Jewish-German Project


The Jewish-German Compassionate Listening Project was founded in 2002 by Beate Ronnefeld and Leah Green. The project brings together Jews, Germans, and those impacted by WWII to explore beliefs, humanize the “other,” and provide an opportunity to advance healing and reconciliation. Through Compassionate Listening training, personal sharing, hearing the stories of witnesses, bearing witness at a concentration camp and other components, participants deepen their understanding of the complex wounds generated by WW II and the Holocaust and often experience profound personal healing.

After the first delegation in 2002, Brian Berman and Andrea Cohen led two additional delegations with Beate, and the Jewish-German Project became a living reconciliation model among participants. Participants remain connected through gatherings and a listserv. This extended participant “family” is an example of how the work of Compassionate Listening can be used to empower individuals to strive for peace. Brian and Lisa Berman also led a couple of “Compassionate Journeys” to Berlin and also taught there on occasion.

Photos and stories from the Jewish-German Compassionate Listening project were published in our July 2003 newsletter, available online at Spring 2003: Jewish-German Project [PDF]

Participant Comments

I recommend to make this project a global ‘must’!

This project is a living model to take to other hot ‘rifts’ to invite possibility…truly awesome!

This was the most wonderful, loving, important project I have ever been a part of. I leave full and connected to myself, to Jewishness, to Jews and Germans. I feel proud to be a part of the human race!

I think this project is a world healing – and personal healing miracle. From the moment we started, the healing began…

This was the closest, most supportive retreat I have ever experienced – you have given us a gift and we have breathed a gift unto our world…

The layers of healing this project provides go deeply inward and hold the possibility of great gifts – to families, communities and nations.

It is encouraging to witness the energies being released, particularly in dealing with such deep wounds in the relationship between two groups. This creates a vision for all present conflicts on this earth. This is a precious thing and it should spread.

I expected to have a powerful experience that would finally put to rest any residue of long held truths – “We do not go to Germany”; “We do not buy German goods”, etc. – to put some closure on over 50 years of living with the horrors of WWII, the holocaust, and the terrible trauma that impacted on many of our lives, until today. This experience has exceeded in depth anything I could have known I wished for. I will carry this experience in my heart forever.

This project saves at least a year of therapy…it’s about becoming human.

This project can save 10 years of therapy and enables very deep encounters.

I was longing for a way to go beyond my shame, fear, grief, hatred…searching for truth and healing. My hopes were met 100%.

For me it was the most intense processing with the holocaust/Germany issue. For me as a German as well as for me personally – I have found another piece of inner peace.

I really believe that if everyone on this planet participated in such a project, the world would have so much changed that we would live free and creatively and joyfully. I hope we extend our work and get many more people involved – let this peace spread out!




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