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Parents Circle-Families Forum

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Parents Circle-Families Forum

Bereaved families supporting peace, reconciliation and tolerance. The Forum members have all lost immediate family members due to the violence in the region.

Website: http://www.theparentscircle.com
Location: Israel and Palestine
Peacemakers: 35
Latest Activity: Oct 18, 2011

The Parents Circle – Families Forum : Introduction

"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.


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Comment by Eyal Raviv on December 29, 2009 at 11:46am
Keep up the good work.
Comment by Eyal Raviv on August 29, 2009 at 8:30am
Recommended to our peacemakers today!
Comment by Jalal Khudairy on January 10, 2009 at 1:28pm
DISASTERS OF THE WAR
Jalal Khudiari
In 1967 my parents, my five sisters (Leila, Khawla, Salwa, Asma and Sana) and my two brothers (Jamal and little Hisham) and I lived in Jenin. We had to flee to Amman. The ongoing war and the painful memories of the 48 massacre, gave us more than enough reason to leave for Amman. We left in a car that my father had rented for us. He stayed at home to finish some important things. It was god's will that he didn't accompany us.

In a small village on other side of the Jordan River, the pain hit us. I was 5 years old. Each moment, each second is still registered in my memory. My mother carried my little brother in her arms; my sisters were at her sides. I saw an Israeli plane approaching, it flew very low and very close to us, with an alarming noise. When it came close to us my skin started to burn because of the plane attack. It returned in less than one minute and sent a bomb. After the explosion there were bodies everywhere, hell’s doors opened at that moment. I looked at my mother and my little brother, whose face was cut into two. The explosive went through my brother and touched my mother. My sister Salwa’s leg was cut in two she had also lost some of her fingers. Many metal splinters penetrated her body in different places. Metal splinters also penetrated my leg which I have to say, denied me a normal childhood. My sister Asma was killed.

A few minutes later, a Jordanian soldier removed the bodies from the remains of the vehicle. The wounded were taken to the hospital. Before they left a Jordanian soldier bandaged my leg. Only my three sisters, Khawla, Leila and Sana and I remained. I called my mother and my father, but there was nobody to answer. We wanted to go to Amman as mama had planned for us. The suffering grew when we found my brother Jamil. He was thrown from the car and a Bedouin found him. His hair was singed and it was flaring. My sister Leila, although very small, succeeded in stopping a car and we found ourselves at the door of a hospital. My father was there; much weakened, and could not speak to us. I never thought to see him in this state; for me he was Superman, the one man who could protect us from any danger, the smart captain who sails his ship through the waves to a safe shore. I never thought that I would see what I saw that day in the hospital.

Since then, not a day, not a moment passed, that I thought I would ever speak to an Israeli. I was convinced that whoever spoke Hebrew was an assassin. There was in me only blood, pain, and violence.
One day, a very significant event occurred. One of my friends died in the Intifada. I returned home filled with hatred of the Jews, blood, and the war. My father heard me, and saw how much I was shaken, and he did not speak to me. He is a religious man. Some time later, Jordan television presented a program on Hitler and the Holocaust, and my father invited me to watch it, without saying anything. I watched and saw. After the showing, he said to me: "I want that you learn a thing. When you hate somebody, you cannot reflect, when you cannot reflect, you cannot make a good decision. Hatred can only cause you to make errors, and life cannot continue like that. It is necessary that you have a positive role in your own life."
Comment by Sharon Kalimi Misheiker on September 14, 2008 at 9:36am
Thanks Donna you are the best!!!!!!
Comment by Sharon Kalimi Misheiker on September 14, 2008 at 9:36am
Dear Yahya, thanks for joining us, You probably know that the PCFF has an important part in the movie Encounter Point. More movies:
1. Good Intentions the t.v. drama inspierd by the PCFF.
2. Behind the Intentions : about the PCFF and a behind-the-scenes documentary film of the making of "Good Intentions"
3. "2"
4. A video clip "Angel - Ha-anashim"
Comment by Max S on September 11, 2008 at 3:01pm
I have read a lot about this forum. It is a very good idea to open it up. Thanks Donna.
Comment by Adam Nerk on September 11, 2008 at 1:58am
Thaaaanks Donna , seems great
Cheeeeeeeeeeeers
Comment by Yahya Merchant on September 10, 2008 at 9:03pm
I am currently working with several organizations here in California to stage showings of the film Encounter Point which I am sure you are familiar with as it deals with this same situation. The first showing is scheduled in a Catholic Church and co-sponsored by Global Exchange and will be in October. Let me know of other similar documentaries taht we can show here.
Comment by Sharon Kalimi Misheiker on August 25, 2008 at 12:54pm
PCFF'S Peace Sign –Nominees’ Submission


On International Peace Day, the 20th of September 2008, for the second time, the PCFF will make an award to two Peace Makers (groups, organizations or individuals), one Israeli and one Palestinian.

We invite the public to recommend nominees who made a special contribution to mutual understanding, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence between Palestinians and Israelis.

Written nominations for the Peace Sign need to be submitted by the 7th of September 2008. To receive the Nomination form, please contact Ariella Shainok or our Website.

The Awards Committee is set up by PCFF members and public personalities.

Last year the award was given to;
- Mr. Billal Zacharana who saved an Israeli IDF officer from the mob in Jenin.
- The Villages’ Group - A group of Israeli individuals who, since 2002, have maintained daily contact with residents of villages in the West Bank who were hurt by the occupation. The group also cooperate with the villages’ local leadership in the areas of agricultural development and local development.

Comment by Sharon Kalimi Misheiker on August 21, 2008 at 2:47pm
Watch the short documentary "2"

Tal Kfir Shur PCFF member and a "Bezalel" Graduate, documented herself and Shirin Isawi (who is also a PCFF member), in her short film; "2".

Shirin lost her brother Fadi who was shot by an Israeli soldier. Tal lost her sister Yael who was killed by a suicide bomber.

"2" is part of the short film competition "Gestures of Reconciliation", supported by the Goethe-Institut and sponsored by the "Remembrance and Future" Fund.

13:32 min. Subtitles Eng.
 

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