It has been a busy first half of the year for the Parents Circle. Here are some of our highlights:
PCFF Members Retreat
Over 250 members were present at our retreat. The constant threat of the current socio-political environment in Israel and Palestine has again made it clear to us the unprecedented strength of our community. It is the personal stories and convictions of our members that we bring to the table, and how we sustain our ability to present the reality of “another way,” even during these difficult times. A video of the joint statement drafted by members at this retreat is available here.
Alumni of the “Creating Change” group– a cohort of Israelis and Palestinians who recently participated in the Narrative Project together– joined fellow bereaved members at PCFF’s Peace Square, a weekly event in Jaffa, to share their stories and talk about the Narrative Project. Earlier in the day, Israeli members of “Creating Change” invited their Palestinian peers to the beach, which was very moving: two of the Palestinians had never been to the beach before.
PCFF General Assembly
The PCFF General Assembly convened to review and approve the financial statements for 2015, among other activities. The two Boards of Directors – one Palestinian and one Israeli — were replaced by a single joint Israeli-Palestinian board, signifying the conclusion of a long process to develop a fully joint organization on all levels of operation. The members are proud of this achievement, believing that PCFF can continue to provide an example to Israelis and Palestinians of the possibility of coexistence.
Joint Projects, developed by Palestinian and Israeli Parallel Narrative Experience (PNE) alumni, signify the conclusion of the Across Two Narratives Project, funded by the European Union Peace-building Initiative. The Joint Projects included a Hebrew-Arabic phrase book to facilitate cross-border communication, an accessible legal resource website for Palestinians’ rights, a social “Breakfast Club” and a Cultural Immersion Program that was kicked off by joint Palestinian- Israeli Iftar dinners in Beit Jala.
Upcoming: Youth Camp for Peace and Reconciliation
This coming August, young Israelis and Palestinians will come together again to learn about the other side in our Youth Summer Program. Through tours and a variety of activities and workshops, they will share in in each other’s culture and customs, in the hope that they will be able to serve as ambassadors of peace among their peers and within their communities. Participants are joined by an experienced team of PCFF members, who help facilitate discussions and activities, which take place in both Hebrew and Arabic.