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Sikkuy Newsletter – 2/2015 June 9, 2015


Sikkuy is pleased to announce that Avirama Golan, a member of our board, was elected by the board of directors as co-chair alongside Co-Chair Professor Muhammad Amara.  Avirama will replace Professor Gaby Salomon who served as co-chair for the last eight years.

Avirama is a highly regarded journalist, author and translator.  From 1983 she was a writer and editor at the newspaper “Davar”. From 1991 she was a writer and a member of the editorial board of “Haaretz” and since 2012 she has been the director of the Center for Urban and Mediterranean Culture in Bat Yam.  She has also taught literary theory at Tel Aviv University, published three novels and five children’s books and continues to publish on the Op-Ed pages of “Haaretz” and in “Liberal”.  She joined Sikkuy’s board in 2009.

Upon her appointment as Sikkuy’s co-chair she said:

“It is with a sense of mission and responsibility and in the knowledge that the coming days will be challenging and even difficult that I step into the large shoes of my predecessor.  Together with my dear friend and co-chair, Muhammad Amara, the co-executive directors, the board and wonderful staff of Sikkuy, I hope to continue to lead Sikkuy with the same determined professionalism and commitment that makes it so unique.  I am grateful for this opportunity to work for equality for all of Israeli society.”

Gaby Salomon, the outgoing co-chair wrote:

“I leave my position as co-chair of Sikkuy with a sense of sadness but also with great satisfaction after eight years of intense activity. During that period I came to realize that Sikkuy’s actions, as modest as they may be, generate significant changes in the reality on the ground. I derived great pleasure and satisfaction as co-chair of an organization whose members are so professional, serious and dedicated to their vision.  I believe that Sikkuy’s work is one of the most important missions in Israel today despite the dark waves that are engulfing it.  How would we look – in our eyes and the eyes of the world – without Sikkuy and its work?  The internal cooperation between Jews and Arabs within Sikkuy and the cooperation with outside agencies are testimony to what can be achieved despite the tension, conflict and racism that characterize in many ways the current reality.  Sikkuy has a lesson to teach us all!

I am deeply grateful to everyone for the opportunity afforded me to be a part of Sikkuy’s work.  I would like to thank Professor Muhammad Amara, my partner in leading the organization, for the wonderful period of fruitful and rewarding joint work. And finally, I want to extend my best wishes to Avirama Golan in her new capacity as co-chair.”

Co-Chair Muhammad Amara wrote:

“Dear Gaby,

We extend our best wishes to you as you leave your position as co-chair.  Your dedication, determination and commitment to advancing equality between Arabs and Jews and to fighting an uncompromising battle against racism were your hallmark at Sikkuy.  It was a pleasure and a joy to work with you and to also enjoy your finely honed sense of humor. Please accept my sincerest words of thanks for your many years of service to Sikkuy and for your vital contribution to its work along with my wishes for your continued good health.

To Avirama, I am pleased to welcome you as co-chair of the organizations that you have served so well as a board member for so many years.  On behalf of the board I extend our wishes for a successful term and many more years of activity and contribution to the organization.”

Jabir Asaqla and Ron Gerlitz, the co-executive directors of Sikkuy, would like to extend our deepest appreciation to Professor Gaby Salomon for his long years of important and influential work as co-chair of Sikkuy.  Your uncompromising conviction in the correctness of our path, your exceptional expertise in Sikkuy’s field of endeavor and your commitment to Sikkuy’s success, have all left a significant mark on your entire period as co-chair.

We are very happy to have Avirama as our new co-chair and are certain that together with Muhammad Amara, members of the board and the superior staff, we will all continue in our shared struggle, Arabs and Jews together, to advance equality and shared society in Israel.

We convey our warmest thanks to Gaby Salomon and our best wishes to Avirama Golan.

Jabir Asaqla and Ron Gerlitz
Co-Executive Directors

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