By Leah Green
Published in HopeDance Magazine, January 2001 issue (www.hopedance.org)
and Santa Barbara News Press, Sunday, January 21, 2001
I’ve been passionately involved with the Israeli – Palestinian conflict for the past 22 years. I started leading citizen delegations to Israel the West Bank and Gaza in 1990 in order to bring Jews and Palestinians and others together to break stereotypes and work together for peace and justice.
By Anne Flatte
This past January, 41 people gathered in Santa Barbara for three days at Sola House, the peace center and home of compassionate listening pioneer Gene Knudsen Hoffman, to focus on “Compassionate Listening from the Inside Out.” The meeting marked the beginning of the Compassionate Listening Network, dedicated to encouraging and supporting people in their efforts to initiate Compassionate Listening in their communities and beyond.
Interview with Dr. Eyad Sarraj, Director, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
(Dr. Sarraj also directs the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Palestine)
When I started work here, I was the only psychiatrist in all of the Gaza Strip. In the last 10 years, we have seen 14,000 people and have trained not only our own staff, but also teachers, doctors, and institutions in the community. We established a postgraduate diploma in community mental health and human rights. It is a two-year diploma with seven universities contributing teaching, including Tel Aviv University. This year we graduate our first group of graduates. The program is recognized at the level of a masters degree. Instead of simply sending one man or woman to study abroad we decided it would be better to teach 10 or 12.
By Rabbi Philip J. Bentley
There is an old story of how the sun and the wind made a bet as to which was stronger. They saw a man wearing a cloak walking across a field. “Whichever of us can take off that man’s cloak is stronger,” said the wind. “Alright,” said the sun, “you may go first.” The wind began to blow and the man wrapped his cloak around him more tightly. The harder the wind blew the tighter the man held his cloak against him. “Alright, “said the wind, “you give it a try.” The wind died down sun began to shine down on the field. The man began to sweat and removed his cloak.
Dvar Torah by Niki Landau
Delivered Sept. 12, 1999 (2nd day of Rosh Hashanah)
When Rabbi Bielfeld asked me to do the Dvar Torah on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, I was surprised. First of all, I had no idea what a Dvar Torah was. I am not exactly what you would call a devout Jew. I would call myself a confused Jew. I am one of those people the Rabbi was speaking about on Friday night. The congregants who only come once a year to shul and don’t even know why. So how does a confused Jew come to stand before all of you today and deliver the Dvar Torah? Good question.
Interview with Salah Ta’amari, Palestinian Legislative Council Member, Bethlehem (and former PLO fighter), November 13, 1998. We met him his Bethlehem office.
My name is Salah Ta’amari. I ran for elections 2 years ago. I was elected by the people of Bethlehem. I was born in Bethlehem and grew up here.
Sheikh Abu Saleh, November 16, 1998
Driving through the hills towards Tel Aviv, we left the highway and turned down roads which became more and more primitive. One last dirt road led us into the village and to a small mosque, which doubles for Abu Saleh’s home that he shares with his children and grandchildren.
by Kari Thorene
When Nachson Wachsman was captured by Palestinian terrorists, his family was thrown into a storyline all too familiar to both Israeli Jewish and Palestinian families. Within one week, a botched rescue attempt startled the terrorists, who responded by shooting and killing young Nachson.
“Attending to Pain”, an Interview With Susan Heckler, Satya, July 1998
“Emissary of Peace”, The Hartford Courant, April 27, 1998
The Orthodox mother of four, in Israel for a year, is riding out of Jerusalem on a public bus to Issawiyah, an Arab village where she will study the Koran with a village elder and continue a dialogue about peace that started month ago in a project called Compassionate Listening.