EPISODE 22: Coffee, Cigarettes and Peace: Conversations with Activist Khaled Abu Awad

Lauren Taus

Khaled is among the foremost figures in the Palestinian community working toward peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. He co-founded three groundbreaking organizations and he’s received a number of international prizes for his work, including the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of nonviolence and tolerance.

In this conversation, Khaled speaks to the importance of hope, love and acceptance as well as the power of friendship with the “other.” Khaled’s views are not necessarily mainstream, but he’s outspoken and eager to share the light of peace with his people over coffee and cigarettes. 

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EPISODE 21: Ancient Ink: A conversation about one family's 1000 year history of tattoos in the Holy Land

Lauren Taus1 comment
Meet Wassim Razzouk. His family came from Egypt and introduced the art of tattoos to Palestine almost 1000 years ago. They've since marked countless individuals. We met in his shop in the Old City of Jerusalem where we spoke about his ancestry, what it's like living in Israel as a Coptic Christian and why riding a motorcycle in the Holy Land is so badass. 

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EPISODE 20: The Settler Movement: Conversations with Yishai Fleisher about Hebron

Lauren Taus
Hebron, which means friend, is a 4500 year old, hotbed in the Southern West Bank. In this conversation, we meet Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesperson for the Jewish community there. Yishai is also an Israeli broadcaster and a frequent columnist for major news websites. We speak about who is living in Hebron and why while we dive into the complexity of the city that he represents. 

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EPISODE 19: Coexistence My Ass: Standup Comedian Noam Shuster offers a powerful message for the world while making people laugh

Lauren Taus

Noam Shuster was raised in Wahat al Salam/Neve Shalom, the only intentional community in Israel where Palestinians and Jews live together as equals. There, she was educated in a bi-national, bi-lingual and bi-cultural school where she learned to speak fluent Arabic as a little girl. Noam was recruited to use this skill for Intelligence gathering in the army, but she declined the invitation because Noam always knew she would use it to communicate - not to spy on her neighbor. 

In this conversation, we speak about the power of courage, the importance of listening to your body and the magic of owning your unique, creative voice. Noam is currently on a fellowship at Harvard University, writing her one woman show. Look out, world! Noam is unleashed!

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EPISODE 18: Not an Easy Job: Beyond National Identity with Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Sulaiman Khatib

Lauren Taus
Sulaiman Khatib spent 10 brutal years as a young man in an Israeli prison for stabbing a soldier as an act of resistance. He was 14 years old when he started his sentence. While most might develop more rage in the conditions that he survived, this man became a committed peace maker. He cofounded Combatants for Peace, a bi-national, grassroots nonviolence movement in Israel and Palestine, and he has been compared in the press to a modern-day GandhiMartin Luther King Jr or Nelson Mandela.
 
In this conversation, we speak about the importance of moving beyond national identity to see a shared humanity and the need to connect activism to the heart.

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EPISODE 17: Jewish Justice is NOT for Just US: A Rabbi in Jerusalem speaks to human rights and democracy

Lauren Taus
Meet Dr. Shaiya Rothberg. Living in Jerusalem, he is a conservative rabbi and teacher of theology, Kabbalah, and written and oral torah from the Midrash to the Middle Ages. In this conversation, we discuss democracy and human rights from a Jewish perspective. Here, he explains the difference between Judaism and Torah, which he defines as Truth. Unlike many observant Jews, however, he understands multiple pathways to access the capital T Truth, and he explores what it would mean for Israelis to take responsibility for the conflict in the region while holding both sides accountable. 

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EPISODE 16: Burning Man as Activism for the Middle East: Conversations with Sharon Avraham

Lauren Taus
The Ten Principles of Burning Man create a healing field for individuals to be who they are without concern for what they do in the world. For one week in the desert, life is whimsical and designed for authentic, imaginative expression. 

 

Sharon Avraham co-founded the Israeli Burning Man, and led many of its events for years. In one week, he with a tribe of Middle Eastern activists return to Black Rock City with a unique mission: The Kosmic Kamels. 

 

Located at 8:45 and A, this camp offers a place for people to safely gather, play and dream together, but not just any people, a group torn apart by conflict zones, governments and religious wars. The Kosmic Kamels are eager to dissolve these painful, violent boundaries. 

 

Flying into the dust from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, the UAE, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Europe and the USA, these individuals are committed to a world based on a shared humanity that not only allows difference, but celebrates it. Dressed up with glitter and lights, Sharon hopes that the dusty dreams that they dream together fuel each member of the camp to return home inspired and supercharged to pave pathways of change in a world that desperately needs them. 

 

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: 

  1. The Ten Principles of Burning Man 
  2. What Burning Man culture has to offer conflict zones
  3.  Why just being is radical 

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    EPISODE 15: Proactive Prevention for Gun Violence: Conversations with Scarlett Lewis from Choose Love

    Lauren Taus

    Scarlett Lewis, the founder of the Choose Love Foundation, lost her 6 year old son Jesse in the massacre at Sandy Hook. Jesse was granted a Commander in Chief Funeral, the type reserved for heads of state and returning war heroes, because he courageously saved the lives of 9 of his classmates before he was killed. Jesse was considered a hero because his first grade classroom in the United States was considered a literal war zone. We have a huge problem in our country, and Scarlett has an answer in Choose Love.

     

    Scarlett is spending her life on a mission to provide social and emotional intelligence to children in schools in order to prevent the kind of devastating loss that she experienced, the same kind that so many are suffering. Scarlett lives with love, courage, forgiveness, gratitude and a commitment to a vision for a safe world that all of us create together. The time is NOW, and we all know what we need to do. Choose Love. 

      

    WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: 

    • Social and Emotional Learning is the Solution for...everything!
    • The importance of Proactive Prevention
    • The power of forgiveness, how one mom forgave the man who killed her son
    • The charge of responsibility; the solution we seek is simple and ours to create
    • The healing power of service


    RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE: 

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      EPISODE 14: Imagining a Different House: Conversations about Music as Martial Arts, Activism and Education

      Lauren Taus

      “Any language that has to silence others is a weak language, just like any story that has to silence other stories is weak.” Meet Neta Weiner from the musical band System Ali. Neta was born in a secular kibbutz, educated in a boarding school in India, and he currently lives in a diverse community in Jaffa. 

      In this conversation, we explore the meaning of his music - a combination of hip hop and klezmer - the incredible diversity of his bandmates, and the imagination that exists in their sounds. 

       

      WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: 

        1. Discover the power of language as a form of culture, identity and expression while exploring the ways in which language can also become a form of oppression and erasure
        2. The ways in which music is and has been a source of resistance
        3. The connection between Klezmer music and Hip Hop! Who knew?


        RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE:

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          EPISODE 13: Pornography of All Kinds: Conversations with an Israeli Winemaker

          Lauren Taus
          Shuki Yashuv is the founder and winemaker at Agur Winery in the Judean Hills. While he is a proud atheist, he is an anti-wine snob who keeps his winery kosher in order to include everyone around him, even the ducks or the Haredim (as he calls them)!

           

          Shuki participated as a paratrooper in a number of wars, and he suffers from prolonged traumatic exposure during these times. In this conversation, we discuss how the tendency to avoid our human senses leads us into senselessness and "pornography of all kinds."

           

          WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: 

          1. Why war is totally avoidable, and how expensive it is on the individual level
          2. How life is like a careful dance and we must be careful of all the others 
          3. The importance of enjoying life, and intending blessings 
          RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE: SUBSCRIBE AND REVIEW: 

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