News from Greer Cushman as reported in The Jerusalem Post:
the women’s interfaith organization headed by Elana Rozenman , will host a Women’s Walk with Anna Halprin , the renowned American avant-garde pioneer of postmodern dance. On Monday, October 27, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druse women will walk together slowly and silently along the Goldman Promenade in Armon Hanatziv, with every step dedicated to peace. The walk will conclude at the amphitheater, where Halprin will lead participants in dance and movement. Aside from the unique opportunity to experience the serenity and expansive beauty of the promenade, this is also a chance to gain a better understanding of the outlooks of women of different faiths who are interested in bringing peace to the region.
Halprin’s husband, Lawrence, who died five years ago, was an influential, award-winning American landscape architect, designer and teacher, and a co-designer of the Haas and Goldman Promenades.
The walk is as much in his memory as it is a united quest for peace.
Halprin and his wife collaborated in exploring common areas between choreography and the manner in which public space is used by people who take advantage of it.
The meeting place for the start of the walk is the Haas Promenade parking lot at 3 p.m. sharp.
The women laugh and sing together. They visit each other’s homes and they learn about each other’s religions. They participate in each other’s religious festivals and they make pilgrimages together to the holy places. They are Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Muslims and Christians, and they work side by side for peace and reconciliation in Israel and Palestine – This land is for everybody, they say, and we shall live and exist here together.
Trust – Emun. (meaning the same in English and Hebrew) is one of many peace groups in Israel. It started during the Lebanon war in 2006 and turns solely to women.
We live in a world dominated by men, Elana Rozenman and Rula Salameh say. Men talk, men decide, men are heads of family and men dictate the conditions for women and children. In Trust – Emun we introduce the female way of thinking and acting. Here the women are given a possibility to get to know each other and talk to each other across religious and national borders. We are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives, and we all have the same goal: that our children shall grow up in a world without violence and hatred. We don’t want to send our sons out into war
Rula and Elana – two women, one Muslim, one Jew one Palestinian, one Israeli. They come from two worlds, which we daily meet in media, but then it almost always is about hatred, violence and revenge. That Rula and Elana and many other Palestinians and Israelis work side by side in different peace projects is hardly ever mentioned. But peace groups exist and they are many. And this is where hope for a better future for everybody is.
Rula has worked with different peace projects in Jerusalem and on the West Bank for many years. She has a high university degree, she was one of the initiators of the Palestinian radio after the Oslo Agreement in 1993, and she has as a journalist covered the political situation in the Middle East many times. At the moment she is working on a film about non-violence in Palestine, to be shown in schools, at festivals and hopefully on TV. She is divorced and has an 11-year-old son who, as she says, is very proud of his mother’s engagement in creating peace.
My whole family supports me, she says. I grew up in a home with Jewish friends and I know that we below the surface and behind all conflicts are similar to each other.
Elana originally comes from the United States but is married to an Israeli and has lived in Jerusalem for many years. She is a trained social worker and has many years experience as a therapist, both in the U.S. and in Israel.
The turning point of her life came when the violence hit her own family and her 16 year old son was caught between two suicide bombers in the middle of Jerusalem.
I was laying on a mattress beside him in the hospital for many months while he was fighting for his life, she says. That is something no mother should have to experience
Elana’s son survived and today he is married and the father of twins. But he has got wounds both on his body and in his soul that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. Like many others in this divided and violent part of the world.
Elana could have chosen to let sorrow and bitterness rule the rest of her life. She could have, as so many other people in the Holy Land, focused on all the evil that “the others” had caused her and her family. But instead she chose to begin working for peace, and a couple of years ago she started Trust – Emun. That the surgeon who operated on her son was a Palestinian she interpreted as the finger of God.
Rula and Elana are deeply religious. Rula is a Muslim, Elena is an Orthodox Jew, Rula prays five times a day, Elana follows the Jewish commandments and the Jewish traditions. Both mean that the religious dimension must be included in all peace work. Elena has always been interested in a dialogue across the religious borders.
We live in a country where everybody defines himself or herself based on religious belonging, they say. Here you are a Moslem, a Jew or a Christian either you are a believer or not.
The women in Trust – Emun learn about each other’s religions. They have study groups and they visit each other’s holy places. Sometimes they invite an imam or a rabbi to explain and interpret the holy texts. Now and then a group of teenagers gather to ask a priest or an imam or a rabbi about the Koran or the New Testament or the Hebrew Bible.
Sometimes we do simple things like going window shopping together, Elana says, but we have also arranged courses in self-defense and make-up, and we have groups where mothers meet together with their children. We form bonds of friendship and attend each other’s weddings, mourn when someone has lost a relative, and rejoice when someone has a new baby.
Trust – Emun does not work politically and there are no political questions on the agenda. But politics cannot be avoided in a country so infected with conflicts – politics are here and now and everywhere.
We use an endless amount of time in applying for permits for the Palestinian women to come to Jerusalem, Elana says. We also discuss what might have happened when a Palestinian woman doesn’t turn up or comes too late because Israeli security guards have stopped her.
The Palestinian women almost always must ask permission from their families to be able to take part in Trust – Emun work, and not everybody gets it. It also takes courage and strength to associate with ”the others” and form bonds of friendship across the borders. It also happens that the Jewish women are looked upon with distrust in Jewish circles.
I have friends who don’t understand my engagement in Trust – Emun, Elana says. The leftists mean that I should go out into the streets and demonstrate instead, the rightists wonder why I meet and discuss with “the others” at all. But to me and to the others in Trust – Emun the peace work is all about trust. We cannot change ourselves or the world around us until we believe in and trust each other.
The Palestinian women learn that there are many kinds of Israelis and the Israeli women learn that also Palestinian mothers wish for their children to grow up without hatred, says Rula.
Translated from Swedish by Ulla Terling-Hasán
THE ARENA was this week the venue for a major event to mark the end of the mourning period for late Shas spiritual leader, Sephardi chief rabbi and much admired scholar Ovadia Yosef . Later this month, the Arena will host its first international gala when it becomes the new venue for the Christian Embassy’s annual Feast of Tabernacles.
It appears that everyone is abandoning the Jerusalem International Convention Center in favor of the Arena, although the convention center is more easily accessible and better positioned for entry into and exit from Jerusalem. It’s also within easy walking distance of some half-dozen hotels.
When Yosef was alive, Shas used to have its major national rallies at the Ramat Gan Stadium, and when it wasn’t aiming for a mega attendance, opted for the convention center. However, this week the center was hosting Machon Meir, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary on the same day that admirers and disciples of Ovadia Yosef were honoring his memory at the Arena.
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem media director David Parsons noted that for the past 33 years the ICEJ hosted its Feast gathering in the convention center, with thousands of Christians from many countries attending. Parsons credited Mayor Nir Barkat with being “particularly encouraging about moving the Feast of Tabernacles to the new Arena, offering the Christian Embassy the privilege of hosting the first major international gathering in the new facility.””
Dill (fresh or dried)
Honey, agar nectar, sugar, or sucanat
Pepper (ideally freshly ground, but optional)
1. Boil or roast your beets whole and un-peeled, until completely soft.2. Peel beets and grate.3. Peel and grate raw carrots.4. Heat up a little oil in a frying pan; add carrots and saute until they change color. Remove from stove when some carrots start browning.5. Mix carrots and beets. Add a drop of honey or other sweetener and a drop of oil.
6. Add a little salt, a little garlic, and lots of dill.
7. Mix well, taste, and add more honey, salt, garlic, or dill as needed.
8. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
9. Serve cold.