In 2016, an inspiring tale unfolded in Geneva, as a close-knit circle of eight friends, hailing from diverse origins including Swiss, Canadian, Indian, Iranian, Israeli, and Palestinian backgrounds, embarked on a remarkable journey. This group represented a spectrum of faiths, including Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, yet united by a shared vision, they birthed what we now know as B8 of Hope.

B8, intentionally pronounced “Beit” or “Bait,” resonates with the meaning of “home” in both Arabic and Hebrew, forging a bridge between languages and cultures. The number 8 holds significance, as it mirrors the count of the co-founders who formed an extraordinary alliance. Their inspiration was kindled by the words of Ali Abu Awwad, a steadfast advocate of nonviolence, who imparted a profound message:

“Beyond the labels of pro-Israel or pro-Palestine, lies a greater calling. By reframing our support towards the ground-level peacebuilders from both sides, we can quell the flames of conflict. True assistance lies in being pro-peaceful solution.”

This heartfelt encounter with Ali Abu Awwad catalyzed their journey, setting them on a path where unity, understanding, and support for grassroots peace initiatives formed the bedrock of B8 of Hope’s mission.

OUR VISION: a a shared future on based on equal rights, dignity, safety, and self-determination for all the people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

So far political initiatives and peace processes have failed in resolving the long-lasting and most polarizing conflicts of our times. Today, the hope for a peaceful and sustainable Israeli-Palestinian coexistence lies in the work of grassroots and civil society initiatives. People to people connections and transformations will foster positive changes in the Israeli and Palestinian societies.

Hatred, fear, mistrust, stereotypes, and victimhood must give way to a change in behavior. Israelis and Palestinians must acknowledge each other’s narratives and respect each other’s rights. Only then can they reject violence and live in peace with themselves and with each other by moving forward and building a better future for all.

Hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian civil society and grassroots initiatives on the ground bridge internal and cross-border divides. They create positive changes and bring hope. They need our support to scale up their impact.

OUR MISSION: to support Israeli and Palestinian grassroots and civil society initiatives bringing about dialogue, bridge-building, humanization, transformative interactions and constructive actions improving living conditions

Among the many barriers to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, we focus on four main obstacles to a constructive change:

  1. Internal divides and challenges inside each community
    Israelis do not form a monolithic bloc, nor do the Palestinians. There are many political, ethnic and social divides “inside each side”. To bridge these gaps, we support initiatives that unite rather than polarize, initiatives that enable people to find a common ground and shared values to make a difference, initiatives that encourage people to accept the necessity of a peaceful solution. Unity and inclusiveness are key words. Positive transformations happen with inclusion – not exclusion!
  2. Cross-border divides between Israelis and Palestinians
    Despite their close proximity to one another, Israelis and Palestinians live in almost complete separation. Both sides have little knowledge of each other’s lives and too often are raised to fear and hate each other. It is essential to encourage dialogue and bridge-building activities in a place where joint meetings and get-togethers are difficult and dangerous. The impossible becomes achievable when you listen to the “other”, when you hear their narratives and perspectives and share bread together. Their humanity becomes visible, and your shared dreams of a better future for your children become a powerful, uniting force.
  3. Lack of synergies among the peacebuilders
    Funds for Israeli and Palestinian peace-building activities are scarce and the challenges on the ground are numerous. This unfortunately creates a climate of competition between peace-building NGOs and movements. Most organizations work in their own bubble and have limited interactions with their peers. B8 of Hope is creating a safe forum for our pool of grantees. They share values and goals, while working separately. Their diversity is an asset, their angles and perspectives can be complementary. Collaboration and partnership make their voice louder. Creating synergies and collaboration opportunities will be a momentous change that will boost the overall impact. This rule also applies to B8 of Hope and its partners in Switzerland, Europe, and the United States.
  4. Polarization outside of Israel and Palestine
    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict polarizes public opinion outside of Israel and Palestine. We need to put an end to the inflated influence of external factions and interests. Adding more fuel to the conflict is not helpful. Instead, B8 of Hope promotes a “pro-just and peaceful coexistence” perspective and supports the courageous Israelis and Palestinians on the ground that work tirelessly to pave a path for it.

We support our Israeli and Palestinian grantees in many ways:

  • Providing funds for their activities through fund-raising events in Geneva. Our funds come mainly from private Arab, Jewish, international expat, and local Swiss donors.
  • Giving visibility to initiatives through conferences, documentary screenings followed by Q/A sessions (these include the peace activists and protagonists from the films), and press and media coverage for interviews and articles.
  • Creating networking opportunities with philanthropic institutions and influential decision-makers.
  • Offering advice in terms of governance and capacity-building during our due diligence phase and after.  We periodically provide an in-depth analysis of our grantees’ reports and management styles, we collaborate with them in order to develop plans to improve infrastructures and put in place capacity-building training.
  • Providing a safe forum and platform to promote synergy building activities and workshops: this encourages collaboration between the initiatives and increases their impact while saving funds and energy.
  • Creating a community of supporters abroad that is inspired by their work.