Palestinians and Israelis Plant Together
At the Community Garden
in Park Slope Read About It
Recent WNYC, Brian Lehrer call in from a current dialoguer
Participants explain how their personal lives and political beliefs meet and mesh through the practice of dialogue. Marginalized voices are encouraged, heard and have equal power.
Eman Rashid – Palestinian Muslim American dialogue participant
Through the Dialogue process, we learn to see others as human beings, not "labels," and come to understand why people act out of fear and a need for safety. The Project is a form of social activism that promotes community and partnership.
It is a hard process: When I sit in Dialogue I am forced to think about other people's needs that are not my own, and I have to re-evaluate my own thoughts, prejudices, and fears. The process we learn in dialogue reminds us to stop going back to our visceral reactions of each other. I lived in Palestine for three years: I was shot at, yet in Dialogue I am able to sit across from Israeli soldiers and speak to them as they do to me, as human beings.
As a Palestinian American Muslim single mother, it means a lot to me that I have rabbis as friends, for example. My daughter and I have spent Shabbat with a rabbi and his family, and my daughter can play and interact with his children. I think Dialogue is important and necessary because it connects people generationally - so that we can pass along community-building communication skills, education, and empathy across divides. It strengthens our neighborhoods, lives, and families.
Rabbi Serge Lippe - Brooklyn Heights Synagogue
The Dialogue Project focuses on addressing issues "from the stoop to the prayer rug," as Marcia Kannry, the founder puts it. I truly value that regular people speak about their lives and the neighborhoods they live in. A lot of "dialogue" events bring academics, politicians, or public figures to speak before an audience. These programs forge a community connection that you don't have when a panel is just talking "to" an audience.
Rami Efal – Israeli born Artist, Dialogue Participant
I have never spoken to a Palestinian in the twenty-four years I lived there. "Who would we make peace with if not with our enemies?" I thought as a child "Who are they, anyway?" In our dialogue, I met a Palestinian man who described with glistening eyes the blossoms of the olive trees in his childhood house in Jenin, a few kilometers from where I grew up. I met a Palestinian woman who was shot at by a soldier who may have been my classmate, and who now raises her little girl the way I would raise my own. My friendship with this man and woman informs my life. The tenderness of our connection is in itself the basic pre-requisite to any movement forward.
Yvette Wilson – Associate Dean of Student Life, Union Theological Seminary
Dialogue allows people to grapple with difficult inter-faith issues to mitigate tensions, and to foster better understanding in our hearts and minds. The Dialogue Project's transformative communication methods chip away at the underlying assumptions that people have about different faith groups.
The Dialogue Project stands for justice, peace, and building trust, which doesn't happen overnight. It's something that really happens over time. Change doesn't just come because we want it to – it happens because we work at it. The Dialogue Project engages people to do that work: to stay on course and not give up.