The FBFF is committed to supporting the Bereaved Families Forum (PCFF), a joint Israeli and Palestinian organisation made up of more than 650 bereaved families, all of whom have lost a close family member to the conflict. Instead of seeking revenge, they have chosen the path of reconciliation.

The Bereaved Families Forum believes that reconciliation is an essential first step towards a lasting peace.

Click here to visit the website of the Bereaved Families Forum.

What the Bereaved Families Forum does

Members of the Forum conduct educational, public and media activities to promote reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli communities.

These are a few of their projects:

Parallel Narrative Experience (PNE)

The PNE is a 70-hour seminar, made up of 25-30 Israeli and Palestinian participants who have the opportunity to come together in workshops, dialogue meetings and site visits to explore each other’s personal, historical and national narratives. This unique module of unilateral and joint workshops promotes empathy, humanisation and understanding of the other side. A thousand Israelis and Palestinians have now been through this experience and constitute an active graduate base. Project graduates carry out grassroots, non-violent and solidarity activities on the ground to promote reconciliation.

Visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem

Forum members on a visit to Yad Vashem,
the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

Dialogue Meetings

Each year the Bereaved Families Forum holds more than 260 Dialogue Meetings in high schools, youth groups and informal educational settings for young people aged from 14-18 as well as young adults. Two members, one Israeli and one Palestinian, share their stories of loss and explain their choice of reconciliation rather than revenge. For many of the young people, it is the first time they have met someone from the ‘other side’ and the first time they experience their humanity.

Recognising the need to have some kind of follow-up to the powerful experience of these meetings, PCFF has developed a training programme and materials for teachers to use in subsequent classes. This new programme gives teachers the tools to support their students more effectively and to guide them through the ‘emotional breakthrough’, thereby increasing the impact, sustainability and reach of the project.

A Bereaved Families Forum advert, urging people not to join them.

Youth Summer Programme

Each summer more than 40 young Israelis and Palestinians, bereaved and non-bereaved, attend a week long summer camp getting to know each other, engaging in dialogue, educational activities and having fun together through nature, the arts, sports and games. The goal is to generate trust, opportunities for dialogue, understanding and relationships that transcend the conflict. Many of the counsellors were once participants themselves and are now mentoring the next generation.

Arab Aramin and Yigal Elhanan speak to school children about their sisters’ deaths.

Young Adult Peacemakers

A cohort of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian young adults (aged from 18-27) who have either been through the Forum’s youth programmes, or exposed to its messages and activities through their parents’ membership of the organisation, are ready to take on more leadership roles as counsellors, youth leaders and dialogue meeting facilitators, to give back to the next group of young people and to serve as role models in their communities. Through training, hands-on experience and capacity building, the Forum works with them to take their leadership to the next level.

Women’s Group

The Women’s Group is made up of more than 50 bereaved Israeli and Palestinian women who work together to amplify women’s voices in promoting reconciliation. It succeeds in bringing together Palestinian and Israeli women who are committed to promoting peace and reconciliation despite the hostile social context. The women receive training so they can use their stories to inspire hope and facilitate dialogue. They use cooking, embroidery, photography and public demonstration to communicate and share their messages with the public.

“Blood Relations” – the short film that emerged from an international competition for creative agencies challenged to come up with possible solutions to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Learn more about the Forum’s activities from its website.

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