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: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Peace-Faith-Challenges-Peacebuilding/dp/1538102641/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=making+peace+with+faith&qid=1568992056&sr=8-2
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”
Just Listen, by Leah Green, photos by Beverly Boos Yes Magazine
The first Intifadah is raging. A group of Americans walks quietly through the twisted alleys of al-Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron. We can hear Israeli soldiers moving through the other side of the camp. We turn a corner and come upon a middle-aged Palestinian woman picking through rubble. Our host explains to her that we have come to listen to the people of Israel and Palestine—to see the situation firsthand and listen to their stories.
Journeys Toward Compassion: Interview with Carol Hwoschinsky, by Anne Batzer Medford Mail Tribune, May 2002
Carol rejects the notion that listening with compassion is a passive process. “You have to be centered within yourself, so you notice your own judgments and your desire to argue,” she explains. “You learn how to ask questions that don’t create defensiveness. It’s incredibly hard work, but it works. This stuff works! I’ve seen Israelis and Palestinians use this process to look beyond the stereotype to see the human being. They become curious about each other and come to the realization that ‘if I’d had this person’s life experience, I would be acting the same way they are.'”
Creating heart-to-heart connections in Sequim, by Erin Hawkins Sequim Gazette, March 28, 2018
With recent tragedies such as the Parkland, Fla. shooting that killed 17 people in February, Helmer felt compelled to spread the word about the power of compassionate listening to Sequim School board members, parents, teachers and more.
She presented the idea of a compassionate listening training session to the school board on March 19 with the hopes of encouraging community members to learn tools that allow them to deeply listen to one another and help resolve conflict.
Finding a Way Out of the Box, by Larrry Snider The Jerusalem Post, February 2016
I searched back in 2000 for the perfect way into this war of attrition so that I could hear and even begin to understand the truths of two ancient peoples, with the hope of garnering information that would be important to share to educate others. I found Leah Green and her MidEast Citizen Diplomacy Delegation which was in the process of formally becoming the Compassionate Listening Project. I believed then and believe now in the power of dialogue to help each of us walk in the garden of our enemies and come out with new knowledge and the formulation of a process that enables me to return seeking more.
A third way to think about Israel and Palestine, by Joel Berman Published in 3 parts in the Concord Monitor (New Hampshire) in 2016
In July 2014, I came home from an otherwise fascinating congregational trip to Israel unsettled by what I didn’t see during our two-week journey – the people and places on the other side of the walls and barbed wire we whizzed by on our way to Masada, the Dead Sea, and other Israeli tourist sites.
Determined to discover what I missed, I returned in November 2015 with The Compassionate Listening Project, an organization that meets with Israelis and Palestinians across the geopolitical spectrum who have dedicated their lives to working towards an equitable peace.
Reconciliation and Magic: the Jewish-German Proejct, by Faye Strauss Compassionate Listening Journey
I did not sleep much in Lebensgarten. At first, I attributed the fact that I would become wide-awake after only three, four or five hours sleep to jet lag and the time change from California. However, after several days, this did not change. One of the German participants told me that she had the same experience in other workshops at the same site. She attributed it to the energy emanating from the place. Two weeks before I would have dismissed her comment as fanciful, but my skepticism was being challenged. I decided to give myself up to the lack of sleep and consider it part of a vision quest.
Conflict Resolution in the “Holy Lands”, by John Shaffer King County Bar Association: January 2011 Bar Bulletin
I recently returned from a conflict resolution training of unusual depth and dimension. It is an experience I wish for all my family and friends, co-workers and neighbors. I say “it is” because the journey this training is a part of is not over; in fact, I’d say it has hardly begun.
The resolution method is called “compassionate listening,” which is the focus of The Compassionate Listening Project, an extraordinary organization that demonstrates and teaches ways to understand conflict at its very core. I recommend a visit to its website, found at compassionatelistening.org. I also recommend contacting the organization and signing up for a training. I’ll almost guarantee a life-changing experience if you do.
Compassionate Listening As a Path to Conflict Resolution, by Frida Furman Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict
Our destination is the mayor’s office. We’ve been told that the mayor we are about to meet is a member of Hamas. I am asking myself: How can I, as a committed Jew who loves Israel and affirms its right to exist, listen compassionately to someone who shares Hamas’s commitment to the destruction of the Jewish state? Is my participation in this listening moment an act of disloyalty? Will I be able to suspend judgment and “open my heart” in order to listen to Mayor Farham al-Qaham’s story?
The Compassionate Listening Project, by Deborah Rohan Schleuter World and I School
On September 28, 2003, the third anniversary of the beginning of the second Intefada, the autumn air was hot, dry, and oppressive. Somehow it seemed suitable for our members to dig our hands into the rocky soil of Wadi Hummous, a Palestinian neighborhood not far from Jerusalem. We went there to visit families whose homes had been bulldozed by the Israeli army; to meet Cindy and Craig Corrie, the visiting parents of Rachel Corrie, an American run over as she attempted to prevent a house demolition in Gaza; and to help plant a peace garden in Rachel's honor. Like every other day during this trip, tears fell and hearts broke while more unanswerable questions arose.
Today I Was A Racial Profiler, by Laura Nigro Compassionate Listening Journal, written shortly after 9-11, 2001
I urge all of us to go out into our neighborhoods and search earnestly for such faces. And to take these faces tenderly in our hands, as it were, and let them know that we care. Because no matter what the ultimate political solution to this monumental mess – and regardless of who and where the other terrorists are – it will demand from everyone a greater loving regard for the whole of mankind.
Listening Key to Healing Wounds in Middle East, by Leah Green HopeDance Magazine, January 2001
I have a vision: that one day, Palestinians will come by the thousands to the checkpoints, not with rocks but with candles or even flowers. And the international media will broadcast the mass nonviolent movement of the Palestinians and it will capture the imagination of the entire world. And Israelis will see that they don’t have to be afraid. Jews and Palestinians are cousins – we’re Children of Abraham, and I believe we’ll find our way back to one another. Some of us already have. We have to be willing to listen, to know that our truth is not the truth. We have to be willing to say I’m sorry. And if we want to work for peace and justice, we need to work with compassion.
Listening to the Stranger: A Sojourn in Syria, by Virginia Baron Fellowship Magazine, July/August 2002
“Syria is the best kept secret,” Angela Williams, UNRWA director in Syria, told us on the morning of our second day in the country-and we were already inclined to agree. We were a group of fourteen Americans from every region of the country and from many professions, members of the first delegation of the Compassionate Listening Project to travel on a “Compassionate Listening” trip to Syria and Lebanon last March. CLP is a non-profit organization dedicated to people-to-people peacemaking with a 12-year track record of peace building between North Americans and peoples of the Middle East. Many delegations have traveled to Israel/Palestine but this latest itinerary was a ground-breaking experiment.
A Better Way to Make Peace, by Rabbi Philip J. Bentley Fellowship Magazine
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)
Nine years ago, I lost a friend, Marnie Kimelman, in a terrorist attack on a Tel Aviv beach. I’m sure many of you have heard of Marnie. She lived just a few streets away from here, on my street, Truman Rd. I was also in Israel that summer. We were both seventeen years old. Suffice it to say that nothing in my childhood prepared me for what happened in Israel that summer. It was as if my entire world had exploded and all that was left were hollowed-out old beliefs — belief in humankind as being essentially good; belief in Israel as being safe and noble; belief in God, and the concept that life was, in the end, fair.
Sheikh Abu Saleh, Palestinian Mystic and Healer, by Leah Green Fellowship Magazine
We learned that Abu Saleh is a Sufi Shiekh, one of about half a million Sufis in Israel and Palestine. When we asked him if there were any differences between the ways of Muslims and Sufis, he explained, “the Sunni Muslim learns Islam at the level of primary school. The Sufi takes Islam to the level of University!” We sipped tea as Abu Saleh explained to us that “the path of God begins with the tongue but does not end there. Right speech is the fundamental basis of right living. There is a language of the tongue and a language of the heart… When we speak the language of the heart, God’s light fills our bodies and flows out into the earth.”
Compassionate Listening in Rwanda, by Bill Jacobsen
This past May I had the privilege of helping to lead a delegation to Rwanda for Arcadia University. Included in the trip was an opportunity for me to offer an introduction to Compassionate Listening to a group of 18 Rwandans that included two district politicians, two headmasters, a medical doctor, a nurse and several church leaders.
Listening With Compassion, by Kari Thorene Yes Magazine
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. His father, Yehuda, was still mourning the loss of his son when the father of the man who shot Nachson called him; his son’s actions had convinced him that enough blood had been shed between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Wachsman agreed. They arranged to meet in Jerusalem, and from that moment on the father of a son killed in conflict and the father of the killer joined together to work for peace and tolerance in Israel. More and more, people like these two parents are working together to build sustainable peace between Israeli Jews and Arabs – an understanding that goes beyond what Leah Green calls “a paper peace.”
Interview with Dr. Eyad Sarraj, by Leah Green Compassionate Listening Journal
A few months before the Intifada, I was in my private office and my receptionist came to me and said, “Somebody is outside and he doesn’t want to pay.” Usually, people pay before I see them. A 16 or 17 year old man came in and asked, “Is it safe to speak?” I said yes, it is safe. I thought immediately, he is paranoid. He said, “I’m not a patient. I have something very important to say.” That is another sign of psychosis. They say everybody else is a patient. So I sat with him for one hour, trying to figure out if he was insane. He told me, “Doctor, I want you to get me a bomb or hand grenade -something.” I said, “I am a doctor, I don’t deal with these matters. But, why do you want a bomb?” It was another sign of mental illness for me. He said, “I have figured out after years of studying the Palestinian-Israeli problem that the only way out is that every one of us put a hand grenade on himself, go to Israel, kill himself and kill another Israeli.” I sat for one hour to find out if he was mentally ill or not. He was not, in the sense of mental pathology. He was behaving in an abnormal manner, right, but in an abnormal environment. Together, they make normal.
Attending to Pain, an interview with Susan Heckler Satya magazine, July 1998
Q: Why did you want to do this?
A: I’d never been to Israel before, and I felt that was because I was very discouraged and unhappy about the situation. I didn’t want to go as a tourist, and ignore this gaping wound in the psyche of the world and in the Jewish psyche. To me this trip presented a responsible way to go and thoughtfully and consciously look at the issue [of Jewish-Palestinian relations]. It was a fascinating and intense experience for me as a Jew to be in Israel. Israel is the most morally complex place I’ve ever been to.
Rabbi hears from all sides on mission to Mideast ‘Listening’ trip finds inspiration, distress from range of voices New Jersey Jewish News, Bureau Chief, May 06, 2008
“It was an intense trip, to put it mildly,” Roth said as she sat in a meeting room at her synagogue, Kehilat HaNahar, the Little Shul by the River in New Hope, Pa. With her was congregant Larry Snider of Bensalem, Pa., who coordinated the Delaware Valley Interfaith Compassionate Listening Delegation to the Middle East.
“It was a trip for growth, and it was transformative for me — powerfully transformative and challenging,” the rabbi said. “I came back still as Jewish as ever, still as committed to Israel as ever. But clear to me is the fact that I can’t sit complacently by and not get involved. I need to be a peacemaker.
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.