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University Lutheran Church, Cambridge - UniLu
66 Winthrop St, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Roots/Shorashim/Judur is a local Palestinian Israeli initiative for understanding, nonviolence, and transformation. We are honored to be joined by Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and Shadi Abu Awwad, who will tell their personal stories and share their efforts to build a better future for their peoples. They come with no ready peace plans in hand, but with the conviction that human understanding and trust are the prerequisites for lasting justice, freedom, and peace on the tiny sliver of land that they both call home.
Hanan Schlesinger is an Orthodox rabbi and teacher, and a passionate Zionist settler who has been profoundly transformed by his friendship and interaction with local Palestinians. His understanding of the reality of the Middle East conflict and of Zionism has been utterly complicated by the parallel universe that they have introduced him to.
Shadi Abu Awwad is the grandson, son, and nephew of strong, proud Palestinian leaders who were at the helm of the First Palestinian Intifada (Uprising). He grew up imbued with a deep hatred for Israelis. While still a child, his family underwent a major transformation and were among the pioneers in reaching across the divide to their Jewish neighbors to work together in order to create a shared vision for the future. As the Palestinian architect and coordinator of the Roots youth movement, Shadi facilitates shared encounters and experiences among Palestinian and Israeli teenagers, building a new generation of leaders who can confront the real problems between their communities while acknowledging each other's shared humanity.