When Noa Dagoni began her job at Shatil in January, it was the middle of the refugee deportation crisis.
“The work against the deportation of the asylum seekers made tangible for me the great luck I have to work in a place that gives me the opportunity and the tools to work on a daily basis on these issues,” says Noa, 26, a graduate of Hebrew University in Humanities and in Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy.
Noa comes to her activism through her family. The daughter of a psychologist and veterinarian, she grew up with the message that she had to take responsibility for those less fortunate and to actively respond to injustice.
She began volunteering with vulnerable populations in high school and, once she moved to Jerusalem, became involved in initiatives that bring together Jews and Palestinians from West and East Jerusalem to fight injustice. Noa is passionate about Imbala, a new volunteer-run cooperative Jewish-Palestinian coffee house, library, and gallery on the seam between West and East Jerusalem that creates a safe space for all people including those who may not feel comfortable in other settings, such as LGBTQ folks or Palestinians.
In her work with the refugee issue, Noa, together with other Shatil and NIF staff, identified the key players, networked among them, and examined how Shatil could support their work. She united people and organizations who had launched anti-deportation petitions such as doctors, lawyers, and pilots, and connected them with other organizations and activists for greater impact. With other NIF and Shatil staffers, she helped organize the giant anti-deportation rally in Tel Aviv on February 24 as well as a women’s march and other demonstrations. Her coalition is thinking now about long-term, sustainable solutions to the distress of veteran residents of neglected south Tel Aviv, where many of the refugees live.
Noa and her colleagues at Shatil also focus on promoting freedom of speech and protest. She organizes trainings on protest rights for various populations including LGBTQ folks, refugees, feminists, and more. The training includes a basic toolkit for dealing with the police, permits, photography, and more.
Adjacent to work on protest rights, is her work in fighting anti-democratic legislation. Noa and her colleagues focus on organizing activists, organizations, and other stakeholders to act together against legislation such as the Nation-State Bill or other bills that would result in limiting the freedoms of speech and assembly in Israel.
“We work to safeguard a strong and safe democracy in Israel and to repel legislation that threatens this,” said Noa.