The Parents Circle needs your help!

This week, we launched our Indiegogo campaign, If They Can Choose Peace…Anyone Can, to raise $15,000 to support the Parents Circle in engaging bereaved Israelis and Palestinians who have not yet joined the organization and provide them with training to become advocates for peace. We’re almost there — we’re at 75% of our goal!

We have received a generous matching gift from the Source of Hope Foundation. If we reach our fundraising goal of $15,000, they have pledged $10,000 to the campaign! Help us reach that goal this week! 

Please help spread the word about our campaign! Here are some ways you can help:

New Israeli Co-Director for the Parents Circle

We are happy to announce the appointment of Rami Elhanan as the new Israeli Co-Director of the Parents Circle. Rami Elhanan will be working hand-in-hand with Mazen Faraj, the Palestinian Co-Director of the Parents Circle.

Rami Elhanan lost his daughter, Smadar, in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in September, 1997. He has been a Parents Circle member for the last 18 years. Read more of his inspirational story here.

We wish Rami Elhanan every success in his new role.

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If They Can Choose Peace…Anyone Can

We are excited to launch our 2016 Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to raise $15,000 so that we can connect and engage with bereaved Israelis and Palestinians who have not yet joined our organization, provide them with Parents Circle program scholarships and encourage them to join us in using their stories of loss to inspire hope and reconciliation.

We need your help! We have already raised 40% of our objective. Please make a donation and help us reach our goal. You can donate here.  

The Parents Circle doesn’t want new members; we want the cycle of violence to end, but this conflict continues to take innocent lives on both sides. Help us continue our efforts to reach out to the bereaved and invite them to take part in our programs. Our members are our greatest resource in combatting hatred and divisive propaganda, in the pursuit of a lasting peace and an end to the cycle of violence and bereavement.

Help spread the word about our campaign through emails, social media, and word of mouth. We hope to reach new supporters and audiences through this campaign in addition to reaching our funding goal of $15,000. Share this page with your friends!

The funds we will raise will help our outreach coordinators meet with new members and will provide 15 scholarships for new members to participate in dialogue meetings, narrative workshops, and peacebuilding activities as they become advocates for peace and reconciliation.

You can help a little or a lot – please reach out to Christopher Beachy (americanfriendspc@gmail.com) if you have any questions about how to be involved.

In peace,

American Friends of the Parents Circle-Families Forum

Reconciliation Defeats Revenge

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While watching the bereaved African-American mothers on the stage at the Democratic Convention, I thought just how much we mothers, who have lost children, have in common, regardless of color, creed or national identity. I thought that all bereaved mothers in the world should rise up together and say, “Enough! Stop the killing. Let our children live out the course of their lives. We cannot continue to have the dreadful task of burying our sons and daughters and of continuing our motherhood by tending to graves and pretending that planting flowers and plants brings solace.”

Read the rest of this HuffPost blog article by PCFF spokesperson and bereaved mother, Robi Damelin, here.

Meet Ziva and Khalid

Meet Ziva Rakhamim and Khalid Juma, two participants in the Parents Circle’s Narrative Project who came to see the power in dialogue with the other side.

My name is Ziva Rakhamim and I am from Or Yehuda. A flyer for the Narrative Project caught my attention and I decided to sign up even though I have always felt that the conflict is too complex and didn’t take a stand either way. When I was accepted into the project, I apologized and explained that I had no ideas for resolving the conflict, but that I was willing to listen and observe. At my first meeting, I heard the personal stories of Palestinian women, and how they suffered loss, grief, and distress, and I felt close to them immediately. By the end of the meeting, I realized I was better able to understand their suffering as I slowly remembered my own childhood experiences of war, memories that were well suppressed.

I remembered the Six Day War, running into shelters with alarms sounding. I remembered the Yom Kippur War, when my father and three brothers were recruited, hearing my mother say that she could only sleep at night with sleeping pills. I remembered how I felt when I received the news that one of my brothers was wounded and lost an eye, and I remembered how everything changed after that, how my parents became solely concerned with the rehabilitation of my injured brother and how they forgot about me.

All of this made me think of peace, and that we cannot wait for leaders on either side, but that even the peace achieved in this women’s group is another step forward on the road to a comprehensive solution.

Read more about Ziva: Hebrew and Arabic


My name is Khalid Juma, and I work as a high school teacher in Palestine. I live in Aroub Refugee Camp, near Hebron, and participated in the Parallel Narratives Experience.

Taking part in this project had a powerful impact on me, as I’ve never had a conversation in Palestine with Jewish Israelis who are willing to discuss the rights of the Palestinian people.

During the first meeting, we went on two tours as part of studying the narratives of both sides. The first was to the village of Lifta, whose Palestinian residents were expelled in 1948. This visit brought a deep sadness to my soul and made me remember stories my father used to tell us about his home village, Hata.

The second tour was held at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, where we learned of the suffering of Jewish people under the Nazis in World War II. What I saw greatly saddened me, and the photos and descriptions left a deep pain in the tour participants. I hoped and expected that the Jewish people, because of the power and influence they now have, would not repeat acts of discrimination and the oppression of powerless people.

During the meetings, I made lasting ties with Israelis. I found people whose empathy is genuinely transformational, and who support our right to live in freedom in an independent state.

Read more about Khalid: Hebrew and Arabic