17 December 2021
Earlier this week, I was honored to hold a webinar conversation with Gadeer Kamal-Mreeh, the first-ever Druze Israeli envoy to any North American Jewish community. She is truly an exceptional person with a unique and deep understanding of Israel gleaned from having been both a national journalist and a member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament). She is with us in Washington for the next two years thanks to an innovative collaboration between Federation and our long-time partners at The Jewish Agency for Israel.
Gadeer spoke openly about her personal, as well as the Druze community’s, strong support for Israel while simultaneously carrying multiple identities. To paraphrase her sentiments:
“We all want to maintain our identities and we want to feel this important sense of belonging. I introduce myself as Druze, Arab, and Israeli. These all define me. I believe this is the first time some are hearing a Druze woman talking about minorities, potential challenges, opportunities, and shared society. It is important to work together with a deep understanding of inclusion, diversity, and equality. This is the time to have this conversation, and I am glad and proud to be part of this important project with Federation.”
I strongly encourage you to watch this interview to hear more of Gadeer’s powerful thoughts in her own words. In our conversation, we discuss Israel’s vibrancy, diversity and uniqueness, as well as the challenges it is facing in building a Jewish, democratic state where all of its citizens truly belong and have a voice, and, of course, Gadeer’s unique role.
Over the coming months, I look forward to sharing more on Federation’s approach to strengthening our community’s relationship with Israel through immersive experiences and rich dialogue, both locally in Greater Washington and on the ground in Israel.
My thanks to those who joined us live and submitted questions. I hope Gadeer’s energy and passion motivated and inspired you as they did me. If you missed it or want to watch again, the recording is available here. I encourage you to share it with others who would appreciate Gadeer’s unique perspective.
PS: There are only a few days left before our 2021 Annual Campaign closes on December 31st. I invite you to give what you are able and join us in our efforts to continue to strengthen our community today and in the future. Please make your gift at shalomdc.org/donate or call 301-230-7239.
Sign up here to receive future weekly reflections.