Building Peace in a Divided Land

Hadas Lahav

Hadas Lahav

It is important to note that in Israel, Fair Trade is not just a social and economic choice—it is a political one.
— Hadas Lahav, founder of Sindyanna of Galilee

Serrv is a part of creating peace in Israel by offering a marketing opportunity for an inspiring organization with a mission to build peace: Sindyanna of Galilee. We have worked together since 2003.

Hadas Lahav, the founder and director of Sindyanna of Galilee, recently shared the story with us, “I was born in 1953 in a Kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee in the north of Israel. The education in the Kibbutz was Zionist but it had left-wing orientation. This contradiction intrigued me especially when later in my youth I was encountered with the Palestinian tragedy and realized that this Kibbutz was built on the ruins of an Arab village. All the inhabitants of this village fled during the war of 1948 and became refugees.

“The solidarity I share with the Palestinian cause and with those Palestinians who remained in Israel was the basis for forming Sindyanna of Galilee. In this organization, which was founded in 1996, a group of Jewish and Arab activists including myself decided to build positive social and economic answers to discrimination within Israeli society and the region. We wanted to set an example of true solidarity and cooperation. That is how Sindyanna of Galilee was formed.

“We strongly believe that we shall not be able to live in a normal place if Israeli-Jewish people do not find ways to collaborate with their Arab neighbors. From the other hand, I don’t think Arabs can live in Israel without collaborating with the Jewish community either. For the average Israeli, the Palestinian and the Arab citizens are “the enemy”. It takes some sophistication to see the wider picture. By our work we are trying to show people the wider picture.

Olive Oil from Sindyanna

Olive Oil from Sindyanna

“By modernizing olive farming in the Arab communities and producing a top-quality oil, we seek to stimulate the local economy and from our revenues help local Arab women, who have few employment opportunities.

“We are working within a traditional society with a short tradition of women employees as trained professional staff; we are working inside Israel for a Jewish-Arab collaboration—opposing the official policy and image of Israel. Those are the unique challenges that Sindyanna of Galilee faces as a fair trade organization working with the Arab minority inside Israel.”

Sindyanna’s olive oil is award-winning, organic and delicious. You can support their peace building efforts by purchasing their oil and soaps.

Learn more and see their products here.