Creating Leaders in Peacebuilding in Israel and Palestine
This grant is in accordance with number one of Rotary's area of focus Peace and Conflict Resolution guidelines: Group activities including workshops, trainings, and other programs that support peace leadership and education, Positive Peace, community integration of vulnerable populations, facilitated dialogue, communication, and conflict prevention and transformation". The project would focus on three main groups-young adults, women and clergy. It will enhance the capacity of individuals and communities to transform conflict and build peace through the lens of spiritual and historical perspectives; train the target groups in peace education, peace leadership, and conflict prevention and resolution; as well as provide information and support that can help integrate vulnerable populations into society.
Specifically, in each target group - clergy, women, and young adults- an equal number of each of the four traditions will be part of long-term clusters. Those clusters will begin and continue dialogue monthly or twice a month, discuss and compare different interpretations of texts and traditions, and build a resource network for each other and their communities. When possible, the monthly large meetings the Abrahamic Reunion organization held previously will be re-instated to reach a larger audience, and to train more leaders. As these create and identify more interested individuals, then the number of small groups within an area will increase. They will be coordinated by staff and appropriate leaders, and will eventually become 'chapters' that stabilize an area, increase commitment to peace and weave a peace narrative into the cultural fabric.
Education, facilitated dialogue, leadership and skills training, and conflict prevention will be elements of each group's training. The grant would create and allow more conversations, develop scheduled, on-going contact and stable interactions - a foundation for trust and understanding, and would provide leadership and skills training and organized methods of expansion to ensure sustainability, and develop the critical mass necessary for long-lasting, community wide attitude change and peace.
Program Overview: 2-3yr program proposal. For each year:
• 36 trainings & events in 3 program tracks: Women, Youth, Clergy
• Training leaders in skills for becoming peacebuilders and facilitators using interfaith dialogue. Creating Chapters maintained by the Abrahamic Reunion will ensure sustainability and the continuation of the peacebuilding process.
• Contract with Peacebuilder experts for additional work coordinating increased events and centers
• Contract with Skills trainers for specific segments of the training
• Contract with a Women's track coordinator
• 6 months Online Programming at start of grant when in-person not possible
• 6 months In-Person programming when possible. If in-person is not possible, training will be conducted Online.
• 1st year:
o Early meetings for the three tracks will be training with Skills Trainers & AR Peacebuilders.
o Later meetings will have trainees organize and facilitate events for the community, with support, supervision and evaluation from Rotarians and AR Peacebuilders and Trainers
o To integrate what is being taught, Religious leaders will be encouraged to begin the dialogue process within their communities at the beginning of the training and continue it throughout the process.
• 2nd Year
o Parallel program of 3 cohorts in Palestine begins on-line if physically and politically possible
o The end of 2nd year, trainees organize and launch peace Chapters in Israel. The chapters will begin to train more peacebuilders, as well as ensure continuation and sustainability of first year program. These will include foundations in congregations led by participating Religious Leaders.
o 2nd Year-end Summit for all peacebuilders being trained, and partially organized by second year Israel trainees.
• 3rd year: 1st group of peacebuilders will continue in depth training, as well as begin, organize and train more peacebuilders via Chapters, with support and supervision when necessary from Rotarians and AR Peacebuilders
• 16 participants per track - Equally distributed Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Druze
• Culturally sensitive and gender aware selection processes in all tracks employed by expert Training & Peacebuilding team
o 3 Parallel Cohorts trained in Israel and Palestine (Palestine starts a year later). When in-person programs start again the cohorts will meet at annual Summits, given that cross-border permits will be able to be secured.
Skills to be learned:
• Nonthreatening communication for networking
• Active Listening
• Discussion facilitation
• Conversational de-escalation, conflict management & prevention
• Proficient understanding of religious, ethnic, and political groups and landscape in the Holy Land for effective peacebuilding
• Community event organizational skills including: legal and permit issues, site selection and preparation, security, promotion, catering, transportation, program design and production, staffing, and evaluation.
• Training in 20-yr paradigm of Middle-East Based Peacebuilding Skills for interfaith-based discussion
• Peacebuilding skills addressing negative peace: removal of violence, intimidation, threat
• Positive Peace skills: transparency in communication, increase in human capital, human relations, security, feeling of safety.
• Three levels conflict mediation and facilitation - introductory - first year, intermediate second year and advanced third year.
Grant descriptive statistics:
# of participants - 52
# clusters formed - 24
# trained leaders - 48
# of hours participated - 120
# of events conducted - 60 training sessions
# of training hours - 120
During and at the end of each year, and the end of the training, Ramia Rotary and AR will:
Measure participant satisfaction and changes by survey. Those responses will then be compared to data from other groups .
At the end of the first year will be a test of trained participants. They will be asked to:
Show 3 ways to diffuse a situation.
Articulate 3 ways each faith is similar to the other.
Enumerate 3 times in their own social group they represented unity & then describe it.
FINAL EXAM FOR PEACEBUILDERS: They will organize, promote and run a 'summit' -a meeting of all three tracks - eventually from both countries.
They will have begun to organize chapters in their locale.
The most pressing need in Israel is peace between the various communities. Peace is a prerequisite of solving of any other challenge, whether economic, environmental or elemental identity. Peace requires a critical mass of people who are unafraid of their neighbors and committed to an inclusive future that provides understanding and compassion to all people living in Israel and the West Bank. This program will contribute to the building of that critical mass by training 48 peacemakers committed to establishing 24 chapters of people committed to the peacemaking. These will create experiences for people to overcome their fear of 'the Other' and celebrate their similarities and differences. This will create momentum towards peace.