere - in joining the workforce, pursuing higher education, communicating with doctors at hospitals, and more." - Aseel, Medabrot Ivrit student

Over 64% of women in East Jerusalem don’t speak any Hebrew. Over 75% of East Jerusalemite women of working age are not employed, with lack of Hebrew knowledge reported as a main obstacle to finding employment.

At the same time, the Jerusalem public sphere functions mainly in Hebrew. This situation makes it difficult for East Jerusalemite women to function independently in Jerusalem, from daily errands to accessing governmental resources and medical services to integrating into institutions of higher education and the workforce.

Lissan (Arabic for language or tongue) has been working since 2013 to promote gender and social equality in Jerusalem through language education, valuing language as an essential resource and a basic right. Lissan’s flagship program, Medabrot Ivrit (Women Speaking Hebrew), provides East Jerusalemite women with the practical Hebrew skills and self confidence to conduct themselves independently in the Jerusalem public sphere. Lissan develops Hebrew learning materials in-house, written to address the specific needs of Arabic-speaking women. Classes are taught by mixed teams of Jewish and Arab volunteers who work together to teach Hebrew.

Acquiring practical Hebrew language skills is critical for improving East Jerusalemite women’s quality of life, independence, safety, and prospects toward economic growth. An investment in Hebrew education is an investment in their future.

Over the years, Lissan has developed programs that have had social impact beyond our expectations: 500 students and 25 classes per year, and over 2,000 graduates and 500 volunteers in our alumni community. Lissan's programs include: "Know Your Rights" program providing information on various rights and resources, advanced Hebrew courses for entering the workforce, advanced training programs for language teachers, and more. Each year, the demand for our courses grows and our waiting list gets longer, due to a growing need for these crucial skills.

In order for us to continue this important work and be able to provide for as many women as possible, we need your help. Your donation - DOUBLED by our generous donors - will allow more women to achieve the skills they need to strengthen their voice and their place in the Jerusalem public sphere. Special thanks to our generous matching donors: Anonymous, Bader Philanthropies, Leichtag Foundation, Jerusalem Foundation, Sally Gottesman, Russell Berrie Foundation, Jerry and Naomi Senser, and Georgette Bennett.

This campaign is part of a joint initiative sponsored by Amal-Tikva and B8 of Hope. CLICK HERE to see the main campaign page.