Workshop Intercultural Conflict Resolution
With ROOTS from Israel/Palestine
Aug 8 – 12, 2 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. @OMA
With Noor A'wad (PS) and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger (IL)


Hanan Schlesinger is an Israeli rabbi who has lived for almost 4 decades in a West Bank settlement. Noor Awad is a young Palestinian tour guide from the city of Bethlehem. They live within a 20 minute drive of each other but in two completely separate universes. Under normal circumstances there would not have been even a one in a million chance of them meeting.

Rabbi Schlesinger underwent a personal transformation 4 1/2 years ago in which he crossed the divide between Israeli and Palestinian society and met his Palestinian neighbors. In his own words, he realized that there is a whole reality out there right next door that he had been blind to for most of his life. His horizons were expanded and he began to develop a much broader understanding of his own identity and of life in Israel/Palestine. As part of this process, he became one of the founders and leaders of Roots, the Israeli Palestinian local initiative for understanding, non-violence and transformation.

Through the study of the history of the land while training to become a tour guide, Noor Awad began to learn that not only the Palestinians have a historical connection to  the Land, the Jews do as well. But that knowledge remained only theoretical until one day he was tasked by his employer to take a group of tourists to Roots to hear Rabbi Schlesinger speak. Noor was amazed to hear that a Jewish settler rabbi actually recognizes the Palestinian narrative and has deep empathy for the Palestinian people. A friendship between the two slowly developed. Noor began his own process of personal transformation and today is one of the leaders of Roots together with Rabbi Schlesinger.

The two of them will tell their personal stories of how meeting the Other broke down stereotypes and jolted them into a rethinking of what they had known to be true about themselves and about the Other. They will present the Roots Initiative and how its programs have helped thousands of Israelis and Palestinians to begin the slow personal process of expanding their identity to include the Other. We think that the work of Roots can be a model and an inspiration for intercultural conflict resolution in Germany.

A first-time cooperation between Yiddish Summer Weimar and the Foreign Nationals Advisory Board of the town of Weimar.

In cooperation with Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Thüringen e.V.