I believe that women hold the key to peace in the Middle East (and around the world). This is why, since 2005, I’ve been regularly leading circle gatherings in Israel that unite Jewish and Arab women, provide a space for them to heal from the trauma they've experienced, and empower them to claim their voices. You can see videos of this work at www.instituteforcirclework.org; look under Circlework in Israel/Videos.
Last year, smack in the middle of the Gaza war, I led my first circle for Palestinian women in the West Bank, and discovered that they are starving for this kind of work. It’s not just something they enjoy—they need it, and in the worst way.
I also train other circle leaders, and this September, we helped a Palestinian woman come to the USA and attend the Circlework Leadership Training. Her name is Nimala Kharoufeh (see her on the video!) and proud to say that she is now leading circles in Bethlehem.
Now, Nimala and the other West Bank women I worked with last year want me to come back and lead a two day women’s retreat from January 27-29, 2010. Most of these women live their entire lives in service of their families, so for them, taking two whole days off to nurture and heal themselves is unheard of. Yet they live in a war zone, their lives are more stressful than most of us can even imagine, and their need for nurturance is huge.
I feel a strong sense of sisterhood with these women, and have promised them I’m coming. So one way or another, I will. The problem is, January is coming right up, and thanks to the economic crisis, the Institute for Circlework, which funded my previous trips to Israel, is near broke. So I know I’m going, but not where the funding is going to come from.
That is where you come in! Since lower goals are easier to reach, we’re hoping to raise $4000 through Kickstarter. The actual cost of hosting a residential retreat for 25 Palestinian women in the West Bank, including travel expenses, tuition, meals and accommodation for 27 women (25 participants and 2 facilitators), and all administrative costs, is $5000.
I hope you'll become part of this groundbreaking project. Please consider making it possible for one Palestinian woman to come by donating 250 (tax-deductible) dollars to the Institute for Circlework! It’s a great gift to a woman who really needs and deserves it, as well as a great investment in peace and healing. Not to mention that we have some great rewards for you!
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