Zochrot (plural female form of “Remembering” in Hebrew) is a nonprofit founded by a group of Jewish-Israeli activists. Zochrot raises awareness surrounding the Nakba - an Arabic term that means “catastrophe” and refers to the events of 1948 forced displacement of Palestinians and the creation of the state of Israel. Zochrot acts to promote Israeli Jewish society's acknowledgment of and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and focuses on recognition of Palestinian refugees’ rights to return. Zochrot uses technology and crowdsourcing to archive and publish suppressed historical narratives. They recently launched the iReturn phone app to allow users to record Palestinian sites of expulsion and depopulation. The app is an interactive map that shows the locations of depopulated Palestinian villages. iReturn allows users to map former Palestinian villages/towns and destroyed sites. This map helps maintain historical evidence records and secures memory of oral history. The app encourages Israeli society to re-learn and reimagine the landscape of Palestine prior to expulsion events. By doing so, Zochrot promotes the recognition of Palestinian history. The organization relies on volunteers to assist with educational programming and knowledge-building campaigns.
Theory of Change
Producing knowledge and exposing historical truths regarding human rights injustices can change conflict-driven discourse and bring about restitution, reparations, and reconciliation.
In 2014, Zochrot launched the iNakba app and later, in 2022, relaunched it as iReturn, which can be downloaded in Arabic, English, and Hebrew. Users can share their experiences, knowledge, and personal narratives. For example, some sites have video testimonies from refugees. Zochrot has established a testimony database. The database includes recordings of Nakba survivors and Israelis who fought in the 1948 war and recount witnessing or committing war crimes. It includes details about Israeli depopulation efforts, witness testimonies of site destruction, and historical documentation. Zochrot runs courses, workshops, study groups, conferences, discussions, and other activities to learn about the history of the Nakba and discuss Palestinian return. They organize tours to sites of previous Palestinian settlements. Zochrot collaborates with a wide range of human rights organizations to support knowledge-building and organizing for justice in Palestine and for Palestinian refugees. Their long-term goal is to advance transitional justice and peace processes rooted in recognition of historical/current human rights violations and the realization of Palestinian aspirations.
Zochrot carries over 60 different activities annually, ranging from lectures, symposiums, workshops, exhibits, courses, film festivals, etc., with over 2,400 participants per year.