• Discussions

    There will be a short moderated discussion after each performance.

    The current schedule of participants (subject to updates):

    7/13 - Moderator: Shelley Cohen-Fudge; Panelists: Rabbi Joseph Berman, Bshara Nassar, Philip Farah

    7/15 - Moderator: Sherri Moses; Panelists: Alison Glick, Jason Hurd

    7/19 - Moderator: Benjamin Douglas or Liana Smith; Panelists: Jonathan Kuttab, Miko Peled

    7/21 - Moderator: Carolyn Karcher; Panelists: Shelley Cohen-Fudge, Ahmed Hmeedat

    7/23 - Moderator: Bill Simmonds; Panelists: Rabbi Rain Zohav, Zeina Azzam

    IWWD Panelist Biographies


    Zeina Azzam - is a Palestinian American writer, editor, poet, and activist. Her family fled Palestine in 1948 so she grew up in the Palestinian diaspora--she was born in Syria, her childhood was in Lebanon, and her teen years and adult life in the United States. Zeina currently works as publications editor at Arab Center Washington DC and volunteers for several grassroots organizations.


    Rabbi Joseph Berman - Government Affairs Manager, Jewish Voice for Peace. He has organized for justice and equality for Palestinians and Israelis for over a decade. Ordained at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Boston, Rabbi Berman draws upon years of experience in advocacy and faith-based community organizing.


    Shelley Cohen-Fudge - was the DC Metro Chapter Founder and Coordinator of Jewish Voice for Peace and serves on the steering committee of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace. Shelley is also an environmental policy analyst focused on environmental justice and community engagement issues. She has traveled extensively throughout Israel and has many relatives there. She has also visited many parts of the West Bank and Gaza.


    Benjamin Douglas - is an attorney who focuses his practice on assisting injured employees with their workers’ compensation claims. He is a board member of the National Lawyers Guild - DC and a member of the DC Area Trial Lawyers Association. He has been active with the JVP DC Metro Chapter for many years, is on the steering committee and is the Legislative Committee chair.


    Philip Farah - was born in Jerusalem in 1952, four years after his family was driven out of their home in what became Israeli West Jerusalem. He received his education at St. George’s School in Jerusalem and later studied Political Science at the American University of Beirut. He returned to Jerusalem to teach at several schools in the West Bank and at Birzeit University. He was active in the non-violent struggle against the Israeli occupation, and was among Palestinian progressives who pioneered relations with anti-occupation Israeli groups. Philip came to the United States at the age of 27 to continue his university education, earning a PhD in Resource and Environmental Economics from the University of New Mexico. He has lived and worked in several countries in the Middle East. He currently works as an economist in Washington, DC, and lives in Vienna, VA with his wife and three children. He is a founding member of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace (started in 2000) and the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace. Philip has addressed audiences across the United States on Middle East peace and justice issues.


    Alison Glick - joined the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University as Assistant Director in November, 2016. Alison worked for several years in the Arab world as a teacher and human rights researcher in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and as a freelance writer based in Damascus, Syria. Alison’s experience in higher education includes serving as Director of International Services at University of Dayton’s Center for International Programs. Alison also managed business immigration and global mobility programs for an international consulting firm. Before joining the Center in November, she worked in nonprofit education and international programs developing curriculum and supporting advocacy efforts focused on whistleblower rights and transparency issues, both domestically and internationally. Alison graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University with a B.A. in Middle East History. She speaks intermediate Levantine Arabic.


    Ahmed Hmeedat - is a human rights activist and artist who was born and grew up in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Bethlehem/Palestine. Ahmed lived through the peak of the second intifada and witnessed the Israeli military invasion of the West Bank. Such experience has shaped his thinking and art. He had exhibited in several places in Washington D.C. such as the Jerusalem Fund Gallery and Seekers Church. Last year, Hmeedat was awarded the Palestinian National Nakba Poster Award for 2015."


    Jason Hurd - is an Iraq War veteran who served ten years as a U.S. Army combat medic. After leaving the military, Jason spent the next decade working as an organizer with Iraq Veterans Against the War. He holds a B.S. in philosophy and studies ecological design at the Conway School.


    Carolyn Karcher - is professor emerita of English, American studies, and women’s studies at Temple University, where she taught for twenty-one years and received the Great Teacher Award and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2002. She is the author of Shadow over the Promised Land: Slavery, Race, and Violence in Melville’s America (1980); The First Woman in the Republic: A Cultural Biography of Lydia Maria Child (1994); and A Refugee from His Race: Albion W. Tourgée and His Fight against White Supremacy (2016). She has also edited scholarly reprints of works by several 19th-century writers, including Tourgée’s novel about Black Reconstruction in North Carolina, Bricks Without Straw. She has also been with JVP DC Metro since its founding and is chair of the Education and Outreach committee. She has visited Palestine with her husband with Interfaith Peacebuilders.


    Jonathan Kuttab - grew up in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Graduate of Messiah College, Pennsylvania, and UVA Law School. He is member of the Bar Associations in Palestine, Israel and New York. Active in human rights, he co- founded Al Haq, the first Palestinian human rights organization, and Mandela Institute for Palestinian Prisoners, and the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem, and other Palestinian and international groups. He is chairman of the Board of Bethlehem Bible College, and of Holy Land Trust, and is very involved in peace and reconciliation activities.


    Sherri Moses - Bio coming soon


    Bshara Nassar - is a Palestinian from Bethlehem who graduated from Bethlehem University with a degree in Business and Computer Technology. When he was twelve, the second intifada broke out and his town came under severe attack and he recalls the terror he felt as a kid not fully understanding why it was happening. In 1991, the spread of Jewish settlements threatened to swallow up his family’s farm land, and that was the origins of a peace community known as the Tent of Nations that Bshara is very actively engaged in promoting and building. His family, to resist losing their land not only took the case to the highest courts in Israel, they also invited the international community and fellow Palestinians and Israelis (since it is zoned C) to join them in a community where the message is, “We will not give up hope,” and “We refuse to be enemies.” Bshara is the passionate advocate of this non-violent peace movement that seeks to both protect basic rights to the land that the Nassar family have held title deeds to going back to 1916, and at the same time, to refuse to allow the injustice to provoke more conflict. Over the summer of 2011, Bshara teamed with Israeli classmate, Tomer Mazie at the Alliance for Middle East Peace.


    Miko Peled - hails from a family of Zionists, (his grandfather was a signer on the Israeli declaration of independence, and his father, a general, one of the giants who planned and executed Israel’s most definitive military victories, namely 1948 and 1967). and yet he spends most of his time teaching karate to refugee kids in Palestinian refugee camps. An Israeli by nationality, he has become well-known for his pro-Palestinian activism and his best-selling book, The General's Son.


    Bill Simonds - is physician from Maryland who just returned from his fourth trip to the West Bank, this year as a medical volunteer in Nablus with a delegation of doctors and surgeons sponsored by American Friends of Ramallah Palestine. He was also a delegate with Interfaith-Peace Builders, and is an active member of Jewish Voice for Peace- DC Metro Chapter.

    Rabbi Rain Zohav - works as Rabbi and Spiritual Advisor for a local interfaith group, teaches educators of all faiths how to deepen the spiritual content of their subject matter, teaches an online class on “Social Action Education as a Spiritual Practice” and officiates at lifecycle events in the greater metro region. She has been a Jewish educator and activist for many years. In 2002 she carried out an FOR peace builders delegation to Israel/Palestine, with only her grown son, after the rest of the delegation was denied entry into Israel.

    Resources for Information about Israel - Palestine

    Brief Overview Guides


    Joel Beinin and Lisa Hajjar. Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), February 2014. http://www.merip.org/primer-palestine-israel-arab-israeli-conflict-new

    Phyllis Bennis. Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer. Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2012.




    The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs maintains an interactive map that allows the user to see, among other things, the locations of current Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank. See also the OCHA January 2017 map, "West Bank Access Restrictions."


    The OCHA's 2015 Humanitarian Atlas provides a breakdown on page 54 of the types of closures Israel imposes.


    Internet Resources and Human Rights Organizations


    Breaking the Silence – www.breakingthesilence.org.il/


    The Guardian - "Netanyahu wants to repress my group, Breaking the Silence. May, don’t help him," by Yehuda Shaul


    B’Tselem: Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – http://www.btselem.org/  


    Al-Haq – http://www.alhaq.org (Palestinian human rights non-profit organization)


    Haaretz – http://www.haaretz.com/


    +972 – http://972mag.com/ (Israeli blog-based web magazine)


    Institute for Middle East Understanding – http://imeu.org/


    Peace Now – http://peacenow.org.il/en/


    Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions – http://www.icahd.org/


    Youth Against Settlements – https://hyas.ps/


    Rabbis for Human Rights (Israel) – http://rhr.org.il/eng/


    Institute for Palestine Studies – http://www.palestine-studies.org/


    Alternative Information Center – www.alternativenews.org (joint Palestinian-Israeli non-profit organization)


    Zochrot – zochrot.org/ (Israeli educational non-profit organization)


    Films and Videos


    Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine. Dirs. Connie Field, Mik Kuhlman, Kamel El Basha. Prod. Connie Field. Clarity Films Production, 2013. www.clarityfilms.org/mlk/.


    Five Broken Cameras. Dirs. Iyad Burnat and Guy Davidi. Kino Lorber, 2012. www.kinolorber.com/film/view/id/1276.


    The General’s Son: The Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. Prod. Miko Peled. Alternate Focus, May 21, 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4ZfnpN4Dfc.


    Little Town of Bethlehem. Dir. Jim Hanon. Prod. Mart Green. EthnoGraphic Media, 2010. http://littletownofbethlehem.org/.


    Stone Cold Justice. Dirs. John Lyons, Janine Cohen and Sylvie Le Clezio. www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2014/02/10/3939266.htm. (Aired on Australian ABC1 TV station, February, 10, 2014 about arrests and detentions of Palestinian children.)


    The Stones Cry Out: The Story of the Palestinian Christians. Dir. and Prod. Yasmine Perni. 2013. http://www.thestonescryoutmovie.com/.


    This is My Land. Dir. Tamara Erde. Prod. Tatiana Bouchain and Oury Milshtein. 2014. www.tamaraerde.com/films/this-is-my-land/ (about Israeli and Palestinian school curricula regarding their respective histories/narratives).


    Two Blue Lines. Dir. and Prod. Tom Hayes. 2015. twobluelinesdocumentary.com/.


    Voices Across the Divide. Dirs. Alice Rothchild and Sharon Mullally. 2013. http://voicesacrossthedivide.com/documentary/.


    The Wanted 18. Dirs: Paul Cowan and Amer Shomali. Kino Lorber, 2014. www.kinolorber.com/film/thewanted18.




    Breaking the Silence. Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies From the Occupied Territories. New York: Picador, 2012.

    Ehrenreich, Ben. The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. New York: Penguin Press, 2016.

    Harris-Gershom, David. What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist who tried to Kill Your Wife?: A Memoir. London: One World, 2013.

    Makdis, Sareei. Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation, New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.

    Peled, Miko. The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2012

    Rosen, Brant. Wresting in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity. Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2012.

    Rothchild, Alice. Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish & Palestinian Trauma & Resilience. London: Pluto Press, 2007.

    Shehadeh, Raja. Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape. New York: Scribner, 2007.

    Suad, Amiry. Sharon and My Mother-in-law: Ramallah Diaries. Norwell, MA: Anchor, 2006.

    Tolan, Sandy. The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East. London: Bloomsbury, 2007.