December 2000

Welcome to the first issue of our e-newsletter. Our goal is to stay more connected, keep you abreast of our events and let you know how you can continue to be involved in our work. We plan to send out 3 or 4 e-newsletters per year. If you would like to receive our newsletters by e-mail, please sign up on our home page.

This is a painful period for all of us who care so deeply about Israeli-Palestinian peace. Let’s stay informed and connected and support our Israeli and Palestinian friends.

To learn about Israeli and Palestinian grassroots peace activities, visit the ariga website at http://www.ariga.com/.

If you are interested in Jewish-Palestinian reconciliation in the U.S. and beyond, visit http://www.ariga.com/peacewatch/dialogs.htm.

Other informative sites are the Israel Independent Media Center and Ha’aretz – a widely respected Israeli newspaper (English edition).

Blessings to each of you in this season of light. May we all have the vision, strength and clarity to act in ways that increase compassion in the world.

Leah Green, Director, TCLP

Upcoming Compassionate Listening Delegations & Compassionate Listening Workshops: December 2000 Youth Delegation

With great disappointment, the delegation of students from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth postponed their December trip with delegation leader Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener until May. But they are studying Compassionate Listening and are now critically sifting the news and “thinking in shades of gray instead of black and white” as their faculty leader Professor Gary Gordon said. They also plan to host Andrea in May for an open Compassionate Listening workshop on their campus.

** Breaking News** December Delegation Goes Forward Trip facilitator – Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener

Andrea has organized a 10-day delegation for a small group, leaving December 27th. Send them your blessings and check our website for her report. (contact: andrea@mideastdiplomacy.org)

March 12th – 26th, 2001 Delegation – Israel/Gaza/West Bank Trip facilitators – Leah Green & Munteha Shukralla

This delegation is going forward. We have a lot to learn, and we also have an important gift to give at times like these. We have a fabulous group, with 6 seats available at this time. Compassionate Listening Pioneer Gene Knudsen Hoffman is also planning to join us for the March trip. Cost is $2,500 for 14 days.

July 2001 Youth Delegation Trip facilitators – Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener & Munteha Shukralla

Youth delegations will be offered as part of TCLP’s new Children of Abraham Educational Project, founded by Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener. These trips will include a special emphasis on Israeli and Palestinian youth, they’ll be shorter in duration and will include a work project. They will also cost less – $1,700 plus airfare. For ages high school – college. A $300 deposit and registration form will hold your seat. We’ll post more information about this trip on the website soon.

Syria/Lebanon: October 13th – 25th 2001 Trip facilitators – Leah Green & Munteha Shukralla

This trip has sparked a lot of interest so do register ASAP if you are interested. Again, your $300 deposit and registration will hold your seat (forms are available on the “trips” page). The trip will be a citizen diplomacy/listening mission to open doors, make connections, learn about one another and also experience some powerful ancient sites. Approximate Cost: $2,100 + airfare (contact: leah@compassionatelistening.org)

Workshops

Compassionate Listening Workshop with Gene Knudsen Hoffman, Carol Hwoschinsky and Leah Green: January 2001 (registration closed). Forty Compassionate Listeners are coming together for 3 days to focus on “Compassionate Listening from the Inside Out.” We will envision our next steps with Compassionate Listening both individually and collectively, and birth the Compassionate Listening Network to encourage and support people to initiate projects in their communities and beyond. We’ll be blessed with the participation of our advisory board members Len and Libby Traubman along with Nahida and Adham Salem, founders of the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group. Peter Hwoschinsky will videotape this workshop for our C.L. Training video we’re trying to produce this coming year. Also, Carol Hwoschinsky’s Compassionate Listening Guidebook will be ready in draft form for the workshop – soon after it will be available for purchase for about $15 (check the website)-a fabulous tool to help you practice Compassionate Listening and bring it to your community.

Compassionate Listening Workshop with Leah Green: May 11th-13th 2001, Indianola WA

This workshop will cover the fundamentals of Compassionate Listening as a Tool for Reconciliation. Participants will deepen their skills as peacemakers in their everyday lives as well as learn how to take Compassionate Listening into their communities and beyond. This residential workshop will be held at a beautiful retreat center in Indianola, in the woods and literally on the shore of the Puget Sound. The retreat center is one hour from downtown Seattle by car and ferry. Workshop runs Friday eve. 7:00 – Sunday 4:00, Cost: $260, including lodging and meals. Limited to 16 people.

Events

Leah Green is now scheduling Compassionate Listening Workshops and speaking engagements for the coming year. If you would like to organize an event or host her for an evening, a day or a weekend in your community, please contact her directly (leah@compassionatelistening.org). Perhaps your Church, Synagogue or Mosque would like to host a workshop or speaking engagement? You can encourage people to visit MECD’s website (www.compassionatelistening.org) if they’re not familiar with our work.

Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener is pioneering a new division of TCLP: the Children of Abraham Educational Project-Children of Abraham for short. She’ll be leading our youth delegations, beginning this summer. In addition, she and colleague Amy Leos-Urbel are available for interfaith and dialogue programs and seminars.

Our film Children of Abraham continues to move audiences around the world. You can order it for $29.95 in the U.S. and $34.00 abroad. If you already have a copy, please make it available in your communities-it is as timely as ever. Find out more about it on by clicking on our video page.

$$ Fundraising $$

We started our multi-year pledge drive last spring. Thanks SO MUCH to your generosity we have raised nearly $10,000 ($30,000 over a 3-year period). Now our goal is to triple this amount. We had a 20% response rate to our spring pledge drive. Now we’re asking a wider pool of friends. If you have not made a pledge yet, please consider sending one now.

We still have a very low overhead as our office is a home-office – so your dollars really count. We have so many goals for this coming year. These efforts are at the top of our list:

  1. Completing the Compassionate Listening Training video – help us respond to the innumerable requests for training and support we receive each year from around the world!
  2. A number of Israelis and Palestinians from a wide political spectrum have asked us to train them as trainers so that they can carry on the work of Compassionate Listening in their own communities;
  3. We are also trying to hire Munteha Shukralla part-time to help with outreach and the ever-increasing daily tasks.

Your pledge will provide us with a solid basis for planning and prioritizing our efforts in the coming year. Will you help us? Your donation – large or small, is deeply appreciated. At the bottom of the newsletter is a pledge form – or feel free to send in your own. Thank you thank you thank you for your generosity and continued support. We literally could not do this without you.

MECD Wish List

Grantwriter: We have an excellent funding proposal all written up and we’re looking for a grant-writer to tailor it to specific foundations we’ve identified for funding.

Graphic Designer/Artist: We have a logo and a psalm in gorgeous calligraphy (“teach peace and pursue it”)

Video Marketing: Our video Children of Abraham continues to generate profound and moving responses from across N. America especially. We need people to help get the word out about it – what it is, where to order it, etc. We also need people to approach their local PBS stations to see if they will air it. Several people in the industry have told us that smaller PBS stations would undoubtedly air it. Can you help us?

Special Thank Yous

  • To Rob Rowe, for your fabulous work on our website: creative, competent, kind and on time! Can’t beat that…(contact: alien@oz.net).
  • To Claire Ellis for analyzing our trip evaluations and writing up your recommendations for our board. Your work is deeply appreciated and we will incorporate suggestions offered for our upcoming trips;
  • To Advisory Board member Rabbi Steven Carr-Reuben for proposing to write a letter promoting MECD and Children of Abraham to the Los Angeles Board of Rabbis;
  • To Len & Libby Traubman for your undying vision, inspiration and support;
  • To Board-members John Reinke, Peter Hwoschinsky, Linda Wolf, Munteha Shukralla and Susan Partnow – you’re the best!
  • To Hal Rooks, Howard Leonard, Gabe Cohen, Maureen Daniek for attending Board meetings and helping to steer the ship;
  • To Bob Berntson, BerntsonPorter CPA, for your wise counsel (www.bpcpa.com).

And finally – to our fabulous network of Compassionate Listeners for holding the vision.

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