News & Events

A letter from Rami Elhanan - PCFF's Israeli General Manager

22/08/2016

A letter from Rami Elhanan - PCFF

Dear friends,
Today, as I embark on a new and special chapter in my life, I would like to appeal to you on a personal note.

Starting this week, I have accepted the request of my friends and have volunteered to take on the important task of leading the Parents Circle - the Forum of Bereaved Palestinian and Israeli Families for Peace and Reconciliation. I will work, in the Forum's tradition, in partnership, hand-in-hand, with my Palestinian colleague and friend, Mazen Faraj.

I approach this task reverently, aware of the weight of responsibility and scope of this very important and exciting challenge.

I do it in memory of my daughter Smadar.

For the past 18 years I've been active in the PCFF, lecturing, appealing, meeting with Israeli, Palestinian and International groups, in an attempt to raise awareness to other possibilities except oppression and mutual killing and to prevent bloodshed.
Every day we tackle head-on the wall of fear and hatred, trying to create cracks of hope. It is a tireless undertaking, carried out in a rare partnership - a genuine, brave, honest and egalitarian mission.

Today, as I take office, I am confronted with an even greater challenge.
The onslaught on Gaza in 2014 and the most recent outbreak of violence in October 2015 slowed down our operations as Palestinians and Israelis found it both physically and emotionally challenging to participate in our activities.

PCFF staff and members reached out to individuals and organizations, providing them with the tools to cope and move beyond exclusive truths, incitement and fear. As soon as we felt safe to do so, we resumed joint activities such as dialog meetings in high schools, women group activity, narrative groups, youth activities, summer camp, alternative memorial evening, media activity, the permanent peace tent and more.All these activities are detailed in out site.

However, this setback in timeline and activities was unplanned and unfunded.
We had to extend and prolong our programs due to these outbreaks of violence without additional funding. As a result,we have now found ourselves overextended.
In response, we have embarked on a financial stability plan, the core of which includes cuts in PCFF administration and in personnel; I replaced the previous Israeli co-director as a volunteer and staffing was cut back by 15%. Remaining staff have voluntarily accepted a 15%-20% cut in salaries. My fellow members and dear friends are assuming greater operational roles in PCFF activities as volunteers.

Lastly, we are issuing an intensive fundraising appeal. After assessing the expected shortfall, we have set our short-term fundraising goal from now until the end of the year at about $200,000 in order to prevent limiting the scope of our struggle for the Israeli and Palestinian society so that we can continue to produce sparks of hope and to be able to keep our voice heard and our vision for Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation strong.
Please consider stepping up to assist me in my new undertaking with advice, donations, introductions and support.
.
Thank you for your time and understanding
sincerely yours
Rami Elhanan
Co-Executive Director
The Parents Circle - Families Forum
972-(0)547578702

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Bank address: 4 weitzman st. Tel Aviv Israel
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