The 21%: The Lives of Arab Citizens of Israel

Join us for our 10th annual in-depth exploration of the daily lives and challenges of Arab Citizens of Israel. Featuring a screening of Breaking Bread followed by a moderated conversation and a Shuk.

The full program is Pay-What-You-Choose; RSVPs are required as we expect a sell-out event.



BREAKING BREAD (film) |  11:00am-12:30pm

Dir. Beth Elise Hawk
85min | Israel, USA | 2020

Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel—the first Muslim Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef—is on a quest to make social change through food. And so, she founded the A-sham Arabic Food Festival, where pairs of Arab and Jewish chefs collaborate on traditional dishes like kishek (a Syrian yogurt soup), and qatayef (a dessert typically served during Ramadan). A film about hope, synergy and mouthwatering fare, Breaking Bread illustrates what happens when people focus on the person, rather than her religion; and on the public, rather than the politicians.


CONVERSATION | 12:30pm-1:00pm

Following the screening, Breaking Bread director Beth Elise Hawk will be joined by celebrity chef Gazala Halabi, who celebrates her Israeli Druze heritage through the cuisine at her two lauded NYC restaurants, Gazala’s Place and Gazala’s. The conversation will be moderated by Soupergirl co-founder, Sara Polon.


SHUK | 1:00pm-2:00pm

Now that Breaking Bread and the discussion that followed have whetted your appetite for good food and social change, join us for a multi-dimensional Shuk. The event will feature tastings from local Israeli and Arab restaurants as well as informational booths operated by non-profits and NGOs working to create an egalitarian shared society in Israel.



Sponsored by the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues and the Edlavitch DCJCC

Lead Support provided by The Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation and The Lois and Richard England Family Foundation



Sunday, March 2211:00 AM


Screening followed by a conversation between Director Beth Elise Hawk and chef Gazala Halabi, moderated by Sara Polon.

Beth Elise Hawk executive produced the MTV television series Eye Candy, based on the book by best-selling author, R. L. Stine. She produced the award-winning documentary, Fan-Demanium, and co-produced the feature documentary, I’m Rick James. Her next production – the feature narrative, What Josiah Saw, starring Robert Patrick, Nick Stahl and Tony Hale – just wrapped principal photography in Oklahoma. Breaking Bread is Beth’s directorial debut.

Gazala Halabi is the most well-known female Druze chef and entrepreneur in New York.  She grew with six siblings in Daliat el-Carmel, Israel’s largest Druze village, where her family operates a restaurant and her grandmother owns a spice shop.

Halabi’s business career began with a home-based catering company and a few years later expanded to two restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen and the Upper West Side.  Her restaurants feature typical Druze dishes as well as traditional Middle Eastern and Israeli fare, and she is widely recognized as “the chef who introduced Druze Israeli cuisine to NYC.”

Sara Polon graduated from University of Pennsylvania where she studied history.

Her career path then took many meandering twists and turns including working at an Internet start up, leading tours through the Middle East, and several years as a stand-up comic in New York.

In 2008, after reading Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, she founded Soupergirl along with her mom, Marilyn Polon (aka Soupermom /Chief Anxiety Officer). Sourcing seasonally from local farmers, the company makes a wide variety of healthy, kosher, all-natural, vegan soups that can be found all over the east coast. You can find Soupergirl products at the company’s two DC area retail locations, Whole Foods stores from Kentucky through Virginia, Giant, Lidl, Wegmans, Peapod and Costco Warehouse from Massachusetts down to Washington, DC. The company also ships soup nationwide via their Souper Meals program.

Soupergirl has received national press, and has been featured in such publications as the Washington Post, Food and Wine, O Magazine, and more. The soup duo was most recently seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, NBC’s Today Show, and CBS’ The Dish.


Print Source

Beth Elise Hawk


The full program is Pay-What-You-Choose; RSVPs are required as we expect a sell-out event.