Journey to the Heart: Compassionate Listening in Israel & Palestine
(We do not have a delegation scheduled at this time.)
“I have traveled to over 90 countries and been on a number of delegations with a particular interest in understanding the areas and the people I visit. The May 2010 Compassionate Listening Project delegation to Israel/Palestine was a profound personal experience. The insights I gained as I listened to the stories of everyone we met will stay with me all my life.”
- Anne Tonks
“I could not have arranged or even imagined the opportunities the Compassionate Listening Project offered to learn about Israel/Palestine issues first-hand. We met with individuals and groups who broadened my awareness and touched my heart, people I likely never would have met on my own. The tour leaders knew the area and the people, and ensured a top-notch learning experience. The other participants were a broad range of folks, each of whom taught me something about myself and the world. All in all, a wonderful trip.”
- Sharon Kahn
“The experience was amazing – eye-opening, mind-bending, and soul-shaking. I would recommend it heartily to anyone who really wants to experience, not just visit, the Holy Land.”
- Robert Stall
Compassionate Listening in conflict and post-conflict zones is based on a simple yet profound formula for the resolution of conflict: adversaries giving the gift of listening. To help reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of all sides.
On this basis, TCLP founder Leah Green began leading annual delegations to Israel and Palestine in 1990. Journeys begin in Jerusalem with an intensive training in Compassionate Listening. We then practice with a wide spectrum of Israelis and Palestinians – seeking the humanity of each person we encounter, while practicing our craft of listening and speaking from the heart. Through our daily practice in the field and our group sessions, participants come away with a deepened understanding of Compassionate Listening, a powerful skill set for peace-building in our families, communities, and in all conflict situations.
“This trip was so profound in so many ways – I’ll be mining the depth of this experience for years to come.”
“You have built an amazing program and mission. Your knowledge, passion and strength are so inspiring. I feel so blessed to have been a part of such an amazing journey.”
“Something changed in me profoundly because of our trip.”
To watch a short video about our trainings and delegations, click here.
Each trip is unique. We seek out Israelis and Palestinians who are involved in cutting-edge reconciliation work or who can illuminate a particular aspect of the complexities on the ground. We also listen to a remarkably diverse cross-section of people in each community, as well as those who have suffered greatly from the conflict. Each trip is hand-crafted and balanced so participants’ time is divided between listening sessions, Compassionate Listening training and group reflection. Listening sessions take place in homes, villages, offices, and cities throughout Israel and Palestine. Participants also enjoy visits to off the beaten track ancient sites, as well as major tourist sites while en route.
Click here to view Leah Green’s blog from the 2010 May delegation to Israel and Palestine.
Accommodations: We typically spend time in hotels in or near the Old City in Palestinian East Jerusalem, in homes/hotels in the West Bank, and in West Jerusalem. Each trip is unique – itineraries are available two to four weeks before each trip.
Who Can Participate: Delegations are limited to 20 participants. We seek participants who have a genuine interest in the experience, hopes, dreams, and humanity of all Israelis and Palestinians. Our participants have come from every walk of life, and have ranged in age from 15 to 82 years of age. Couples and families are welcome. We welcome and honor participation of individuals from all nations and backgrounds. (The more diverse the participant group, the more powerful our experience has been). No prior experience with Compassionate Listening is necessary.
Orientation/training: We begin in Jerusalem with a day-long training in Compassionate Listening. Our group continues to meet on a regular basis throughout each trip to continue training, while reflecting on our experience and deepening in our understanding and practice of this powerful reconciliation tool. This delegation is designed as an experiential training.
Project Support: This project is guided and supported by several Israeli and Palestinian leaders actively involved in reconciliation work. They assist with project development and with our daily itinerary. Some have an active role in our delegation.
Fundraising/Financial Assistance: Participants on each one of our trips successfully raise all of their trip expenses. We encourage participants to seek funding within their own communities. If you are a member of a synagogue, mosque, church, peace group, academic community, or other organization, we suggest that you seek sponsorship from your local community. This will allow a wider number of people to become invested in the project and supportive of your experience. You might consider working together on a fundraising event. We also encourage you to request support from your network of family and friends – people often express tremendous gratitude for giving them a meaningful way to make a difference in the world. (We can send you a sample fundraising letter.) Participants also use our film, Children of Abraham, for their fundraising efforts – successful with both private and public screenings.
Reservations: To secure your spot on the trip, please send your $400 deposit along with your completed registration.
What Your Trip Cost Includes: All accommodations, based on double occupancy, with private bath and shower; breakfast and dinner daily; ground transportation; trip leaders; guides; tips and gratuity for hotels and driver; honoraria for Israeli and Palestinian speakers and hosts; and Compassionate Listening training. Single rooms are available for an additional $350. If we are unable to provide a roommate, the single room supplement may apply. Your early registration increases our chance of finding a good match for you.
Airfare: Participants purchase their own airfare and meet in Jerusalem. Sometimes we recommend a particular flight from the East Coast so those who want can travel together from the USA. We provide excellent directions to make your travel as easy as possible to our Jerusalem hotel.
If We Cancel a Trip: We reserve the right to cancel a trip in certain circumstances:
If dangerous political situations arise (which we’ve never had to do, up until this point). In this case we will refund your payments, minus $200.
If you have already purchased your ticket and we have to cancel the trip, your airfare may be refunded – please refer to the policy of the air carrier. For this reason, we recommend travelers insurance.
Travelers Insurance: We encourage participants to purchase travel insurance, which generally includes: trip cancellation, baggage, medical and/or emergency evacuation insurance. No one ever intends to cancel their trip; however, unforeseen circumstances can change travel plans. Baggage may be lost or damaged, and some medical insurance (including Medicare) will not provide coverage outside the U.S. For a modest price, protection can be provided for these and other concerns. You can compare policies on Squaremouth.com.
For information about other organizations that do peace-building work in Israel and Palestine, please see ALLMEP.