Grassroots Jerusalem

Micha Kurz

micha2

Micha Kurz

Network coordinator

Micha Kurz was born in Jerusalem in 1981 to parents who immigrated to Israel from Canada and the U.S. in the sixties. He was active in the National Youth Movement for over ten years, where he trained teenagers to work as leaders in their local communities. Before, during and after his army service, he worked extensively on leadership programs with new immigrant communities in Israel, mainly with youth from Ethiopia and the Caucasus. He was one of the first to implement a leadership training curriculum with Bedouin youth. At nineteen, he joined the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) as a combat soldier and attained rank of Master Sergeant. After an honorable discharge from the army he co-founded “Breaking the Silence”, an organization of former Israeli soldiers speaking out about “our service in the Occupied Territories and the moral price, the degradation of spirit, we have had to pay on both societal and personal levels while serving our nation”. This step opened his world to the grassroots community in Israel and Palestinian. Micha has met with grassroots activists around the world and has gained perspective on the importance of affective local community organizing. Since, he has traveled in and out of the occupied territories “mapping” the vast social justice and environmental sustainability (the two are ultimately linked, he believes) grassroots efforts in and around the Jerusalem area. He now resides in Northern New Mexico and is currently engaged in creating a network for Palestinian and Israeli NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations). He plans to weave a common vision with the communities working on the urgent issues. He currently works as an apprentice harp maker. “The woodwork provides the balance”.

“I was brought up to love Jerusalem, I knew the city inside-out like the back of my hand. I would take my youth groups from around the country on tours of the old city, to boast its beauty and my knowledge of it. It wasn’t until my army service that I discovered half a city I knew nothing about! I realize today, I still have much to learn about my home-town and the people who live on the other side of it.”

Jerusalem is not a unified city today, it is quite obviously the opposite. Those who struggle within the political structures and ways of thought are ultimately bound to run into an impossible wall. Those who transcend their dividing differences, to meet at the common grounds of shared values for Human rights, Justice, Social and Environmental Sustainability and a truly unified city, are those who are providing the fertile grounds of possibility. The young Israeli and Palestinian grassroots leaders introduce the possibility of Jerusalem at its highest potential, at a moment when it is at its lowest. We must not abandon them.

Contact:

micha_kurz@care2.com

Phone (575) 779-1302

Po Box 488
Questa N.M., 87556

%d bloggers like this: