"Peace is possible when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable (…) the members of the Parents Circle have experienced this truth In the depths of their Suffering and loss. They have found that there Is more that unites us than Divides us, that we are All members of one family, the human family (…)" Desmond M. Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus
Letter to The Parents Circle – Families Forum, April 2004
It is, as far as we know, a world precedent that bereaved families, victims from both sides, embark on a joint reconciliation mission while the conflict is still active.
Consisting of several hundreds of bereaved families, half Palestinian and half Israeli, The Families Forum has played a crucial role since its inception in 1995, in spearheading a reconciliation process between Israelis and Palestinians. The Forum members have all lost immediate family members due to the violence in the region.Our mission statement
• To prevent further bereavement, in the absence of peace
• To influence the public and the policy makers – to prefer the way of peace on the way of war
• To educate for peace and reconciliation
• To promote the cessation of acts of hostility and the achievement of a political agreement
• To prevent the usage of bereavement as a means of expanding enmity between our peoples
• To uphold mutual support between our members
We strive to offer a breakthrough in people's frame of mind, to allow a change of perception, a chance to re-consider one's views and attitudes towards the conflict and the other side.
The Forum activities are a unique phenomenon, in that they continue during all political circumstances and in spite of all tensions and violence in our region.
Our members initiate and lead projects throughout the Israeli and Palestinian communities.
"Knowing is the Beginning" - PCFF members visiting Yad Va Shem the Israeli Holocaust Museum. (2007)Our programs
Face-to Face Reconciliation Programs - Dialogue Meetings for youth and adults, Youth Leadership Seminars, Internet Reconciliation Program, "Messengers of Reconciliation" activity.
Public And Media Activities - "Opening Hearts" TV drama series (in preparation), "Offering Reconciliation" art exhibition, "Hello Shalom/Salaam" free Israeli / Palestinian phone chat system, Weekly radio program on the "All for Peace" radio, Overseas lecture delegations, Internet website, newsletters.
Member Activities - Member Seminars and workshops, Professional training for activists, lecturers, spokespeople, Children and youth meetings and summer camps.
For further, detailed and current information please visit our website.
"Knowing is the Beginning" - PCFF members visiting a village which existed before 1948 , called Ekbeba. (2007)Organizational Information
The Parents Circle – Families Forum is registered as a not-for –profit organization ("Amuta") in Israel, reg. number 580328995, and in the USA. We have a 501 (C) 3 status for tax exempt donations.
The Forum operates from two offices, the Israeli office located in Ramat Ef'al (suburb of Tel Aviv) and the Palestinian office in A-Ram (north of Jerusalem). We currently employ 13 staff members (directors, project and field coordinators, International relations and administrative staff). The organization is operated and backed up by a large body of volunteers from the bereaved families as trained and experienced lecturers, facilitators and activists. The Forum is supported by a network of friend organizations in the United States, Britain, Germany and Israel.