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AV Runs Program with World Acclaimed Author Reza Aslan and Peabody and
Emmy Award Winner Gideon Yago
On April 21, at 6pm, an audience of approximately 70 gathered to hear former MTV News host and Peabody and Emmy Award winning journalist Gideon Yago debate the possibilities for peace in Israel-Palestine with renowned author and commentator Reza Aslan (who is also a founding member of AV’s Board of Directors). With AV Co-Executive Director and USF Professor Aaron Hahn Tapper as moderator, Aslan and Yago tackled many controversial topics related to the Middle Eastern saga. As the audience raised contentious and difficult subjects during the Q&A, Aslan and Yago proved their prowess by approaching the challenging queries with sharp and compassionate acumen. All proceeds from the debate went to AV. A video of the event will be available soon on the AV website.
2009-10 Vision Program Final Conference
From March 26 to 28, the 2009-2010 Vision Program students came together for their final conference of the 10-month fellowship. Coming together from across the country, participants reunited to discuss how they will continue to spread the message of social justice and conflict transformation beyond the AV community. Held in San Francisco, the three-day conference included group process sessions as well as lively discussions and presentations on potential social justice projects participants will employ in their home communities. AV would like to thank all the 2009-2010 Vision Program participants for their commitment to our collective vision. We have now graduated 70 students from this intensive program, and have reached an additional 8,000 individuals through student presentations!
AV Runs Workshop with World’s Largest Group of Jewish Clergy!
On March 9, Co-Executive Directors Huda Abu Arqoub and Aaron Hahn Tapper held a workshop on American Muslim-Jewish Relations for 32 Rabbis participating in the bi-annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). The day-long workshop was held at the Islamic Society of San Francisco, where participants, hailing from all over the country, delved into core issues of Muslim-Jewish relations. Participants discussed challenges to intra- and inter-communal relations and tangible ways to bridge those divides. In addition to a text study led by Abu Arqoub and Hahn Tapper, Unity Program Co-Facilitators, Co-Educators, and a Unity Program student spoke about their experiences bringing together Muslim and Jewish high school students. Click here to read about an article on the conference.
Welcome Megan Rose Martin and Rangineh Azimzedeh!
Megan Rose Martin:
Joining us in January as our new Operations Associate, Megan is our new operations point person. A Bay Area native, she comes to us directly from New York City. After graduating with a BA in History from the University of California, Berkeley, she immediately went on to study international relations, identity politics, and the Middle East and North Africa at New York University, where she received a Master's degree. Having a great deal of travel and professional experiences, most recently as the Deputy Finance Director for a political campaign in Long Island, Megan is excited to be on staff and looks forward to many exciting adventures with AV.
Rangineh Azimzadeh is joining Abraham's Vision as our new Unity Program Co-Junior Facilitator. After graduating from Portland State University with a BA in Communications Studies, Rangineh moved to Cyprus to study International Mediation and Conflict Resolution. She was a fellow at the Institute for International Public Policy and completed her Master's degree in International Conflict Resolution and Negotiation at the Monterey Institute for International Studies. Rangineh also worked for a private consulting company that worked on organizational change, personal transformation, and social justice. She studied Arabic and spent time in the West Bank as a Peace Fellow with the Advocacy Project where she advocated for Palestinian workers' rights. Abraham-s Vision is excited to have Rangineh as a new addition to our co-facilitation staff.
Goodbye, Mr. Trabin
After two full years with Abraham's Vision, Director of Operations Eitan Trabin is moving with his family to Los Angeles. An excellent co-worker and friend, Eitan's upbeat and compassionate character has made Abraham's Vision a bright, comfortable and caring place to work. His congenial attitude is infectious! Without a doubt, he will be dearly missed. The AV staff wishes him best of luck on the road ahead. May it be one filled with joy and laughter.
Bay Area Unity Programs - Successful First Group Process
On February 21, approximately 40 Unity Program students gathered at the University of San Francisco for their first group process-an integral, person to person facilitated process that brings students together to address personal and communal conflicts, moving them toward transformation. With four Jewish and Muslim co-facilitators on hand, the 15-18 year old students addressed issues such as power, inequity, and race through a series of simulations. After the group process, Co-Facilitators (and Co-Executive Directors) Huda Abu Arqoub and Aaron Hahn Tapper conveyed their confidence in the students- abilities to begin the process of confronting challenging subjects. The students will meet together three more times before their course graduation in June. The staff is looking forward to more collaborative, eye-opening exploration with the students.
CTE's Second Facilitation Course Finishes
The Center for Transformative Education (an affiliate of Abraham's Vision) concluded its second annual course at the University of San Francisco on January 22, 2010. The facilitation training course, which gives students the tools to begin training for conflict transformation, graduated ten participants after ten days of instruction. Abraham’s Vision is looking forward to running the facilitation course with USF again next year and will potentially expand to new university campuses. To learn more click here.
AV Receives IFYC's Prestigious Bridge Builders Movement Award
Abraham's Vision was recently honored at the Interfaith Youth Core's annual conference, where we received the prestigious Bridge Builders Movement Award, an honor bestowed upon an institution or individual who has significantly impacted the interfaith youth movement. In his introductory remarks, IFYC Founder and Executive Director Eboo Patel noted that AV offers empowering, thoughtful programs confronting the challenges of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, giving students a number of ways to move through this omni-present 'elephant in the room.' Click here to watch Co-Executive Directors Huda Abu Arqoub and Aaron Hahn Tapper's acceptance speech.
Vision Program's Fall Conference
Earlier on in November, the 2009-10 Vision Program fellows re-convened for the first time since leaving the Balkans. Over this first of two four-day conferences (second is in March/April), students continued the group and individual processes they began in the former Yugoslavia, exploring new ways to work towards transforming, and ending, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coming together from across the country, the participants discussed transitioning back to their campuses and the challenge to promote social justice and human rights causes locally and worldwide. Joined by VP Co-Facilitators Ahmad Amara and Amit Perelson, who traveled all the way from the Middle East, students continued to grapple with how their experiences in the Balkans will shape their lives in the months, and years, to come. Stay tuned for a list of student presentations in your area...
CTE Facilitation Course Offered for Second Year
After the successful launch of our pilot facilitation training course in January 2009, the Center for Transformative Education (an affiliate of Abraham's Vision) is happy to announce the return of this course at both Columbia University and the University of San Francisco. Offered at Columbia University from January 3 to 9 and at the University of San Francisco from January 11 to the 22 (M-F), our facilitation training course prepares students to become practitioners in working with groups in conflict. To learn more click here.
Unity Program II Launch
Starting in Fall 2009, Abraham's Vision will team up with graduates of the 2008-09 Unity Program to launch a new program, tentatively named Unity Program II, that will build on the experiences of the past year. Students who participated in one of the 2008-09 San Francisco Bay Area Unity Programs are eligible to apply.
Unity Program 2009-10 Now Accepting Applications
As the 2008-09 Unity Program comes to a close, we are busy planning the 2009-10 Unity Program - the fifth year of this incredible program. This year we are aiming to work with a total of 72 Unity Program Muslim and Jewish high-school students across three partnerships in the San Francisco Bay Area: the Peninsula/South Bay, the East Bay, and San Francisco.
Conflict Transformation Institute
2009-10 Vision Program's First Conference
In mid-November our twelve 2009-10 Vision Program students will re-convene for the first time since leaving the Balkans. Over this first of two four-day conferences, students will continue the group and individual process they began in the former Yugoslavia, exploring new ways to work towards transforming, and ending, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This conference will be held in AV’s home base, the city of San Francisco, where students and staff will host out-of-town students, including VP Co-Facilitator Amit Perelson, who is coming all the way from Haifa!
On October 18th, along with two 2008-2009 VP alumni, Oren Kroll-Zeldin and Fadi Qur'an, Co-Executive Directors Huda Abu Arqoub and Aaron Hahn Tapper met with community members from the East Bay, including congregants from Kehillah Community Synagogue to discuss the work of Abraham's Vision. The highlight of the night -- for Abu Arqoub, Hahn Tapper, and the attendees -- was to hear from Kroll-Zeldin and Qur'an, who shared how the VP experience helped trasform their worldview, reinforcing the responsibility each one of us has to socail justice.
Abu Arqoub and Hahn Tapper are leading two workshops, from October 25-27, at the Interfaith Youth Corps' "Leadership in a Religiously Diverse World" conference, an international gathering of inter-community activists, scholars, policy makers, religious leaders, foundation representatives, media professionals and young people. In addition, AV will be presented with IFYC’s prestigious “Bridge Builders Movement Award,” given to an organization that has significantly impacted the interfaith youth movement.
President Clinton Honors Abraham's Vision
After Abraham's Vision was recognized at the 2006 "Clinton Global Initiative" for the launch of our groundbreaking Vision Program, AV was invited back to attend the 2007, 2008, and 2009 "Clinton Global Initiative".
View photos from the Clinton Global Initiative conference
Abraham's Vision Receives 49ers Perry/Yonamine Unity Award
Abraham's Vision Receives Human Relations Award