Trip Summaries

 

February  2016: A new team-member and a view of Tel Aviv from the West Bank
“…Very early Wednesday morning, I went to a moving monthly service of Women of the Wall in Jerusalem. Immediately afterwards, I spent the day working with a potential grantee–an organization that delivers diabetes prevention and treatment in the West Bank. It was a beautiful clear day. This village was on a hilltop–very close to many Jewish settlements, a number of which were clearly encroaching on the land belonging to the village… MORE >

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February  2015: In the Shadow of Israeli Elections
“…I visited Susiya, south of Hebron, where we support an intervention focused on counselling young women and their parents who live in a setting of occupation, economic deprivation and also the many typical challenges facing young women. Since my first visit to this Bedouin enclave, where the inhabitants are not allowed to build houses and thus live in tents, Israeli groups had installed solar panels and very small wind power generating machines for electricity… MORE >>

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September 2013: Jericho, Jenin, Safed, Jerusalem and JStreet
The trip began this time in Jericho and its surrounding villages where the economic situation confronting Palestinians is, simply put, desperate. I saw caves in the hills overlooking Jericho that served as Palestinian homes. Seeing these “homes” was particularly disturbing in contrast to the nice homes with well manicured gardens of Israeli settlers living just a few miles away. The settlers have taken over most of the arable land and live in the midst of very large lush farms in the Jordan Valley….   MORE >>

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February 2013: Two Steps Forward Two Steps Back
This trip to Israel and the West Bank was two steps forward and a full two steps back. Making little or no progress can frequently occur when engaging in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict whether it be top diplomatic efforts or work with communities on both sides of the green line/1967 border — the latter being the work of Healing Across the Divides. While the work Healing Across the Divides funds and provides technical advice for is strictly apolitical, politics and conflict is an inextricable part of the Israeli-Palestinian fabric…   MORE >>

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August 2012: The PA Minister of Health and UNRWA
My meetings during this brief visit to Israel and the West Bank revolved around a meeting with the Minister of Health (MoH) for the Palestinian Authority (PA), Dr. Hani Abdeen. The topic: saving lives and improving outcomes of Palestinian women afflicted with breast cancer and living in refugee camps…    MORE >>

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November 2011: The Separation Wall
Last week, while working with women in the village of al-Wallajeh near Bethlehem, I heard a little boy plaintively call to his father – “Abba”— as the father held his child in front of their house. The Israeli wall of separation, as part of its continuous expansion, was in the process of dividing their house from the rest of the village…   MORE >>

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November 2010: Healing Divides and the Peace Process
People, especially those who have either never been or rarely go to the Middle East, often ask me what is the connection between the work we undertake at Healing Across the Divides and the peace process. I always respond, unsatisfactorily for some, that there is no direct connection at all. What we concretely aim for is documented improvement in health for marginalized populations via community based organizations…   MORE >>

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July 2010: Entering the Land of Israel
What does it mean for Healing Across the Divides and to me in particular to “enter” the land of Israel? I’ve been entering the land of Israel since 1969. I’ve been entering for me what is not the land of Israel, the West Bank since 1996. So entering this Land for me is not merely physically entering; engagement is key. Entering for me these days means I am coming as executive director of Healing Across the Divides…   MORE >>

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March 2010: Healthcare in America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
This past Sunday, March 21, in between a non-stop set of meetings on my last day in Israel/West Bank, I constantly logged on to see the latest trials and tribulations on the health reform vote going on right then in the United States. I took off a minute after Bart Stupak, an opponent of the legislation, switched his vote to yes. The simple reality is that the spectacular vote in favor of health reform and universal health care coverage in the U.S. is similar to the challenges we face in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict….   MORE >>

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November 2009: Both Sides of the Green Line
In two weeks I will be presenting at a conference sponsored by the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) on Peace Building through Health in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This conference will give me an opportunity to step back and place the work of Healing Across the Divides within a larger “peace-building through health” framework. This kind of re-assessment will be especially valuable in light of the changing situation I experienced during my recent trip to Israel and the Palestine Authority…   MORE >>

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July 2009: Program Updates, Thoughts on My Mother’s Passing, and the Holocaust
…I had a very meaningful lunch meeting during this trip with the son of the person responsible for saving my mother (and her parents/ brother) during the Holocaust. The chief rabbi of Florence, Nathan Cassuto, during WW II (he was also a physician!) foresaw what might happen if the Germans occupied Florence. This in fact happened in 1943 right after the fall of Mussolini. Rabbi Cassuto had developed a plan that enabled all Jews who were lucky enough to be able to leave Florence to find safe haven at homes in the hills in the province around Florence…    MORE >>

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March 2009: What Moses Might Have Done about the Settlements
Hag sameach and Shabbat Shalom. Note: Our Rabbi was on sabbatical during Passover 2009 and I gave the Bible Commentary or Dvar Torah which in part is based on other published commentaries. I’ve woven in my most recent trip summary into this Bible commentary. I will focus my Dvar Torah, or bible commentary, first on comments on the issue of leadership in today’s Torah portion, particularly as they tie to my most recent trip to Israel/West Bank that I just came back from….    MORE >>

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March 2008: The Jewish Funders Network
…The owner of the vineyard providing the wine at the reception was present with his son. The father was born in Morocco and, in part due to his feeling of being thrown out of his native land, was not feeling particularly charitable towards other Arabs, Palestinians or otherwise. Yet Peres in his remarks, which went on for a bit but were remarkable in that he did not appear to use almost any notes, was more hopeful….    MORE >>

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July 2008: Four-day trip — many challenges and much accomplished
This was a short trip this time. Four days in all. I primarily went to meet with all groups receiving HATD funds – both in Israel and the West Bank. I arrived on Sunday July 6 – the first day of the week in Israel – at 3:30 in the morning. After I rent a car I drive to my first appointment which is not till 9:30 – and take a short rest in the car. I first meet with colleagues at Beit Natan, a group of orthodox Jewish women based in Jerusalem…    MORE >>

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December 2008: A glass half full, half empty
The political situation in both Israel and the West Bank (I will not comment on the situation in Gaza –I know nothing more than what we can all read in the news paper) is not good. Israelis are facing elections; no one I met on either the right or left was excited with the options. Similar to Israel, the West Bank political elite in charge of the government continues to suffer from challenges in credibility. Yet, the new political leadership in the United States evokes hope for some (but by no means all) in both Israel and the West Bank…    MORE >>

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July 2007: New beginnings in Ramallah, Tira, Jerusalem and more…
A perfectly reasonable question that might have occurred to some of my readers: Why did I not write up a summary for my last trip just a few months ago. At one level, I found the situation in both countries pretty dismal during both trips. As many of you know, Israel is today embroiled in any number of a wide variety of scandals which is sapping its internal strength while Palestinian civil society is literally coming apart at the seams…    MORE >>

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September 2007: An Ambulance in Jerusalem, and Springfield, Mass.
Every three months or so when I return from my trips to Israel and the West Bank, people always ask me – what is the situation like in the Middle East. In other words they are asking, is it safe? Without responding, I usually think to myself – safe for whom (Israeli, Palestinian, foreigner, male, female etc.)? In my last few visits I’ve refined my thinking process to ask myself the question: Is it economically and/or physically safe – for whom?…    MORE >>

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May 2007: Haves and Have Nots and Peace-building Through Health
The situation only gets worse whenever I go to Israel and the West Bank. No question that quite a few Israelis and even a few Palestinians do get richer in between my trips. There are definitely a large number of Israelis (despite the fact that the inequalities between the haves and have nots is greater than in the U.S.) who are satisfied with their lives…MORE >>

Design: Shai Zauderer, Developed by Migo