The Art of Gathering

Students, Families Communities, Nations

27 April 2018



Ive always found a way to communicate.

~ Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) Physicist, Cosmologist

With wrecked body and the use of one cheek muscle,

confined to a wheelchair he refused to surrender his narrative.

"Without diversity and contrast, life's meaning is lost.

We complete each other."

  ~Taleb Al-Harithi, Hebron, Palestine

"We were together.  I forget the rest."

~ Walt Whitman, poet


1.  The Art of Gathering
2.  Gathering Educators, Teaching Gathering in Israel
3.  Ongoing Gatherings Continue Preparing the Path for Palestinian-Jewish Youth Together
4.  One Educator Gathering Students, Gathering Their Stories, Becoming More, Becoming Community

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The Art of Gathering
THE ART OF GATHERING: How We Meet and Why It Matters -- -- is a new 21st century trail guide for what we need the most and understand the least -- being together at home and work, in our communities, among nations and peoples.

In the early 2000s, the author -- undergraduate student, Priya Narayan Parker -- championed Sustained Dialogue at the University of Virginia, saying it "was by far the most amazing experience I've had, and I look forward to it spreading to other campuses."
True to her passion, Priya became the first Program Director of what's now the international Sustained Dialogue Campus Network --

Since then, Parker has facilitated race relations on American college campuses and peace processes in the Arab world, southern Africa, and India.
She has a history of creative, healing gatherings for activists, elected officials, corporate executives, educators, and philanthropists. . .sometimes adversaries.

May 15, 2018, fifteen years later -- globally experienced, married, mother of two -- Priya will release THE ART OF GATHERING, and writes: "I've been working on this book for the last four years, and couldn't be more excited and relieved to get it out into the world!
"I wrote it in large part to help anyone and everyone bring more meaning and purpose into their gatherings, and change the way we think about bringing people together."

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Gathering Educators
Teaching Gathering
in Israel
Perhaps re-directing history while responding to increasing "tribal divides" within Israel, President Reuven Rivlin with Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, have initiated a new epoch of cross-cultural engagement across the land.
Monday and Tuesday, April 23-24, 2018, "Israeli Hope" sent its first busload of 33 leading educators traveling together to experience a variety of communities and peoples throughout the state -- often unseen and overlooked -- and for powerful, unexpected experiences of sharing their own personal narratives.

This first tour was guided by Elad Vazana of Tours for Change --
In the 2018 pilot program, 20 more diverse "educational teams" will leave on similar "Journeys of Hope" that include supervisors, school principals, and teachers from the presently-divided sectors of society, with pre-tour training and post-tour assimilation.

This is the leading edge of committed, experiential educator training to facilitate a new, culture-changing evolution of inclusive, participatory education planned to expand to hundreds of schools and close distances between Jewish and Arab students -- everyone.
Tour guide Elad Vazana:  "It's only the beginning.  Listening carefully and sharing life stories was deeply planted in the hearts of the travelling educators -- hopefully to be the core of the thousands of journeys for all educators in the next five years."

Professor Mona Khoury-Kassabri is already heading the Steering Committee for "Israeli Hope in Academia" at The Center for the Study of Multiculturalism and Diversity at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem --

President Rivlin:  "I hope that more will follow, and that very soon meetings among Israeli society will be part of the basic training and professional development of every school principal, supervisor, administrator, and teacher in Israel."
SEE PHOTOS and NEWS reports:



A Potential Universal Model

Within or Across Borders, for

Multi-cultural Dignity and Appreciation for Parallel Narratives

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Ongoing Gatherings
Continue Preparing the Path
for Palestinian-Jewish Youth Together
Young women -- Palestinian and Jewish Israelis -- video-recorded what they learned and what was awakened in two years of follow-up gatherings after participating in summer programs of Creativity for Peace --

They describe their powerful experiences of hosting each other in their family homes for further skill-building and relationship-strengthening.


Palestinian and Jewish Israeli Young Women Engaging

7-1/2 min video

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One Educator
Gathering Students
Gathering Their Stories
Becoming More, Becoming Community
Ms. Erin Gruwell chose teaching because she believed in change.
She trusted that her students could choose their own, better futures beyond self-doubt and victimhood, teen pregnancy, tribal pressures, or gang violence -- going to war in one way or another.

"We all have a story," educator Erin Gruwell said.
Gruwell co-discovered with her 150 "at-risk" students that gathering to write and tell their personal stories marked the atrophy of fear and the upswing in classroom closeness and learning.

Her "low potential" students compiled a best seller, "Freedom Writers Diary" about re-writing their own stories -- creating their own new realities, their better relationships.
Beyond inspiring, "Freedom Writers" is the 2007 Hollywood film about Gruwell and her students worth viewing in its full length by every student and educator in search of gathering and becoming our collective, very best...together.
begin with and accompany it online


Becoming a Catalyst for Change:

Educator Erin Gruwell

TEDxChapmanU -- July 2012

19-min video

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