EVENTS G ala 2006
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On Monday, May 22nd, Seeds of Peace held its annual gala dinner “An Evening Saluting Women Peacemakers” for 500 guests. Hosted by 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, the evening honored former Executive Director Meredith Katz-Gantcher and awarded First Lady of the Arab Republic of Egypt Suzanne Mubarak, with the John P. Wallach Peacemaker Award.
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This year’s gala, which took place at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, raised 1.8 million dollars for Seeds of Peace.
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Accepting the John P. Wallach Peacemaker Award on behalf of Mrs. Mubarak was the Egyptian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, His Excellency Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz. Attendees included, among others, Seeds of Peace board members Bob and Jane Toll, Paul Bernstein, Helaine and Fred Gould and actor Michael Nouri.
UPCOMING EVENTS • March 2007, Young Leadership Event, NYC • May 2007, New York City Gala, The Pierre Hotel, NYC
Janet Wallach, Seeds of Peace President and honoree Meredith Katz Gantcher.
Seeds of Peace board members Richard Berman, Fred Gould and Bob Toll.
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SPECIAL REPORT Fall 2006
Letter from the President Dear Friends, This letter brings you news of Seeds of Peace programs around the world. Despite a tidal wave of bad news this summer – war in Lebanon, ﬁghting in Gaza – we brought together 350 Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Indians, Pakistanis and Americans for the 14th year of the Seeds of Peace International Camp. The profound importance of this transformational experience was underscored by the fact that this summer our professional facilitators were Seeds alumni who have been trained in mediation and facilitation. As we welcome more of our alumni in leadership roles within Seeds of Peace, we ﬁnd ourselves saying a fond farewell (but not goodbye) to Tim Wilson who has been our Camp Director since 1993. Tim has been a force of strength and discipline and a voice for respect, tolerance and love. Although Tim has decided to step aside and pursue other interests, including his passion for coaching, he will be joining us from time to time. Succeeding him will be Leslie Lewin, a long time member of our program staff, known for her energy and dedication. She will be assisted by Will Smith, another popular and highly respected ﬁgure at camp. A dynamic duo awaits the campers next summer. Seeds activities continued non-stop as we brought together 33 of our Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian older alumni for an Action Summit this past September. Spurred on by the sad events of the summer, these young people, now in their twenties, worked together for three days, planning joint projects for the coming year. That same week, Seeds of Peace participated in the Clinton Global Initiative, emphasizing our commitment to invest in our alumni and help them strengthen their ties to one another and teach the values of Seeds of Peace to thousands of others in their communities. In the words of Madeline Albright at the CGI, “Seeds of Peace is one of the most remarkable organizations…[Their] global impact…is…essential” As you will see in this bulletin, with your support our programs are ﬂourishing in the Middle East, South Asia, and in the U.S. Our heartfelt thanks to you for making Seeds of Peace stronger than ever. Your investment in Seeds is reaping valuable leaders for the future. Best Regards, Janet Wallach, President
The Action Summit This September, over thirty Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, and Jordanian Seeds graduates, whose involvement stretches over a decade, gathered in New York. Their objective was to develop programs and networking initiatives that will foster more cooperation between Arabs and Israelis and increase the impact and effectiveness of Seeds of Peace in the Middle East.
“It was impressive to see the level of commitment and optimism…” - Keren, Israeli participant
The Summit offered a unique opportunity for these young adults, who have known each other since they were teens, to work together. From the moment they arrived on the campus of Manhattanville College, they were excited to turn their friendships into constructive working relationships. Following is a list of the four committees and the programs they created for the coming year: Professional Network Committee: Seeds trained in facilitation will run Dialogue Sessions in Israeli and Palestinian schools. Israeli and Palestinian Seeds will organize Business Forums for professionals in both communities to learn from and network with invited speakers. They will also hold Professional Development Seminars on subjects such as law, education, business and religion. Politics Committee: Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, and Jordanian Seeds will design an Educational Political Seminar Series for Seeds in the region to learn about each country’s political system, peace treaties, and critical issues in the Arab-Israeli conﬂict. This Seminar Series will culminate in a multinational event to capture their ﬁndings in a joint document. Israeli and Palestinian Seeds who ﬁrst engaged in dialogue as teenagers will return to dialogue as more experienced young adults.
Community Outreach Committee: Israeli and Arab Seeds will conduct extensive outreach programs to engage their families, friends, schoolmates, and community members to multiply the impact of Seeds of Peace in the region. They will organize mentoring programs (pairing a Seed with a nonSeed), presentations in schools, partnerships with local corporations, and art contests in schools and local organizations. SOP Network Committee: Israeli and Arab Seeds alumni will hold a Leadership Training Seminar in the summer of 2007 to assess the past year’s progress and to plan for new and continued programming. Major National Outreach Events will be held in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, Egypt and Jordan designed to draw as many Israeli and Arab Seeds into their teams. Mentoring Programs will allow older Seeds to advise and support younger Seeds in community involvement.
“The Summit was very goal-oriented…clear topics, clear expectations…really empowered us to make our projects happen.” - Lama, Palestinian participant
In addition to the work of the four Committees, a Communications and Technology Workshop was held, where the Seeds discussed ways in which technology could facilitate cross border communication – a critical issue given the current logistical challenges of bringing Arabs and Israelis together in the Middle East. Unequivocally, the Action Summit was a success. By producing exciting and concrete results, Summit participants developed a clear plan for working together in the coming year. They have returned to their homes in the Middle East invigorated and ready to put their plans into action.
Seeds of Peace
International Camp in Maine Despite the violence in the region and the nearly overwhelming odds of bringing delegations to the US, Seeds of Peace ran two very successful camp sessions in 2006. It took days of urgent phone calls between top US, Israeli, and Palestinian ofﬁcials, staff working around the clock, permissions, visas, and route changes. But then it happened: delegations of Israelis and Palestinians, including young leaders from Haifa and the North of Israel and from refugee camps in the West Bank, arrived at our camp in Maine. Joined by delegations from Egypt, Jordan, India, Pakistan and the US, in an environment apart from the pressures of their home communities, these young people were acutely aware of the tremendous challenges they face as they took part in dialogue and leadership sessions.
NBA PLAY FOR PEACE Once again, we were pleased to welcome stars from the National Basketball Association who held the ﬁfth annual Seeds of Peace Play for Peace clinic for our campers. Players included BJ Armstrong (formerly of the Chicago Bulls), Etan Thomas (Washington Wizards), LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers), Brian Scalabrine (Boston Celtics), Jordan Farmar (LA Lakers), and WNBA player Andrea Stinson (Detroit Shock). This year’s clinic,
Seeds Cafe Once a month, the Seeds Café convenes in Jerusalem, bringing together Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims, for a social and cultural gathering. In a relaxed atmosphere, participants get to know each other and enjoy refreshments and live music. Invited guests present different aspects of life in these communities and a discussion follows. Topics in 2006 have included the Israeli and Palestinian art scene, café life in East and West Jerusalem, food customs in both communities with a sampling of specialties, and life in Jerusalem through the memories of members of venerable Jewish and Muslim families living in the City since the Middle Ages. The next Seeds Café will present social and family issues as reﬂected in two televised series: a Palestinian soap opera, Shu Fi, Ma Fi, and an Israeli docu-drama, Meurva Yerushalmi. Seeds Café provides a welcoming, nonpolitical environment for 50 to 100 Israelis and Palestinians from all walks of life. They have the opportunity to learn about each other’s community and lifestyles, transcending the often charged strains in the region. The Seeds Café is co-coordinated by Dorothy Gitter Harman and Dr. Mohammed Dajani.
as always, was a great success for the Seeds, the staff, and the players. Brian Scalabrine compared the players to the Seeds: “I may be from one place on Earth and my teammate is from another, but once we get on the court we need to rely on each other to play well and win.”
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION Facilitators
Seeds Meet Leaders in D.C.
In a new and exciting development, this summer, most of the Israeli and Palestinian teams leading the dialogue sessions were older Seeds trained as professional facilitators. See article on page 3.
This year the Peer Support group traveled to Washington, D.C. where they took part in a community service project with grade school children at a charter school; met with senior ofﬁcials at the National Security Council and the Department of State, and engaged with many legislators on Capitol Hill including Senator Hillary Clinton and Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. They also met with several members of Congress including Senator Barbara Boxer. The South Asian campers visited Washington prior to their departure back home and met with Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and Judge James Scott Sledge at the Library of Congress. The trips successfully demonstrated ﬁrst-hand how Seeds are well equipped by their experiences with Seeds of Peace to engage in meaningful dialogue with the current generation of leaders.
Peer Support Each summer a select group of Seeds graduates returns to camp to serve as role models and provide support for the new campers. They are chosen through a competitive process based upon their demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to Seeds of Peace. The programming for these campers is focused on advanced dialogue and enhancement of their leadership skills. Early in each session the ﬁfty-two Peer Support campers participated in an Outdoor Leadership Program, a two and a half day camping trip designed to help the group form strong bonds.
Seeds of Understanding Camp in Gaza This summer, Seeds of Peace hosted a unique day camp in Gaza for 200 Palestinian children, ages eight to ten, called Seeds of Understanding Camp, which taught non-violent and cooperative ways of pursuing peace. The camp was led by Dr. Mohammed Isleem, Seeds of Peace Program Director in Gaza. The children learned the values of tolerance and volunteering, as well as how to cooperate with one another. The closing ceremony was an inspiring event with performances by the youngsters, an art display, a musical band, and a certiﬁcate presentation. The children enjoyed being in such an enriching environment. At a time when many of the images from Gaza reﬂect the futility of violence and stagnation, the success of this program demonstrates that these children can learn reconciliation to pursue peaceful coexistence in the future.
South Asia In September 2006, three workshops were held in the South Asian region focusing on conﬂict resolution and leadership training. More than seventy Indian and Pakistani Seeds attended the workshops in order to follow-up with their Seeds training. The Seeds engaged in activities such as discussion groups and role playing that enabled them to tackle issues pertaining to peace and leadership.
PAN/SOP WORLD CONFLICT RESOLUTION MODELS Indian Workshop: Mumbai, India Educators Workshop: Lahore, Pakistan Indian and Pakistani Seeds learned about various widely used models of conﬂict resolution. After discussing them, the Seeds held role playing workshops within the framework of each of these models. They also created and answered “Prime Ministerial Level Problems,” topics that focused on national issues such as Kashmir, water tension, and Indian/Pakistani relations.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING Bring-a-Friend Workshop: Lahore, Pakistan At the start of this two-day workshop, each Seed took a survey to discover his/her leadership style, and then discussed the pros and cons of each style. The participants also discussed their plans for Seeds of Peace in Pakistan, including ideas for Pakistani/ Indian dialogue. On the ﬁnal day, participants brought friends with them to the workshop, and engaged in activities and discussions on gender issues and Pakistani/Indian relations.
Joint Venture Business Internship Program During the Summer of 2006, the President’s Action Network (PAN), part of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) partnered with Seeds of Peace to create the PAN/SOP Joint Venture Internship Program. PAN (www.pannetwork.org) was formed in 2001 with the objective of leveraging YPO members’ unique skills, resources and network to promote peace, understanding and action. The goal of the Joint Venture program is to promote these goals through an exchange of overseas business internships for promising young Arabs and Israelis with a shared professional interest. The Joint Venture program enabled four Palestinian, Israeli, and Egyptian Seeds to spend ten weeks working at three companies in the Washington D.C. area: The Health Central Network, The Washington Post online, and Friedman Billings Ramsey. As one intern reported: “Thank you … this has been one of the best experiences in my life so far. The company choice was great, the atmosphere was amazing, and I am learning a lot!”
Seeds Come Back as Facilitators We are proud to report that for the ﬁrst time in the history of Seeds of Peace, most of the dialogue sessions at our International Camp in Maine this past summer were facilitated by Seeds Alumni. Professionally-trained facilitators are an essential element in the success of Seeds of Peace’s conﬂict resolution program, and until now, Seeds of Peace has employed professional facilitators to lead the daily dialogue sessions at the camp. As part of the Graduate Program for its alumni, Seeds of Peace has developed training courses for Israeli and Palestinian Seeds who are entering careers as young adults and who have an interest in the ﬁelds of facilitation, negotiation, mediation and conﬂict resolution. A professional facilitation course was offered in the Middle East region by Walid Hamed and Ariel Huler. It consisted of observation and analysis of dialogue sessions for Israeli and Palestinian students attending Hebrew University and AlQuds University in Jerusalem via closed circuit TV. Graduate Seeds progressed from observing facilitation to conducting facilitation sessions both in the region and at camp.
Another course offered by Seeds of Peace to graduate Seeds was developed in conjunction with Michael Tsur, founder and director of Jerusalem’s Mediation and Conﬂict Resolution Institute, and Khalid Salim Shalim, director of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Mediation Center. The curriculum for this course uniquely reﬂects the needs of Israelis and Palestinians. At camp, under the supervision of Ariel and Walid, the graduate Seeds worked in pairs with our teenaged Seeds. As facilitators the graduates not only elicited meaningful dialogue between the campers, they served as inspiring role models for the Seeds. The Dialogue Sessions (as well as the entire camp experience) were made richer and more meaningful as a result of the graduate facilitators.
conﬂict can be resolved “onlyI think when the two sides resort to a
Seeds Facilitators not only use their skills at camp, but upon their return to the Middle East, they also facilitate Seeds of Peace dialogue groups, activities, school programs and workshops in the Middle East. They participate in Outreach Projects to spread core values such as human rights, religious pluralism, ethnic tolerance, gender equality, and constructive bi-national dialogue.
dialogue process. They have to forget their pasts, however bitter it might have been, for we are all living in the present and for the future. I feel dialogue and accepting each other’s faults is the ﬁrst step toward building peaceful relations.
-Janeen, Seed and 2006 facilitator at Camp
Published on Jan 11, 2012