How I sleep better at night

Dear Friends,

It isn’t hard to find worthy causes in a world as broken as ours. The greater challenge, at least for me, is to decide which of the many worthy causes I dare adopt as my own. My resources are limited; the challenges seem infinite.

I was first drawn to the Parents Circle (PCFF) by its spirit and ethos of hope. In the context of perpetual bloodshed and the seeming impossibility of peace, here is a group of families – from both “sides” of the decades-old conflict – who’ve created means of reconciliation and respect. When I first met these heroes, I knew I was in the presence of the solution. My spirits soared.

Over my decade of engagement with the Parents Circle, I’ve been persuaded that the people-to-people approach of the brave members, each of whom has risen from grief to join hands in reconciliation, is an incomparably effective way forward – a way that, if expanded and adopted widely, could actually dissolve the conflict and inspire peace.

I’ve met scores of members of the Parents Circle; each had a potent story, and each was full of integrity. They create programs that work. They see truth as the way to peace, and they prove that courageous, honest family-to-family communication has a power that can silence bombs and rebuke violence.

Selfishly, I support Parents Circle because it lets me sleep better at night, knowing that I am part of a path to peace in a world and region desperately seeking hope.

The Parents Circle has grown since I first met it. This year alone it supported:

  • 410 Dialogue Encounters, engaging over 8,000 Israeli and Palestinian high school youth, young adults, adults, and international communities
  • 4 Parallel Narrative Experiences, each over 3 months in duration, engaging 120 Israelis and Palestinians in activities that explored the national and personal narratives of each side of the conflict.
  • A Parallel Narrative Alumni Conference, with 130 Israeli and Palestinian program alumni in attendance
  • 30 “Women to Women” dialogue meetings engaging a total of 670 women  in peacebuilding and reconciliation dialogue

PCFF is worthy of my support. It earns my loyalty and commitment every time I hear another family’s story, see hope in another child’s eyes, and hear the ancient call to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Wishing you peace in 2018,

Willa Shalit

Willa Shalit has served on the Board of the American Friends of the Parents Circle since 2015 and is a social entrepreneur, activist and strategic advisor. 

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