Rabbi Judith Edelman-Green led a group of Jewish women from the center of Israel to a special meeting of the TRUST WIN Cooperation Circle in Daliyat el Karmel, with our Druze sisters. The meeting took place at the art gallery of Botheina Halabi, a Druze woman who paints images of the Holocaust. Below is her report of a deep and moving experience for all the women - building on our relationships that were established by regular meeting for 15 years in spite of tensions, political and security issues, and personal tragedies.
This meeting shows the strong connection between the Druze and the Jews in Israel.
Blessings and love,
URI Global Trustee & Director of TRUST-Emun
Report of TRUST WIN Women's Interfaith Meeting in Dalyiat el Karmel
By Rabbi Judith Edelman-Green
On July 3, we experienced the very unexpected art gallery on the Holocaust painted and curated by a Druze woman, Botheina Halabi. Fifteen Jewish women came from the center of the country, Haifa, and from moshavim and kibbutzim to experience this amazing exhibition. Botheina explained that, when she learned about the Holocaust, she identified and saw it as a universal symbol of the suffering which hatred, war, racism and genocide can cause. She entered into the tortured souls of those who were in the camps, and painted their emotions, their souls, their cries of agony.
"When she learned about the Holocaust, she saw it as a universal symbol of the suffering which hatred, war, racism and genocide can cause"
Botheina is a great speaker in Hebrew, English, and Arabic. She is an educator, and Druze school children of all ages flock to her exhibition to learn that suffering from war is universal, and to understand the Holocaust and its relationship to the founding of Israel. She has groups from abroad and has a profound face of Israel to share. The Jews in the group were moved beyond belief.
Click the yellow arrows to scroll through the photos in the slideshow below.
Then we were invited to the house of Nihad, who so wanted to host the group in her lovely courtyard. Leslie Ratner had asked Ruti Hyman to speak about her work with co-existence. There is a great closeness and warmth shared among the women who have been together for so many years. There were several old-timers, and quite a few first timers! One of these was Orit Perlman, a great singer from Haifa who brought an original song written in Hebrew and in English. Hear her stunning voice.
"There is a great closeness and warmth shared among the women who have been together for so many years"
Siham Halabi and the Druze women had worked very hard and served the most magnificent meal of stuffed vine leaves, fried fish, rice, salads galore, coffee and cake. While we were eating, we shared stories. I heard from Hediya, a widow who works to provide an apartment for her grandson who serves in the Israel Defense Forces.
Gifts were presented to our hosts, and to Iptisam Mahameed on the birth of her twin granddaughters. Nihad presented me with a handmade tablecloth which is now my prize possession. We are friends of the heart, building trust and peace in the Middle East through personal relationships.