The biblical Abraham, the father of the peoples of the Middle East, built a tent with an opening in each direction. So no matter where the guests came from – they saw an open and inviting tent into which they could enter and rest. When we set up the first hostel in Jerusalem in 2010, it was the model we wanted to copy for the 21st century: a place where every man and woman, from anywhere in the world, would feel comfortable entering, just as they are, according to the Come As You Are principle. We knew that in addition to being a tourism company that aims to break through and excel, we are interested in influencing society and the community, as much as we can, and acting in a way that will do good for our environment.
Over the years and to this day, this has been reflected in countless activities. We have chosen to influence through our daily business activities (in the hostels: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, and Eilat and in the tour company), to which tens of thousands of tourists are exposed every year, from abroad and from Israel. This is under the following model of “sustainable tourism” expressed within the company, in the community, in society, and the environment.
We emphasize direct, fair, and empowering employment. Creating a family consisting of different sectors of society with respect and partnership, for preference and support for small businesses in general and the community around us in particular. We work to create bridges and strengthen the discourse and tolerance in society by meeting and getting to know the various groups living in the conflict in Israeli society and the region. Such as double narrative tours to Hebron, trips to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, tours for tourists focused on different and diverse communities in the country (kibbutzim, ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, neighborhoods with a large refugee population), activities that reveal the cultural diversity that exists in the country – from young Israeli art to contemporary local music, and regional cuisine. In addition, we at Avraham strive to drive sustainably by reducing the environmental impact of tourism, focusing on grassroots tourism.
Additional information about the group’s activities at Abraham web sites
In Israel, there is a clear separation between business and politics. Businessmen and business entities refrain from expressing a public opinion on what is happening in the political field, for fear that taking a clear position will lead to the abandonment of customers and business partners. We in Abraham think differently. Given the situation in the country in the last two years, and even more so in the last few months, we feel a commitment to express a clear opinion and act in the value and political arena, from a Zionist and caring attitude towards the state of us all. It does not refer to a party activity or support for certain parties or individuals, but to an activity that promotes the values, we believe in and advocate for. We believe that in the 21st-century businesses are committed to taking a value-based and political stance. These issues should not be left solely to the actions of individuals, civic organizations, and political parties. Even in the current economic situation as a result of the Corona crisis, when we in Abraham, like many others, face enormous economic challenges that endanger us as a business, we have found it important and even essential to invest efforts and resources in this value-political activity, and maybe even now, in the current crisis, dealing with it is critical than it ever was.
From this position, we took part in the campaign against the deportation of refugees, reservations about discrimination and exclusion enshrined in the Nationality Law, support for the LGBT community, support for Israelis of Ethiopian descent and a struggle for pluralism, acceptance of the other, equality and democracy, hope and unity. And now, facing one of the worst leadership crises in Israel, we are campaigning: to demand that the authorities adhere to the same basic values, the same things that we demand of ourselves – the partners, managers, and employees of Avraham. These are the things that we demand from the authorities: Equality of opportunity and equality before the law; Humility and modesty; Fairness and transparency; Pluralism and acceptance of the other; Gender, racial, religious, and national Equality; Freedom of thought and action; Professionalism and excellence.
Our feeling is that the current government no longer meets these requirements, does not act according to these values, and the good of the citizens and the state is not at the forefront of their minds. Therefore, we in Abraham demand change. The campaign will include a series of actions to promote the values we believe in, in order to get those sitting up there to mend their ways or step down.
We call for cooperation with anyone who supports value leadership. We will offer rooms and services at reduced costs to demonstrators and protesters, we will invite and promote a dialogue meeting between people who hold different views, as long as they respect each other, and act in every way possible according to our abilities and resources to promote profound change in society, community and government in Israel.
The world is changing and the public today understands the power of the business sector and values organizations that have a position and values. The approach should emphasize the ‘for’ and not the ‘against’. Not to be provocative or brutal, but to do things that are believed. Express a social position, stand behind it, and promote it. A company that promotes values that are assimilated into its day-to-day conduct is appreciated by the public and its image is strengthened.
It’s time to call for partners. We are talking to you: company owners, CEOs of large and medium-sized business entities, entrepreneurs, and inventors. You who are worried about what is happening in the country, who are responsible for the livelihoods of several tens/hundreds/thousands of workers, you who want to run a business in a democratic and decent country. We tell you: it’s time to say things out loud, without fear. It is time to demand from the government to run the country in the light of those values in which you believe.