“When you tell us that CJNV is returning next year, it makes me very happy because it shows you trust me. I don’t need people to come for just one year, we want a relationship that continues.”
— Awdah, Umm al-Khair
CJNV’s most recent Hineinu cohort is on the ground now! You can stay updated on our programs by signing up for our newsletter and following us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Be sure to also check out the photo essays of our 2023 Hineinu cohort here.
Background and Context
We know from our experience that the presence of solidarity activists mitigates settler and military violence against local activists and community residents in Area C of the occupied West Bank. CJNV has forged dynamic, sustained, and trusting relationships in solidarity with communities throughout the region across five years of coresistance against the occupation.
In February of 2021, in response to the intensified and unabated violence of the occupation during the COVID-19 pandemic, CJNV piloted a three-month solidarity project in the South Hebron Hills / Masafer Yatta. During this project, Hineinu activists supported local activists and communities in Masafer Yatta resist land dispossession by helping document state-sponsored settler attacks, military violence, home demolitions, and land seizures. Hineinu activists amplified these events and stories from the field as part of a larger coordinated campaign with Palestinian and Israeli activists: #SaveMasaferYatta. Our partners have made clear that this presence is meaningful and important, and must continue.
What is the Project
Hineinu participants will spend three months living in the South Hebron Hills / Masafer Yatta, engaging in daily solidarity activities in coordination with our Palestinian partners. They will accompany local residents while they are shepherding, farming, commuting, and engaging in a variety of activities in which they may face military or settler violence. Participants will be available to act in coordination with our partners in the event of home demolitions or other efforts to displace residents, to document ongoing settler and military violence and land seizure, and to participate in nonviolent action and solidarity work in the region.
Throughout the three months, participants will work to communicate their experiences to transnational audiences, crafting narratives that can advance coresistance efforts. They will work with Palestinian activists to highlight their stories and experiences living and resisting under occupation, serving to further amplify partners’ voices. As a part of a network of activists and organizations, Hineinu activists will support legal, media, and archival efforts to resist the ongoing displacement and violence targeted at Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills. Over the course of the program, participants will build relationships that will expand and strengthen CJNV’s working network of solidarity and coresistance.
During the three months, CJNV will provide participants with room and board, logistical support, nonviolent direct action training, orientation, workshops and group facilitation. There will also be Arabic classes with local teachers to empower you in your work as a Jewish solidarity activist in the South Hebron Hills.
Purpose and Desired Impacts
This project will offer urgent solidarity while expanding the capacity for joint civil disobedience and sustained action in the South Hebron Hills. We will leverage international Jewish privilege to mitigate violence against residents of the region. We will amplify the voices and stories of our Palestinian partners while meaningfully contributing to nonviolent popular struggle and resilience in the region.
We also want to model a Jewish ethical vision anchored in values of solidarity, justice, and equality. In past delegations and actions, CJNV has modeled an embodied vision of the shared future we are working toward. Hineinu is expanding this work by bringing Jewish internationals to live with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, contend with and struggle against the daily realities of state violence, and actively demonstrate a Jewish commitment to joint resistance and collective freedom.
We are committed to creating an environment that is comfortable, safe and supportive for all participating activists, but individuals must decide for themselves if this kind of activity is within their capability. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Days during Hineinu are long! Some days will involve many hours outside in the heat or cold, and some activities may include physical labor. Participating activists will often be accompanying shepherds and schoolchildren which can involve walking over hilly and rocky terrain. In the villages, there are unpaved or poorly paved roads and uneven terrain and participants will be spending time driving in cars to different parts of the region. No one will be asked to over-exert themselves, and everyone will be encouraged to set activity schedules and pacing that is comfortable for them.
Spending three months in a group of new people under intense political conditions can be emotionally draining. There will be some time off each week during Shabbat, though the majority of time is spent as a group.
Not all sites have the same types of bathrooms; while some have indoor plumbing with running water, others are more in the style of an outhouse. In the communities where participants will be staying, there will be “sit” toilets, though outside those villages, the toilets may be different, such as “squat” toilets.
If you have more questions about accessibility during CJNV’s on-the-ground programming, please reach out to a member of CJNV’s on-the-ground staff: Oriel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dina (email@example.com)