Our Shared Future:
Compassionate Listening in Israel & Palestine
May 14 – 25, 2014
Co-led by Andrea Cohen Kiener and Munteha Shukralla
a Jewish-American and Arab-American facilitator team
Click here to register.
Background: Compassionate Listening is based on a simple yet profound formula for the resolution of conflict: that to help reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of all sides.
On this basis, TCLP founder Leah Green began leading annual delegations to Israel and Palestine in 1991. Today, after 29 delegations in 22 years, and countless conflict transformation workshops for Israelis and Palestinians, TCLP is one of the oldest organizations engaged in people-to-people peacemaking.
Journeys begin in Jerusalem with an intensive training in Compassionate Listening. We then practice with a wide spectrum of Israelis and Palestinians – seeking the humanity of each person we encounter, while practicing our craft of listening and speaking from the heart. Through our daily practice in the field and our group sessions, participants come away with a deepened understanding of Compassionate Listening, a powerful skill set for peace-building in our families, communities, and in all conflict situations.
We will listen to people whose lives are profoundly impacted by this protracted conflict. Our goal during these visits is to understand the person in front of us – whatever their position or “side.” Our travels will be part pilgrimage, part condolence call and open inquiry as we deepen our understanding of the people of the region.
Leadership: The May 2014 will be co-led by a Jewish-American and Arab-American facilitator team, Andrea Cohen Kiener and Munteha Shukralla, both with long histories of involvement with the Compassionate Listening Project as facilitators, trainers, delegation leaders and board member. (Click on their names to read their bios.)
“The experience was amazing: eye-opening, mind-bending, and soul-shaking. I would recommend it heartily to anyone who really wants to experience, not just visit, the Holy Land.”
~ Dr. Robert Stall, medical doctor and Middle East peacemaker, participant in 2010 Journey co-led by Leah Green and Yael Petretti
Click here to register.
Cost: $2,980 (Your $500 deposit will hold your seat.)
Each trip is unique. Our intentions for the March 2014 Journey are:
- To meet with a diversity of people of all sides whose lives are profoundly effected by the situation on the ground;
- To explore aspects of land use and sustainability within and across borders, including an inquiry into food production and water resources;
- To learn about the security issues of all sides, and the impact of the wall;
- To sit with those who have suffered loss; and
- To respectfully visit sacred sites of the major faiths of the region.
We seek out Israelis and Palestinians who are involved in cutting-edge reconciliation work or who can illuminate a particular aspect of the complexities on the ground. We also listen to a remarkably diverse cross-section of people in each community, as well as those who have suffered greatly from the conflict. Each trip is hand-crafted and balanced so participants’ time is divided between listening sessions, Compassionate Listening training and group reflection. Listening sessions take place in homes, villages, offices, and cities throughout Israel and Palestine. Participants also enjoy visits to off the beaten track ancient sites, as well as major tourist sites while en route. Click here to see a sample itinerary.
“I have traveled to over 90 countries and been on a number of delegations with a particular interest in understanding the areas and the people I visit. The May 2010 Compassionate Listening Project Journey to Israel/Palestine was a profound personal experience. The insights I gained as I listened to the stories of everyone we met will stay with me all my life.”
– Anne Tonks, retired bank executive, participant in 2010 Journey co-led by Leah Green and Yael Petretti
Who Can Participate: This Journey is limited to 20 participants. We seek participants who have a genuine interest in the experience, hopes, dreams, and humanity of all Israelis and Palestinians. Our participants have come from every walk of life, and have ranged in age from 15 to 82 years of age. Couples and families are welcome. We welcome and honor participation of individuals from all nations and backgrounds. (The more diverse the participant group, the more powerful our experience has been). No prior experience with Compassionate Listening is necessary.
“I could not have arranged or even imagined the opportunities the Compassionate Listening Project offered to learn about Israel/Palestine issues first-hand. We met with individuals and groups who broadened my awareness and touched my heart, people I likely never would have met on my own. The tour leaders knew the area and the people, and ensured a top-notch learning experience. The other participants were a broad range of folks, each of whom taught me something about myself and the world. All in all, a wonderful trip.” ~ Sharon Kahn, participant in 2010 Journey co-led by Leah Green and Yael Petretti
Orientation/training: We begin in Jerusalem with a day-long training in Compassionate Listening. Our group continues to meet on a regular basis throughout each trip to continue training, while reflecting on our experience and deepening in our understanding and practice of this powerful reconciliation tool. This Journey is designed as an experiential training.
Project Support: Our Journeys are supported by several Israeli and Palestinian leaders actively involved in reconciliation work. They assist with project development and with our daily itinerary. Some have an active role in our Journey.
What Your Trip Cost Includes: All accommodations based on double occupancy with private bath and shower; breakfast and dinner daily; ground transportation; trip leaders; guides; tips and gratuity for hotels and driver; honoraria for Israeli and Palestinian speakers and hosts; and Compassionate Listening training. Single rooms are available for an additional $500. If we are unable to provide a roommate, the single room supplement may apply. Your early registration increases our chance of finding a good match for you.
Accommodations: We will begin this Journey in a hotel in Palestinian East Jerusalem as a base to explore both East and West Jerusalem. We will also stay in a West Bank hotel in or bordering on Bethlehem, and participants will be invited to spend one of the West Bank nights with a Palestinian family (always a trip highlight).
Airfare: Participants purchase their own airfare and meet in Jerusalem for dinner on May 14th. We provide excellent directions to make your travel as easy as possible to our Jerusalem hotel.
Reservations: Please complete the registration form and one of the journey leaders will contact you.
Fundraising/Financial Assistance: Participants on each one of our trips successfully raise all of their trip expenses. We encourage participants to seek funding within their own communities. If you are a member of a synagogue, mosque, church, peace group, academic community, or other organization, we suggest that you seek sponsorship from your local community. This will allow a wider number of people to become invested in the project and supportive of your experience. You might consider working together on a fundraising event. We also encourage you to request support from your network of family and friends – people often express tremendous gratitude for giving them a meaningful way to make a difference in the world. (We can send you a sample fundraising letter.) Participants also use our film, Children of Abraham, for their fundraising efforts – successful with both private and public screenings. Once we reach our minimum number of registrations, we can award two partial scholarships to participants with financial need who will benefit from participating in this Journey.
If We Cancel a Trip: We reserve the right to cancel a trip in certain circumstances: If dangerous political situations arise (which we’ve never had to do, up until this point). In this case we will refund your payments, minus $200. If you have already purchased your ticket and we have to cancel the trip, your airfare may be refunded – please refer to the policy of the air carrier. For this reason, we recommend travelers insurance.
If You Cancel Your Trip:
- 90 or more days before departure: Refund minus $200 administration fee;
- 45 – 89 days before departure: we will retain 30% of the trip price unless we can fill your seat from a waiting list, in which case we would only retain the $200 admin fee will;
- Less than 45 days before departure and “no shows”: We’re sorry, but we cannot provide any refund unless we find someone to take your place on the journey, due to the nonrefundable reservations we are locked into at this stage of the journey.
Please note that our trips are quoted as a package and refunds cannot be provided for unused portions.
Travelers Insurance: We encourage participants to purchase travel insurance. No one ever intends to cancel their trip; however, unforeseen circumstances can change travel plans. Baggage may be lost or damaged, and some medical insurance (including Medicare) will not provide coverage outside the U.S. For a modest price, protection can be provided for these and other concerns. “Trip Cancellation for Any Reason” will give you coverage in case of a medical issue in your extended family, or for whatever reason you need to change your plans. You can compare policies on Squaremouth.com.
Click here to register.
Munteha R. H. Shukralla has served as a Project Director and Journey leader for TCLP’s Syria/Lebanon track, a co-leader for the Israel/Palestine track, and board member from 2000-2006. She holds a BA from Portland State University in International Relations with a focus on the Middle East. Munteha has over 15 years experience in facilitation, personal coaching, and counseling. Throughout the past 14 years she has been deeply involved and supportive of The Compassionate Listening Project, including facilitating and hosting Compassionate Listening sessions in her native Oregon and taking the message to Universities in the deep south. Munteha co-led 3 delegations to the Middle East, including our first to Syria and Lebanon in 2003, and two to Israel and Palestine. In her professional realm, Munteha has held various Senior Management posts at Landmark Education over the last 10 years. At Landmark, she remains involved in leading transformational seminars and helping people achieve what they want for themselves and their lives. Munteha’s Kuwaiti/American background, world travel, and global family has given her a multi-faceted and unique view into the human side of conflict.
Andrea Cohen Kiener is a community activist in the fields of interfaith relations, environment and sustainable agriculture. She was director of Connecticut Interfaith Power and Light for 10 years and an ordained rabbi and counselor (Alliance for Jewish Renewal) and spiritual leader of Congregation P’nai Or of Central Connecticut and a certified facilitator of Compassionate Listening.
Andrea is the translator of Conscious Community by Rabbi Kalanymous Kalman Shapira, of blessed memory, a rabbi of the Warsaw Ghetto. Her other publications include For All Who Call: A Guide to the Enhancement of the Instruction of Jewish Prayer and Claiming Earth As Common Ground by Jewish Lights Publishers. Andrea has been to the Middle East 6 times with the Compassionate Listening Project, including leading and co-leading five Journeys to Israel and Palestine.