PEACE ACTIVISM IN TIMES OF WAR
Since October 7th, members of our grantee organizations have been grappling with personal and national shocks. In the initial aftermath of the Hamas attacks, Palestinian members reached out to their Israeli counterparts, offering messages of empathy. As the war between Israel and Hamas escalated, the situation grew more complex. Many of the peace activists, whether Israeli or Palestinian , from bi-national organizations supported by B8 of Hope, initially held separate meetings within the framework of their respective NGOs and movements to express and process their pain. In a subsequent phase, bi-national meetings were organized swiftly. Israeli members also expressed empathy for the innocent civilian victims and relatives of their Palestinian colleagues in Gaza and in the West Bank (as there were also a number of casualties and loss of lives in different areas of the West Bank).
While some activists took a break due to personal trauma, the majority remain committed to their core values and are working together. This collaboration extends to joint Arab and Jewish movements within Israel, as well as between West Bankers and Israelis. Navigating this collaboration is inherently challenging and not without its risks. Engaging in peacebuilding during times of war is a precarious undertaking; some Israelis have come under police scrutiny. As the conflict intensifies, Palestinians involved in peacebuilding face increasing risks in persisting with their peace activism. Uni-national Palestinian movements are redirecting their efforts toward addressing humanitarian needs. Currently, their focus is on keeping communities together and assisting those in need, providing essential items such as food and medicine within the West Bank.
- Multiple Meetings: Grantees have actively participated in numerous meetings, both uni-national and bi-national, within the framework of their respective organizations.
- Media Engagement: In response to the ongoing conflict, our grantees have engaged with press and media outlets, sharing their perspectives and updates on the situation.
- Community Support: Many activists, whether Israeli or Palestinian, have sought solace in uni-national gatherings to process personal trauma. Simultaneously, they have engaged in bi-national meetings to foster understanding and collaboration.
- Continued Collaboration: Despite the challenges and risks involved, the majority of our grantees remain steadfast in their commitment to core values, actively working together. Joint Arab and Jewish movements within Israel, as well as collaborations between West Bankers and Israelis, continue to be a priority.
- Humanitarian Focus: Uni-national Palestinian movements, backed by B8 of Hope, are redirecting their efforts towards addressing immediate humanitarian needs. This includes keeping communities together and providing essential assistance such as food and medicine within the West Bank.
- Forward-Thinking: Despite the current crisis, our grantees are actively thinking about the future. They are strategically planning for the post-war period, demonstrating resilience and a commitment to peacebuilding beyond the immediate conflict.
The bullet point summary per organization below is not exhaustive and more information can be found on the individual websites and social media plateforms of each B8 of Hope grantee listed below.
A groundbreaking incubator creating a new generation of cross-border startups, co-owned by Palestinians and Israelis, as beacons of peaceful and productive cooperation. Link to website
- Providing space for program alumni to process deep personal sorrow and grief.
- Opening a channel for them to express themselves and seek assistance at all times.
- Planning a general bi-national meeting at a later stage.
A Land for All ( ALFA)
An initiative by a diverse group of Israeli and Palestinian thinkers, offering an alternative political horizon in the form of a confederation: two sovereign states in one open land. Link to website
• Gained audience and interest by actively engaging with international diplomats and representatives, discussing the “day after” and presenting their vision for the future.
• Launched a joint Palestinian-Israeli board, which had its initial meetings three days after the war began on October 10th. Since then, the board has convened three more times to work collaboratively.
• Welcomed a new Palestinian director and 5 new leaders to the team (2 Israelis and 3 Palestinians)
• Hosted event with “Bait Le’Shatef” and the Institute for National Security Studies, a think tank based in Israel that focuses on issues related to national security, military strategy, and Middle Eastern affairs. It conducts research, analysis, and provides policy recommendations on various security and strategic issues.
• Organized a public Zoom event with two ALFA co-founders Avi Dabush and Amir Fakhouri with 350 people signed up and 250 who joined.
• Organized a Zoom event for ALFA’s American audience featuring May Pundak, Avi Dabush, and Amir Fakhouri with nearly 1500 people who signed up, more than 10 co-sponsor organizations and more than 500 attendees.
• Arranged meetings with Palestinian and Israeli peace activists to discuss future actions.
• Speaking engagements of their leadership in several Israeli and US peace camp events. Some more Jewish and some more Palestinian affiliated.
• Engaged with various diplomats, EU representatives and American officials, including organizing a diplomat brief to EU delegations and state members to both Israel and Palestine
• Ongoing off record events with different political and diplomatic delegations (based in and out of the region) for updated thinking and next steps around “the day after” Including a rearticulated 2ss, relevant and updated by groups on the ground.
• Delivered a policy paper to high-level EU and American politicians, think tanks and diplomats.
• Communicated with American organizations like Partners for Progressive Israel, J-Street, a leading American think tanks and a major peace building organization looking for local partners for new big peace building endeavors and processes.
• Working within Israeli media and civic leadership to push for mainstreaming the idea of the critical need of a political solution.
• A group of 30 world class intellectuals have joined ALFA under the invitation of Prof. Thomas Piketty to help spread the word in the media , policy and intellectual world as well as a request to initiate an international council.
• Participated in 2 young progressive conferences in the UK.
• Organized (while bringing some more partners on board) a conference for a core and diverse group of peace activists talking about despair and hope and working together to create support systems and joint thinking on next steps. AA as the convener of “realistic vision and hope” for the camp.
• Published numerous opinion articles in Israeli, Palestinian, and international press.
• Conducted several interviews with the press in the US, Europe and Israel Palestine.
• Gratified with recent attention ( to read, please click on the “Article” above)
Combatants for Peace (CFP)
An organization founded by ex-Israeli military and former Palestinian fighters, putting aside their weapons and standing together as a bi-national community based on non-violence. Link to website
9.10.23: Bi-national zoom meeting to express feelings and express solidarity
• As of Octber 10th, published several public statement in Arabic, in English and in Hebrew and co-signed several declarations and joint letters (see their social media) declaring their desire to live together in peace, free from wars, occupation, and hatred.
• 16.10.23: A speaking tour in Germany began with two CFP activists Osama Eliwat and Rotem Levin
• 18.10.23: To mark the arrival in Israel of President Joe Biden, CFP published a joint add with Israeli human rights organizations.
• 20.10.23: Webinar organized with the collaboration of American Friends of CFP on Holding on to Humanity & Hope. This conversation was led by two Palestinian activists, Mai Shahin and Jamil Qassas, and two Israeli activists, Ayala Shalev and Chen Alon, from CFP. The discussion was moderated by two AFCFP board members, Aziz Abu Sarah and Gili Getz.
• 19 & 26.10.23: binational zoom meetings
• 26.10.23: Humanitarian aid campaign where 60 donation boxes of food supplies were delivered to workers from Gaza who got stuck in the West Bank after Israel revoked their work permits.
• 29.10.23: CFP & AFCFP community gathered for “Solidarity: A Path to Liberation”. This conversation was led by two Palestinian activists, Rana Salman and Souli Khatib, and two Israeli activists, Eszter Koranyi and Avner Wishnitzer. The discussion was moderated by the Director and Producer of “Disturbing the Peace,” Stephen Apkon, and A’ida Shibli, Palestinian Bedouin activist and co-worker at the Tamera biotope in Portugal.
• 04.11.23: Palestinian women group of Combatants for Peace meeting over Zoom
• 06.11.23: Israeli activists meeting over Zoom joined by 1 Palestinian activist as listener
• 08.11.23: Palestinian activists meeting over Zoom joined by 1 Israeli activist as listener
• 09.11.23: Binational activists’ zoom meeting joined by a guest speaker Maoz Inon who later shared about the meeting during his interview with CNN.
• 11.11.23: Israeli and Palestinian CFP activists Ben Yeger and Rana Salman participated at an event for peace in the UK organized by the Totnes Pulse.
• 11.11.23 CFP activists joined a protest in Tel Aviv demanding a ceasefire and the return of hostages.
• 13.11.23: During the speaking tour in Germany, Osama Elawat and Rotem Levin joined lectures in Cologne, Bremen, Berlin, Freiburg and others, and had meetings with donors, politicians and press.
• 14.11.23: The leaders of CFP’s youth program met with a group of students from Hungary via Zoom
• 19.11.23: Israeli CFP member Ayala Shalev gave a speech at the first joint demonstration that took place in Tel Aviv.
• 20.11.23: Palestinian CFP members meeting over Zoom
• 23.11.23: Two Palestinian and Israeli CFP activists spoke to Israeli activists in a zoom meeting: Difficult questions & honest answers.
• 25.11.23: Bethlehem-Jerusalem group meeting at Beit Jala office.
• 30.11.23: Zoom to Israeli public about Gaza hosting Noa Galili from Gisha and Dr.Dotan Halevy from The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.
• 06.12.23: CFP activist Ahmad Helou (originally from Gaza, lost many members of his family) spoke at Green Olive Tours webinar of Solidarity Speaks, an emergency series giving people around the world a forum to hear directly from Palestinians and Israelis calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to collective punishment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
• 08.12.23 : CFP and AFCFP webinar on: “Courage in the Unknown, Exploring new possibilities”
Green Land Society for Health Development (GLSHD)
A Palestinian initiative by a group of health and sciences professionals to scale up health and environmental services through education, awareness, clinical research, and direct engagement with underserved Palestinian communities in the West Bank, including transportation of Palestinian patient by volunteers from homes to hospitals in the West Bank and in Israeli (in collaboration with Israeli volunteer partners). Link to website
• During the 2 first weeks after October 7th, Green Land volunteers could not drive patients because of blockades of roads between villages and cities in area C. Usage of by-pass roads became dangerous for both patients and volunteers who got attacked at different occasions. The transportations of patients slowed down and even stopped as volunteers and patients were at risk.
• Meetings were held with other health-focused NGOs to discuss the impact of the situation on their work
• In November, assistance came from Greenland’s partner organization, Project Rozana, enabling the resumption of patient transportation. Project Rozana provided a bus with Israeli license plates, (hence allowed to drive on Area C main roads) enhancing both the number of patients served and the safety of the vehicle, thereby reducing the risks of potential attacks.
• Women for Women multi-disciplinary clinics(GPs,gynecologists, psychologists and nutritionists) had to stop in areas too close to settlements and resumed and shifted their activities to other safer areas.
• Maintaining and securing the supplies of the rehabilitation facility (despite the raise in prices). The construction (supported by B8 of Hope) is still work in progress.
Jerusalem Youth Chorus (JYC)
A bi-national chorus and NGO that empowers young singers to become leaders for peace in their communities by providing a space where they can engage in musical and verbal dialogue with one another. Link to website
• In this time of fear, JYC held fast to each other, and to their music. Both Palestinian and Israeli chorus alumni shared how they’ve been listening to JYC albums to stay grounded and were grateful to Andy Grammer for sharing this anthem with JYC. It gives them strength. “Don’t Give Up On Me” – Andy Grammer, feat. the Palestinian-Israeli Jerusalem Youth Chorus
• JYC’s fall U.S. tour, scheduled to start in mid-October, has been postponed. Instead, they have been organizing Zoom sessions for students to sing together and participate in dialogue sessions. Particularly in this horrifying time it is deeply important that they only deepen their relationships with one another in this work, rather than letting violence tear them apart.
• The Jerusalem Youth Chorus lifted up the voices of their Israeli and Palestinian young singers and other powerful artists using their music to foster dialogue, understanding, and empathy during an online concert Voices of Peace at Times of War on October 22. The power of words and music aimed at healing wounds and bridge divides, even in the worst of times. **With collaboration from the The Kennedy Center, and featuring guest artists including Mira Awad, David Broza, Noa (Achinoam Nini), Malinda Kathleen Reese, Ziggy Marley, National Symphony Orchestra, and other guests.**
• On November 12th, the Founder and Artistic Director of JYC Micah Hendler was the recipient of the Rumi Forum’s 2023 Dialogue Award, presented by the incredible Jerusalemite peacemaker Aziz Abu Sarah.
A Jerusalem-based program that offers free of charge practical Hebrew classes for East Jerusalemite Palestinian women to provide them with greater access to rights, resources, and opportunities with the long-term vision for East Jerusalemite women to have ultimate agency in their personal and professional lives, and for the city of Jerusalem – both East and West – to become a more just and equal space for all its residents. Link to website
• Lissan had to freeze all its programs and instead focus on immediate needs for staff and participants/alumni of the program.
• One-on-one conversations with staff, coordinators, teachers, volunteers and students.
• Separate Uni-national support meetings for volunteers on Zoom.
• Making essential information accessible, including resources about assistance, first-aid – physical and mental, and Zoom lectures for students about mental strength and mediating the current situation to their children.
• Lissan joined a group of organizations working in East Jerusalem trying to provide a response to the hardships and needs arising from the ground. Lissan helped in a needs mapping process, passing information received to relevant bodies such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and others. Lissan also, together with other organizations, signed a letter to the mayor calling on him to work with the police to limit violence, exercise restraint, and prevent escalation of the security situation in Jerusalem.
Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (MEET)
A Jerusalem-based program that brings together promising East and West Jerusalem high school students for a cutting-edge three-year curriculum to create a generation of Israeli and Palestinian young leaders. Link to website
• In first 72 hours, checked in with all staff, current cohort of 215 MEET students, and over 200 MEET alumni.
• It did not take long to start the year-long binational program with 90% attendance rate (Transitioned program online)
• Developping special activities for the “day after” to foster partnerships between MEET members
• The traditional MEET Conference for Year 1 students, generously supported this year by the B8 of Hope grant, will be transitioned to an online format, ensuring that students still experience an engaging and enjoyable event.
• The program will feature an intensive curriculum to deepen the Computer Science learning modules within the MEET Yearlong curriculum. Additionally, MEET will host various Deeper Understanding sessions and emphasize teamwork exercises. The conference aims to foster connections among Year 1 students, building a sense of trust within the group. It also provides a valuable opportunity for participants to develop awareness of diverse identities, backgrounds, and perspectives among themselves and others. The conference will be held in December as planned.
New Story Leadership (NSL)
A 7-week summer program in Washington DC which develops a community of leaders and influencers across Palestine and Israel and gives them an opportunity to live together and work together in internships at the Capitol Hill and think-tanks in Washington DC. Link to website
• Throughtout online meetings and work sessions, the Palestinian and Israeli alumni of this program wrote the following joint statement :
• Planning of NSL alumni january 2023 retreat in Switzerland : a select group of 12 NSL alumni are conducting the preliminary research and brainstorming (meeting online on a weekly basis) to later gather in the B8 of Hope work space in Geneva, in order to co-write the future “Marshall plan” of Israel-Palestine, a short-term and a longer-term way forward.
Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF)
A bi-national network of more than 600 bereaved Israelis and Palestinians working together on peace and reconciliation showing so that no other families face the tragedy they have been going through. Link to website
• 08.10.23: Held a joint Israeli and Palestinian Staff meeting
• On October 12th BCC interviewed Bassam (who lost his 10-year-old daughter, Abir, who was killed by an Israeli soldier, and Robi who lost her 28 year old son, David, after he was killed by a Palestinian sniper. Neither were killed in this latest stage of the Israel-Gaza conflict but as members of a cross-community group). They were uniquely placed to comment on the situation.
• 12.10.23: Held a vigil on zoom for newly bereaved families
• 18th of October : Interview of Bassam and Robi on Spectrum news
• October 23 – interview of Bassam and Ayelet on CBC
• 26th of October – interview of Bassam and his Israeli brother Rami (who lost his 10 year old daughter, in a suicide bomb attack in the 1990) on Sky news
• 11th of november Robi and Bassam interviewd on CNN
• October – November : Continuing uni-national and bi-national meetings (including board members, staff, participants of women’s groups and the Young Ambassadors for Peace youth group)
• Throughout October, Robi Damelin – Israeli spokesperson was able to complete a US speaking tour while her Palestinian counterpart Layla Al-Sheikh joining her in each venue by Zoom.
• Early November : Implementation of a new project Public Voices for Change /training started
• 08.11.23 : Launch of an online campaign “Holding onto Humanity” and launch of another smaller campaingn for International Children’s Day.
• Signed a petition of solidarity with other peace and human rights organizations
• 08.11.23:Zoom meeting for the international community to give updates about the situation and PCFC’s work
• 30.10.23 : Webinar with renowned Irish author Colum McCann, author of Apeirgon. Colum engaged in a heartfelt dialogue with Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin, bereaved fathers from Israel and Palestine, the protagonists of Apeirogon.
Peres Center for Peace and Innovation’s Saving Children program
A crucial program providing humanitarian medical aid to Palestinian infants and children from the West Bank and Gaza.
• The program continues despite the conflict, aiming to bring children from the West Bank to Israeli hospitals for medical treatments. However, there have been several delays in appointments due to Israeli doctors being called up for military duty. Unfortunately, children from Gaza cannot come to Israeli hospitals for sadly obvious reasons. Link to website
Physicians for Human Rights—Israel (PHRI)
An organization of volunteer Israeli medical professionals providing humanitarian medical assistance to disadvantaged populations in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, as well as legal, advocacy, educational, and public activities. Link to website
• Immediately after October 7, PHRI opened a clinic in a hotel for the thousands of Israelis who evacuated from the Gaza envelope. They extended their assistance to migrant workers and Bedouins in various locations, including the West Bank, offering not only medical care but also psychological support.
• The Mobile Clinic continued to provide weekly cooperative Israeli-Palestinian medical care in rural Palestinian villages and towns in the West Bank but the monthly delegations to Gaza have been discontinued since October 7th. However, they have since doubled their visits to the West Bank to two per week. The Mobile Clinic delivered medicine and gave patients access to specialist physicians. Within the unique framework of PHRI’s Mobile Clinic, volunteer Israeli and Palestinian medical professionals (doctors, nurses, medical students, and specialists in alternative medicine) provided immediate primary and secondary medical care and prescriptions and, when necessary, referrals for follow-up care.
A music conservatory based in Nazareth, where young Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel come together through classical music. Link to website
• Within days after October 7, the conservatory in Nazareth reopened. Polyphony’s community decided to proceed with the Music & Society seminar. Weekly videos showcase the positive work continuing to happen in the community.
• In response to the ongoing war, which has dampened the public’s festive mood and prevented travel for most musicians coming from the U.S. and Europe, Polyphony had a difficult decision to make – cancel the festival altogether or find a way forward. Determined to uphold the festival’s spirit, Polyphony decided to reduce the number of concerts from six to three while still featuring diverse Arab and Jewish artists.The community’s response has been overwhelmingly supportive. Ticket sales have surged, quickly selling out the third and final concert, with other performances following suit. Polyphony has received many messages thanking them for proceeding with the festival. During this intensely polarizing moment in the country’s history, the festival reflects the enduring solidarity Polyphony has built between Arab and Jewish communities.
Road to Recovery
A network of thousands of Israeli volunteers, driving Palestinians patients requiring treatment from crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to hospitals in Israel. Link to website
• Road to Recovery has been profoundly impacted by the Hamas attacks on October 7th. A significant number of their volunteers, primarily from the kibbutzim bordering Gaza, lost their lives or were taken hostage in these horrendous attacks. Despite this immense shock and grief, the volunteers have displayed remarkable resilience, continuing their work and expanding their services to a broader user base.
• Transportation within Israel: displaced Israeli families
• Transportation of aid and material
• Transportation of Palestinian patients from the West Bank to Israeli hospital (fewer cases allowed but still happening)
• Cancelled their crowd-funding campaign in November.
A bi-national initiative with a network of Israelis and Palestinians challenging the assumptions their communities hold about each other, building trust and creating a new discourse around the conflict in their respective societies. Link to website
• Since early October, Israeli and Palestinian members of Roots organized emergency fundraising to support Palestinian members of Roots who lost their sources of income and have no financial support.
• Organized Zoom sessions for communities to process and mourn.
• Organized patrols to paint over “revenge” graffiti proliferating in their West Bank community.
• Collected supplies such as baby formula and food for Palestinian families.
• The Israeli partners in Roots have recruited an emergency group whose mission is to intervene when needed to prevent attacks by extremist settlers on Palestinians. They have also opened communication channels with leaders from the Israeli army in the West Bank when needed to prevent settler violence.
A progressive grassroots movement mobilizing Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel against the occupation and for peace, equality, and social justice. Link to website
• Solidarity Conventions were held across the country bringing together hundreds of Jewish and Palestinian citizens to discuss their shared grief, the war’s impact on the society, and how to generate hope and solidarity during this dark time. These conferences are already rapidly growing the networks of Jewish and Palestinian citizens working towards solidarity and peace, and providing people with much-needed hope.
• De-escalation and Solidarity within Israel : using existing movement infrastructure, Standing Together opened 12 solidarity networks across the country, in which over 5,000 Jewish and Palestinian activists take part in a wide range of actions promoting solidarity and de-escalation. Some highlights include:
1. A “Solidarity Watch” patrol, which accompanies people who are fearful of leaving their homes and serves as a public reminder of Jewish-Arab collaboration.Pooling efforts for humanitarian and mutual aid including cleaning bomb shelters and collecting food for people in need
2. Physical and virtual meetings to provide safe and open conversations with trained psychologists.
3. Monitoring and reporting calls for violence, discrimination, and fake news in social and traditional media and reporting them to authorities.
4. Pressuring local police and media to intervene in cases of intercommunal violence.
5. Promoting positive messages and a discourse of solidarity on the ground.
6. Training people for de-escalating potentially inflammatory conversations in shared spaces such as the workplace and at school.
• Support for victims of discrimination and political persecution : Standing Together created an emergency support hotline, where over 300 volunteers provide support in Arabic and Hebrew to people experiencing racism, discrimination, dismissal from their jobs, or expulsion from universities. The support hotline connects people with relevant mental health and legal aid resources, as well as de-escalation techniques.
• Student Support : Standing Together has 9 student chapters at various Israeli Universities, which are working to provide extra support for students affected by the war. Many Palestinian students are suffering from racism and discrimination, as well as expulsion as a result of increased political persecution. In addition, students are facing mental distress, lack of employment due to the war, and displacement around the country. Standing Together is ensuring that their student chapters are prepared to assist students in need of help, report calls to violence and racism on campus, and promote de-escalation and solidarity on campus.
• Release of the hostages Since the outbreak of the war, Standing Together has been strengthening calls for the release of the hostages on social media and news outlets, as well as joining in demonstrations for the release of the hostages. Since the truce and release of some hostages, we have been actively campaigning for an expansion of the hostage deal.
• Public campaigns to impact discourse :Standing Together has been engaging in public campaigns promoting solidarity, partnership, and long-term peace, as well as the importance of condemning the killing of innocent civilians in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. The members of Standing Together are promoting messaging aimed at re-humanizing the discourse, retaining humanity, mourning all lives lost, and rejecting violence on social media in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.
A Palestinian National Nonviolence Movement serving as an umbrella to a network of grassroots communities and emerging leaders practicing and promoting nonviolence as a unifying identity for the Palestinian people. Link to website
• Leading emergency efforts, delivering food and medicine, and providing trauma healing in approximately eight key areas across the West Bank.
• Despite road closures that impede movement between communities, Ali Abu Awwad the leader of Taghyeer continues to travel the back roads at this wartime moment, even under personal threat. His dedication is aimed at assisting the movement’s Messengers of Change (MOCs) in delivering essential services, maintaining community cohesion, and preserving the activist structure of the movement, they offer alternative systems to serve communities.
An initiative of Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Teachers’ Lounge began.
A professional development program for Jewish and Arab teachers, allowing Arab Jewish educators in Israel to get closely acquainted with colleagues from the other ethinicity and instilling multi-cultural tools for teachers from both sectors for dealing with racism and prejudice, in the school and in the community. The program has expanded to five cities and municipalities in Israel, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ramla, the Western Galilee, and Haifa. Link to website
• Postponing programs’ opening dates – the program’s headquarters has convened a number of times for work meetings to rethink strategy in light of the situation. The first decision was to postpone the programs’ opening dates for all the centers.
• Every week Teachers ‘ Lounge is having a general status evaluation meeting (at headquarters level) as well as a regional meeting with each center – each has been affected differently and therefore getting the programs back on track will have to be according to each center’s situation.
• The program’s management is investing time in studying the situation by participating in conventions to learn how other programs are dealing with this complex reality.
• The program’s management has been examining new attitudes and ideas that will help them to run the program and adapt its content to this unique and complex current situation. It is important to note that as of this report’s date, the Israeli Board of Education has not allowed for the opening of any professional training programs for teachers in Israel.
• The program’s management has been in contact with all program coordinators and facilitators in all Teachers’Lounge centers to offer strength and support. In light of the situation, there is the possibility that some of the staff will not be continuing with Teachers’ Loung, and new solutions will need to be explored for that.
• The program’s coordinators have been in contact with the teachers who signed up for the program to get a “grassroots feeling” and to understand which parts of the program may be feasible at this time.
• As part of the planned establishment of the program’s alumni activity, Teachers’ Lounge program’s management is thinking about how, in light of the current situation, they can initiate appropriate and relevant activities for the program’s graduates.
• Continued updates have been provided to the program partners on the status of Teachers’ Lounge staff and participants and how the management is planning to proceed.
• Teachers’ Lounge program management is reevaluating the program’s budget. At this stage, there are no changes.
A bi-national initiative running seminars on entrepreneurship for Palestinian and Israeli participants interested in high-tech and dialogue. Link to website
• Tech2Peace’s community of Israeli and Palestinian innovators is standing strong together. Cracks have appeared and the work is more difficult than ever but members have come together, meeting frequently and preserving the connections needed to innovate together towards a better future.
• Organized Zoom meetings with alumni (670 members) to create a safe space to engage in dialogue.
• Organized Zoom meetings uni-national specific sessions so that participants can express their frustrations and fears.
• Hosted weekly relaxation sessions with a therapist.
• Provided non-violent communication training.
Women Wage Peace
A broad-based Israeli grassroots movement, comprising women from diverse backgrounds, including Jewish, Arab Muslim and Christian, advocating for an end to violence through a return to negotiations and an increasing role of women in the future peace process. Working in parallel with Women of Sun, their Palestinian counterparts in the West Bank and Gaza. Link to website
• They tragically lost one of their activists and founders, Vivian Silver, who was violently killed in Kibbutz Be’eri during the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023.
• Called for the release of the hostages on social media and news outlets, as well as joining in demonstrations for the release of the hostages.
• Several leaders of the mouvement interviewed on different media plateforms
A Palestinian youth movement based in Ramallah focusing on leadership and promotion of a progressive society. Link to website
• They have tragically lost one of their activists and prominent colleagues, Ayat Khadura who was killed in the bombing of her home in Gaza.
• Organized a stress-relief activity to help and entertain a group of children from the Askar refugee camp in East Nablus.The camp is located near Joseph’s Tomb, where violent confrontations with the IDF often take place, making life difficult for the people there. During the session, the children learned different ways to relax and express their feelings. They drew pictures showing destroyed homes and wrote messages to other children. They also talked about things that scares them about the war. The children looked afraid and kept asking about the time and the security situation, showing that the psychological impact of the conflict has affected them. “It’s important for Zimam to provide ongoing support, counseling, and early intervention for the young and middle-aged people in the community, especially in areas where tensions are high”, says Rameh, Zimam’s coordinator who conducted the activity. Most of the messages the children wrote to the children in Gaza were about sharing their feelings and calling for an end to the war so that everyone can live in peace.