Models and Tools for Middle East, global communication

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


"The ability to work effectively and creatively. . .

regardless of differences in culture and style

is an essential 21st century life skill.

Understanding and accommodating cultural and social differences,

and using these differences to come up with even

more creative ideas and solutions to problems,

will be increasingly important throughout our century."

            -- Bernie Trilling & Charles Fadel

                21st CENTURY SKILLS: Learning for Life in Our Times (2009)


"You can make more friends in two months by

becoming interested in other people

than you can in two years by

trying to get other people interested in you." 

- Dale Carnegie

 "If we're not communicating,

we might as well live in the Stone Age."

            -- 19-year-old student

                University of California


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Models of Communication

Where the blind lead the sighted
out of darkness

     Jews and Palestinians -- even within Israel -- rarely meet.
     "We can't. . . they won't. . .it's too hard. . . .it wouldn't make a difference" they complain and rationalize, even whine.
     They are invisible and deaf to one another.
     So ignorance pervades the land.
     Fear rules.

     Yet hope comes from unlikely models of communication and cooperation -- deaf, deaf-blind, and blind citizens who traditionally rarely mix.
     These communication "impaired" Muslims, Christians, and Jews are now rejecting old lives of isolation.
     They show us how to engage.

     At Nalagaat Center in Yaffo -- -- isolation is transformed to community of engagement, cooperation, and service.
     The Center -- the first of its kind in the world -- creates interaction between deaf-blind, deaf, and blind individuals and people able to hear and see, regardless of cultural or social distinctions.
     Jews, Muslims, and Christians run a successful restaurant and theater performances by actors who are deaf and deaf-blind.
     In their Cafe Kapish, waiters are deaf and patrons order by first learning sign language.
     In the restaurant -- BlackOut -- visitors eat in total darkness while served by blind waitresses and waiters.
     Travelers might observe spoken Hebrew translated into Arabic and English, and four different types of signing!
     What great, great human beings who set aside all excuses, as they decide to share their lives -- totally interdependent, fully capable -- ready and able to connect, create, succeed.
     MORE INFORMATION is available from Adina Tal ( ) Founder and Artistic Director.

Where Muslims and Jews
ride their Friendship Bus

     THE FRIENDSHIP BUS is a project of the French Jewish-Muslim Friendship group (AJMF) --
     Every summer, led by a rabbi and imam, the bus and its team spend five weeks traveling through the French countryside.
     They host panel discussions, chat with pedestrians, promote dialogue, and paint a living picture of mutual respect and cooperation between unnecessarily-distanced communities.

     The model Muslims and Jews demonstrate mutual respect and cooperation between two communities who are unnecessarily distanced.
    We are more alike than you think, says a bright sign on the side of the bus.

     Most Jews and Muslims in France have roots in the same region: the former French colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
     They share a similar culture and history, and many speak the same language, Arabic.
     That helps launch the dialogue, although it does not guarantee accord."

     This is our sixth summer touring France, said Rabbi Michel Serfaty, AJMF's founder and co-leader of the bus project with Imam Mohamed Azizi.
     We fight discrimination and stereotypes, and try to break down the walls between our young people."
     "They have forgotten that their grandparents used to live together.


Riding the French countryside in the Jewish-Muslim friendship bus

by Sue Fishkoff

Jewish Telegraphic Agency - 24 June 2010


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Tools of Communication

Tools for
    The SUSTAINED DIALOGUE CAMPUS NETWORK -- -- provides lifelong skills for excellent communicating for scholars, staff, and faculty.


Sustained Dialogue Campus Network





     Campus students and youth advisors can no longer say there is not a successful, intelligent stategy to transform campus confrontation to successful face-to-face communication and cooperation.
     Contact,, or at 202-393-7643


VIDEOS about Sustained Dialogue (SD)

Tools for
Jewish-Jewish Dialogue

     The Jewish Dialogue Group (JDG) -- -- in Philadelphia came together in 2001 to foster vibrant, constructive dialogue within Jewish communities about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other controversial issues.
     They have facilitated nearly 250 dialogue programs in synagogues, colleges, and other venues across North America and in Israel.
     Recent campus activities include the University of Washington, Seattle, and for students, staff, and faculty at the Evergreen State College in Olympia.
     They initiated their their first dialogue in Western Massachusetts, for students at Smith College.
     Other firsts include the synagogue-based dialogue program in Baltimore, at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation; and in Tel Aviv --  a workshop for the staff of the World Union of Jewish Students.

     For more information, contact founder Mitch Chanin at or 215-266-1218
     DOWLOAD their generous facilitation guidelines at


Constructive Conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

A Guide for Convening and Facilitating Dialogue

in Jewish Communities in the U.S.

by Maggie Herzig of the Public Conversations Project with Mitch Chanin of the Jewish Dialogue


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These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at