Pathways to the Heart - Compassionate Listening

The Compassionate Listening Project is dedicated to empowering people and communities to transform conflict, cultivate resilience, and enhance their capacity to be change-makers in their lives, communities, and in the world.

A Heart to Heart: Compassionate Listening

Tali Goodfriend, TEDx Montreal

How do we find common ground with people we oppose or disagree with?  We are generally more focused on expressing our views than listening to the other's point of view.  Compassionate listening is a process we can use to bridge our differences. 

Compassionate Listening for Israeli and Palestinian Peace Leaders

Beit Jala, West Bank, Palestine

The Compassionate Listening Project began working in Israel and Palestine in 1990. In addition to our annual delegations, we've been offering trainings for Israelis and Palestinians since 1998. 

This short film brings us inside a Compassionate Listening Training for 34 peace and community leaders from Israel and Palestine. The training took place in Palestine, and was facilitated by Leah Green, founder of the Compassionate Listening Project, along with Palestinian facilitator Maha El-Taji Tahsin.

Children of Abraham

Compassionate Listening in Israel and Palestine

Twenty-two Jewish Americans travelled to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza with the Compassionate Listening Project. Children of Abraham is a 34-minute broadcast-quality documentary that chronicles this journey. The film follows the Jewish participants as they visit with and listen to Israelis and Palestinians – from leaders to refugees, and seek to understand the complexities of religious, political and human rights issues. Participants include Jewish leaders and professionals ranging from secular to observant. This beautiful documentary introduces the Compassionate Listening reconciliation model, and humanizes each Israeli and Palestinian portrayed. The film delivers a compelling message that conflict can be transformed through listening with compassion.

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Featured Press

A Brutal Legacy that Continues, by Scott Dickman, Concord Monitor, June 2020

Like so many others, I gasped in horror watching the video of Mr. Floyd’s protracted murder by law enforcement officers sworn to protect and defend. Listening to Mr. Floyd’s plea for help - “Please, I cannot breathe” - left me unable to dissociate Mr. Floyd’s plea from the thousands of blacks lynched and memorialized at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, located in Montgomery, Alabama. All those lynched and brutalized also could not breathe.

Listening Our Way to Peace by Yael Petritti

This chapter is drawn from: Garred, Michelle and Abu-Nimer, Mohammed, eds. 2018. Making Peace with Faith: The Challenges of Religion and Peacebuilding. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. The book can be ordered at:

Skills for Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Interview with Leah Green by Alicia Simoni of Peace X Peace

Leah Green, founder and director of the Compassionate Listening Project, was one of three international recipients of an Honorable Mention for the Peace X Peace Community Peacebuilder Award. During a recent interview with Peace X Peace, Leah described the work of the Compassionate Listening Project and how heart-to-heart connections may lay at the foundation of building peace.

Listening – the common ground amid conflict, by Janet Tu,

The Seattle Times

The Israelis and Palestinians sat in a circle in a rundown room outside Bethlehem.

They had already heard from a Palestian man who was fighting to preserve his house from being demolished by the Israeli army. They listened as a Palestinian mother described how she cried as she sewed her daughter's wedding dress, knowing she would not be allowed to leave the country to attend the wedding.

But the Palestinians were having a hard time seeing how Israelis suffered in the conflict.

Then a former Israeli soldier spoke. More Israeli soldiers die from suicide than in combat, he said. Please see our suffering in that statistic, he requested.

An Enemy is One Whose Story We Have Not Heard, by Gene Knudsen Hoffman

Fellowship Magazine, 1997

 In the spring of 1996 1 received a phone call from Leah Green, Director of Middle East Citizen Diplomacy for Earthstewards Network.  She wanted to talk with me about my writing on Compassionate Listening, a process in which people open up to new thoughts and ideas when they are carefully listened to.  Sometimes they even change their opinions as they learn to listen to themselves.  Over the years I have doggedly kept visiting the Middle East, pursuing this process.  Leah invited me to come to Israel and Palestine in November of 1996 with a group dedicated to Compassionate Listening. 

Yoga Journal’s Karma Yoga Award to Compassionate Listening Project – “Seeing Through Hostility and Fear”

Yoga Journal

Leah Green believes in the power of reconciliation. As director of the nonprofit Compassionate Listening Project, she has offered an alternative means of attaining peace in the Middle East by encouraging compassionate communication between Palestinians and Israelis.

Greenfield rabbi helps Israelis, Palestinians to hear one another

Greenfield Reporter, November 30, 2015

“One of impacts is that my heart gets bigger,” she says, “Our really profound intention to be of service, to listen and understand, to bring a salve of understanding and connection … it feels good and leaves me on a certain kind of high.”

Greenfield’s new rabbi quotes Palestinian peace activist Ali Abu Awwad, who she talked with recently, as saying, “The way to a Palestinian state goes through the heart of the Jewish people. If they see me, if they know me, if they trust me, then they want for me what I want for me”

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December, 2017

Annual Report

Twenty-one Compassionate Listening facilitators held workshops in 9 countries in 2017, with nearly 3,000 participants. Learn more about what we've been up to. 

September 2017

TEDx Montréal Women and more!

Compassionate Listening on Stage and Screen with Tali Goodfriend and Susan Partnow. 

July 2017 News

Joan Levine and Yehudah Winter: CL Power Couple

After years of travel together, Joan Levine and Yehudah Winter believe that there is no better way to travel, to meet people more intimately, and to understand a culture deeply, than to engage in service in that country. This  globetrotting husband-wife team has merged their passion for travel with Compassionate Listening workshops, and are changing lives one person and one community at a time. 

November 2016

Meet 3 new Compassionate Listening Facilitators: Sharon Gubay Helfer, Gil Bar Sela and Will Osmun. 

February 2016

News, free resources, and a moving presentation that speaks to the heart of Compassionate Listening

Helen Fitzgerald and Dr. Joel Berman's 2016 presentation included an introduction to C.L. and audience-read first-person vignettes from Israeli and Palestinian speakers.

September 2013

Report from our Journey to the Heart of Guatemaya

Over the past twenty-three years, I've listened deeply to human conflict at the personal and community level, as well as in regions of heart-crushing national and ethnic conflict. At this time of global crisis and opportunity, this quest to integrate the teachings of our wisdom keepers lies at the foundation of our Journey to the Heart of Guate-Maya. 

December 2011 Annual Report

“Thank you for your unstoppable desire to change the world one heart at a time. It’s working! Compassionate Listening is without a doubt an integral

part of the evolution of the human species.”

Spring 2003

Jewish-German Project Report

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