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Israel’s 1,000 Tables: A “Giant Dialogue of the Masses”

Social protest leaders held “Thousand Table” events throughout Israel on Saturday night, engaging citizens in dialogue on social issues in lieu of the mass protests taking place nearly every Saturday for over a month.

As a Daily Kos article noted, “The symbolic democratization of a protest movement occurred on Saturday as thousands of citizens across Israel gathered around tables, determined to talk, to transform their society through dialogue in the wake of the country’s largest-ever protest.”

An article on Haaretz.com noted that “The sessions will be led by 1,000 moderators, the report said, some of whom are professional life coaches, group leaders and mediators. The roundtable discussions are meant to take place in groups of ten that are to represent diverse segments of Israeli society…”

From the Jerusalem Post article titled “Round table discussions held in cities across Israel“…

More than a thousand Israelis gathered around more than 200 roundtables in Tel Aviv on Saturday, as part of a social experiment that was the first of its kind in Israel.

The event, entitled “1,000 tables,” was held at the plaza of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and in other locations in dozens of other cities across Israel. It took place on the first Saturday night since the social protest movement started on July 14th that a series of protest marches was not held.

The group’s Facebook page refers to the event’s roundtable discussions as “a giant dialogue of the masses, the first of its kind, which will foster thought, discussion and allow us to examine together what we are demanding and how we bring about the optimal change.”

Continue reading this article here on the Jerusalem Post.

And from the post on the Daily Kos titled “1,000 Tables — Come Witness a Society Determined to Transform Itself at the Behest of Its Youth“…

The symbolic democratization of a protest movement occurred on Saturday as thousands of citizens across Israel gathered around tables, determined to talk, to transform their society through dialogue in the wake of the country’s largest-ever protest.

In over 30 cities across the country, Israelis from a multitude of political, cultural and ethnic backgrounds engaged in highly personal and often intense discussions about political and social issues, with everyone eying how to transform their country for the better.

At tables set for 10 people, Jews talked with Arabs, blue collar workers spoke with pensioners, lawyers spoke with university students, secular Jews spoke with Orthodox Jews – everyone trying to transform their country through dialogue.

Called “1,000 tables,” Israel’s young social justice protesters…

Continue reading this article here on the Daily Kos.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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  1. John Backman says:

    This is a very encouraging development indeed. I only wish the comments beneath the Jerusalem Post article were as encouraging. At least they give us an idea of the challenge still before us.

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