Tuesday | March 6, 2018

Israeli social justice activist and trade unionist Rami Hod discussed how the citizens of the United States and Israel can work together to help build a broad movement for progressive change.

For generations, most political conversations about Israel have been limited to the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But there is another important conversation to be had: How do we grow a progressive movement of people of all faiths and races who can work together to transform the political landscape inside both Israel and the United States?

Hod discussed how the far right is working to erode democracy by fomenting racial, ethnic and religious bigotry, and how liberal and progressive forces in both nations can counter this by working to build a renewed worker and social justice movement.

Rami Hod is the executive director of a joint venture of the Berl Katznelson Educational Center and the Social Economic Academy to help elevate both organizations’ impact and build an infrastructure for Israel’s progressive movement. This new venture has created a hub for educating and training the next generation of progressive Israeli organizers, decision-makers, and local and national leaders. Previously, Hod was one of the founders of Koach LaOvdim, a groundbreaking labor union established in 2007 that sparked a revival of labor organizing in Israel and played a pivotal role in the unionization of more than 200,000 workers over the last decade. He also managed a unique community organizing program at Haifa University for Jewish and Arab students working to help people in impoverished communities.

Jo-Ann Mort, CEO of ChangeCommunications, advises and creates strategy for clients in the US, Israel and Palestine. She is a former reporter and journalist, writing analysis and reporting for The Chicago Tribune, Dissent magazine (where she serves on the editorial board), Haaretz, and elsewhere.