The City of Tomorrow  – Conference 2015

October 20-22, 2015, Konrad Adenauer Conference Center, Mishkenot Sha´ananim, Jerusalem

The City of Tomorrow- Shared Living in Mixed Cities of the Future

is the third in a series of conferences exploring life in mixed cities that have been organized by the Jerusalem Foundation and the Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace.

was dedicated to the theoretical concept of rights to the City, which establishes the equal status of all residents of mixed cities and searches for the best procedures to make municipal services equally accessible to their various populations. The second conference focused on multi-culturalism in mixed cities.

Following political, economic, cultural and other changes occurring in Israel and across the world, and the violent events last summer, there is a need for a new and courageous discourse concerning living in mixed cities. Rising national and cultural tensions, refugees and economic migrants, technological developments and more, warrant a long term vision that will enable an examination of the current processes of change and creatively and humanely prepare for a better future. The third conference, Shared Living in Mixed Cities of the Future, will start sketching this vision.

In mixed cities in Israel, secular and religious Jews live side by side and are affected by simultaneous radicalization processes; Arab and Jewish citizens are seeking expressions of their identity in the urban geographic space; economic migrants and refugees are knocking on the gates of the big cities where veteran residents are anxious for their future.  In contrast, educational and cultural rapprochement processes among mixed populations, as well as intermarriage, are taking place and have been welcomed by some whilst feared by others. Whether positive or negative, the above processes of change require adaptation, through planning and preparation by the state and its institutions, and by local government. Preparation demands a diagnosis of the processes and the creation of a desired vision of the future.

Several themes related to life in mixed cities of the future will be presented at the conference. Plenaries will include theorists and practitioners; leaders of national, ethnic and gender groups, lecturers in various disciplines in Israel and internationally (in planning, education, employment, sustainable environment, exclusion and accessibility, the family and more). The broad array of topics and speakers will reflect efforts to reach out to an audience as diverse as possible and to allow participatory informed planning toward the optimal future.

On the opening and closing evenings, we will celebrate joint Jewish and Arab music and culture and look to its potential in mixed cities. We will also explore literary works dealing with shared living and its complexity. These cultural evenings will create an alternative horizon to the status quo while offering a forum for critical analysis.

Day One will focus on mixed city planning and the importance of creating an egalitarian inclusive space in the areas of employment, transportation, construction, linguistic accessibility, citizen participation in decision-making and environment sustainability. These areas may at first seem distant from one another, but are in fact interlinked, and connecting them is essential for solid planning.  For example, citizen participation in decision-making requires linguistic accessibility, and planning a sustainable environment requires taking into account the needs of different populations besides observing human influences on nature and natural resources. The plenaries of the first day will delve into each field separately, and together with the facilitators, we will attempt to make these necessary connections.

Day Two will focus on social changes that demand renewed planning in educational, political, welfare and other civil society frameworks in mixed cities. For instance, we will look at the models for parent-teacher meetings that best accommodate the various modern family models.  Does the existing model provide an appropriate response to parents and students? If possible, how can the education and legal systems prepare for the growing influence of the internet on life in mixed cities? Are slogans such as from Teachers to Facilitators still appropriate? How do digital boundaries affect the physical and emotional ones and vice-versa? Should there be a difference in the treatment of citizens, work migrants and refugees in mixed cities? Can there and should there be congruence between civic policies? These and other questions will form a basis for presentations and discussions during the day.

The conference will conclude with a Simply Singing musical event involving audience participation – Composing a new tune together for life in mixed cities.

Steering Committee:

 The Jerusalem Foundation

Dr. Udi Spiegel, Director of Education Department, the Jerusalem Foundation

Tali Federman, Education and Co-existence projects Coordinator;

Liat Rosner Spokesperson

The Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace

Dr. Uki Maroshek-Klarman, Co-Director

Leah Tobias, Co-Director

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Prof. Yitzhak Reiter, Senior researcher at both the Jerusalem Institute and the Harry S. Truman Institute for Peace Research, Chair of the Department of Land-of-Israel Studies at Ashkelon Academic College;

Lior Lehrs, researcher at the Jerusalem Institute, and a doctoral student in international relations at the Hebrew Uni. Jerusalem.

Mishkenot Sha’ananim

Moti Schwartz, Executive Director;

Keren Zfania, Program Coordinator

The Jerusalem Intercultural Center (JICC) 

Dr. HagaiAgmon-Snir, Director



The Jerusalem Foundation works toward creating an open, equitable, and modern society by responding to the needs of residents and improving their quality of life through a comprehensive approach centered on community vitality, cultural life, and coexistence for all Jerusalem’s residents. The Jerusalem Foundation has an unmatched track record in creating and nurturing philanthropy projects in Israel.



adam logo

The Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace(founded in 1987) is a non-profit, educational organization that works to create a culture of peace, mutual respect, tolerance, and co-existence across religious and ethnic groups in Israel, the region, and internationally.Activities target children, youth, and adults within the formal education system and other educational, social, and cultural venues.




JIR logo

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies(founded in 1978), is a think tank for research and ideas on Jerusalem, environmental, and innovational policy in Israel, and management of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Institute focuses on the unique challenges of modern Jerusalem, and its analyses are widely acclaimed by policy makers, scholars and the general public.





Mishkenot Sha’ananim, founded by The Jerusalem Foundation, is an international cultural institution and conference center located in Jerusalem.

All of Mishkenot Sha’ananim’s cultural and artistic activities are based on a deep commitment to dialogue, tolerance and pluralism.


Annual reports:

Annual Report 2010-11

Annual Report 2011-12

Annual Report 2012-2013

More information:

Summaries and pictures will be uploaded throughout the conference


The Adam Institute, PO Box 3536, Jerusalem, 91033

Tel. 02-6448290 Fax; 02-6448293   Email: info@adaminstitute.org.il