Art empowering for change

Another huge asset of the exhibition is the outreach into otherwise untapped communities.

Bread and Roses (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bread and Roses
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Two organizations working to empower women of Israel’s Arab sector to enter the job market are hosting the annual “Bread and Roses” exhibition, an art sale with proceeds used to educate, train and employ Arab women.
The event, sponsored by Workers Advice Center (WAC-MAAN) and Sindyanna of the Galilee, will take place at Hamekarer (The Refrigerator) gallery in Tel Aviv for three days over this coming weekend and will feature works by over 400 Israeli artists.
Held annually for 14 years, the exhibition provides proceeds that fund a variety of boundary-breaking projects that the two organizations champion throughout the year.
This year specifically, the income from “Bread and Roses” will go to a new hydroponic farm, which aims to introduce revolutionary agricultural practices into the Arab sector.
“We strive to update the agricultural practices from traditional to modern,” explained Hanan Manadreh Zoubi, coordinator of women’s activities at Sindyanna of the Galilee and codirector of the organization’s visitors center in Kafr Kana.
“This is the second round of this project, following a very successful first installment,” she said. “With it, we were about to reach out to unemployed women but also educated women who studied science and engineering.”
Investing in Arab women, in empowering and training them, is at the core of Sindyanna’s mission. By doing so, the organization is able to effect change in the entire Arab sector and in Israeli society. Over the course of her career, Zoubi has accompanied hundreds of women on the journey from housewife to active members of the workforce.
This shift solves a variety of problems, among them the sky-high poverty rates in the sector and the rife oppression and exploitation of women. Through agriculture and craft, these women become valued members of their communities and breadwinners in their own right.
“We are trying to introduce to the Arab sector, so that the sector will take part in the technological advancements going on all over the country,” Zoubi said. “We are trying to get people out of the circle of poverty. In villages, people didn’t leave the village to work in the past. Women didn’t work outside of the home. But women want to work; they want to bring in income to supplement their husband’s because it isn’t enough to make ends meet.”
Another huge asset of the exhibition is the outreach into otherwise untapped communities.
“We work with a range of communities,” said Zoubi. “One of them is agriculturists, engineers, local workers, but there is also the arena of artists. We want to communicate our message to them as well. There are classes in Israel that don’t know what is happening to the workers, who represent the majority of the country.
“This exhibition is meant to draw artists, to share our message with them and to give them a valuable platform. We give them a stage and an opportunity to present their work. They reap benefit from it, as do we.”
The “Bread and Roses” exhibition will take place at Hamekarer gallery on December 19-21. For more information, visit