Our Projects


Lab for East Jerusalem - Improving Palestinian Daily Life in East Jerusalem by Connecting Resources: Utilizing the Research Capabilities of East Jerusalem Palestinian Students of the Hebrew University to Give Back to their Communities

About: The Truman Institute’s Lab for East Jerusalem is a special initiative designed to build and strengthen bridges with East Jerusalem Palestinians. Launched in April 2022, the Lab helps civil society organizations in East Jerusalem meet their needs for reliable and recognized information and data by connecting the organizations with the Hebrew University’s valuable human resources: world-class scholars and the growing number of East Jerusalem Palestinian students pursuing advanced degrees. The Lab’s premise is that the unique and complex situation in East Jerusalem presents an opportunity for Israeli-Palestinian cooperation to manage life together within the context of the conflict. While Israelis and Palestinians support cooperation in certain areas, there is a lot of mutual resistance and suspicion with regards to working together.

Research topics: The topic selected for the project’s pilot was education in East Jerusalem. Families must select which matriculation and curriculum their children will pursue from among the multiple education systems available (Israeli, Palestinian or international). The decision is a highly sensitive and complex matter within the East Jerusalem community as it pits questions of identity and national narrative against the perceived economic rewards of participating in the Israeli labor market.

Participants: Following a competitive selection process, outstanding Hebrew University students from East Jerusalem are selected to participate in the Lab each year. The students receive capacity-building training and training in field research. Under the supervision of faculty member Dr. Samira Alayan from the Hebrew University’s School of Education (arguably the leading expert on education in East Jerusalem), the students conducted interviews with principals, teachers and parents from half a dozen schools in East Jerusalem. The research team identify recurring themes and analyze the field research data. In the first year of the project, initial findings were presented in two academic conferences in March and May 2023. A final research and findings report will be submitted to the participating schools at the end of summer 2023.

Team members May 2023:

East Jerusalem Lab team 2023


The Sur Baher Project
The Truman Institute, in collaboration with The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University and the Jerusalem Municipality established a project for enhancing the communal and social statis of Arab communities in the city. The first stage of the project focuses on Sur Baher, an Arab village in the South East of the Jerusalem metropolitan area.

The essence of the project is intensive community work, by a strong nucleus of  Hebrew  University Arabic speaking Social Work students and their advisors. This  involvement is directed at both communal enhancement and care and support for individual residents. The latter struggle with problems such as dropping out of school, family dysfunction, early marriages, and violence within the family. The main work is in the schools, the community center and the local Welfare Bureau, with the purpose to becoming involved in promoting the welfare and education of residents as well as empowering and uniting the community.

Arabic Language and Culture Tutoring Project
The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace with the cooperation of the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department at the Hebrew Universirty, launched the "Arabic Tutoring Project", aimed not just to help the students of the department to learn and practice the Arabic language but to expose them to Arab culture. This project aims to bridge the gap between the Jewish majority  and the Arab minority (20%) in Israel.

Arab students of the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department are tutoring Jewish students in Arabic.  Every "tutor" teaches a group of 4-6 Jewish students. The core of the project is not just to practice the Arabic language but also to build bridges of understanding, trust and friendship between Jewish students and their colleagues Arab student colleagues. About 100 Hebrew speaking students and a dozen Arab students participate in the project.

Madrassah - The Inter-Religious Beit Midrash
Jewish, Muslim and Christian Arab students meet and study together passages from the Bible, the Quran and the New Testament, discussing peace and unity and then relating those to daily life. The program aspires to bring students of different religions and backgrounds closer together, while exposing them to mutual ideals and ideas in the subject of peace and how all religions share the same pursuit of the subject. The students get together, understand and learn about how to see the world through a different perspectives and how others are more similar to them than they have might have initially thought. Photo Gallery>

Facebook Page: مدرسه دار الاديان מדרסה בית ללמידה בין דתית

The Forum of Female Researchers
The Forum of Female Researchers established three years ago at the Truman Institute organize different events and activities such as meetings with innovative women in the academia, as well as practical workshops with different lecturers. Some of the activities are available for female researchers from all the academic institutes in Israel and their goal is to help the these researchers integrate better in the academic world.

The forum provides a friendly atmosphere and a social framework for the researchers in the institute. It serves as an academic platform for ideas and opinions as well as exchanges among them and enable the support of senior researchers for the younger researchers. Photo Gallery>

The AiX Group
The research done by the Aix Group, jointly conducted with the Truman Institute, was presented at the Jerusalem conference during November 2016. Discussing the prevalent understanding that the current conditions in the Palestinian economy are grave, and that although it would have been better to change the economic environment via a permanent status agreement, such a path may not be feasible in the near future. The research project deals with issues concerning the two geographically separated regions of the Palestinian economy and surveys the main obstacles that appear also, sometimes in different forms, elsewhere in the economy.

The Aix Group is an independent Palestinian-Israeli-International Think Tank focused on analyzing, writing and disseminating position papers on economic issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Group works since 2003 on permanent status topics as well as on transitional aspects of the conflict. The purpose is to promote sustainable and mutually beneficial relations between Israelis and Palestinians. Photo Gallery>