Israel is the hub of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as the nucleus of one of the planet’s most long-standing, challenging, and dangerous conflicts. Despite the vast amounts of money and energy spent on trying to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the situation has not improved. Circlework in the Middle East
We believe that one of the main reasons for this is that outer changes are not enough. For there to be lasting peace, inner changes must occur in the way people think and feel. Political solutions alone can’t achieve this; a transformation of consciousness is needed. Circlework is a powerful tool for inspiring these changes. Circlework in the Middle East
The empowerment of women, especially of strong female leaders, is a crucial key to peace, both in the Middle East and elsewhere. Therefore, while Circlework is also available to men, our work in Israel focuses on women. Since 2005, our founder Jalaja Bonheim has been offering circles for Jewish, Israeli Arab, Palestinian, Druze and Bedouin women that aim at empowering them to serve as effective agents of peace in their communities. Our goal is to build a community of Israeli Circlework leaders.
Our work in Israel has three branches:
- We organize talks, workshops, and retreats in Israel and the West Bank. Ranging from two-hour circles to four-day residential retreats, these gatherings allow people from diverse backgrounds to experience the peace-bringing power of Circlework. Participants treasure these circles as life-changing experiences that send ripples of healing through their families and communities.
- We provide scholarships for female leaders from Israel and Palestine to attend the Circlework Leadership Training in the United States. They develop courage, confidence, and strong leadership skills, and emerge with a sophisticated understanding of circle dynamics, new tools, and an enduring support system for their continued development.
- April 2014 brought the first EVER Circlework Leadership Training to the Palestinian women of the West Bank. The Circlework Leadership Training empowers women and gives them the tools and understanding they will need to hold their own circle gatherings within their communities. There are now several Circlework Graduates actively practicing Circlework across Israel and Palestine. Circlework in the Middle East
Being around Jalaja was an inspiring and uplifting experience that connected me to women’s empowerment and women’s vulnerability, both. I found Jalaja’s leadership to be authentic, simple, and real.
Even though I am Palestinian and do not forget my identity, I believe in world peace. I was very touched by the way Jalaja looked at me and knew what I was going through. It was powerful to connect during such a difficult time, and know that through our inner work, we could affect the outer world.
The power of Jalaja’s circles and of Circlework is stunning. I learned so much from her. The way she radiates such inner peace is amazing, and her leadership is different from anything I have ever experienced. It healed us, and empowered us to face our challenges. It reconnected me with my true power, which I had lost touch with due to the situation in Israel. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in these circles, and to pass on all the power and strength I receive here to others.
The workshop was an incredible experience, far beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I had been apprehensive about coming because of the war, but it was absolutely amazing, and I want to participate in more circles.
The first time I was invited to come to one of Jalaja’s circles, I was very hesitant. Even though my friends said it was really worth while, I thought, why would I want to spend three whole days just with women? But it turned out to be an amazing experience that has led to so much growth. Jalaja has gifts and talents that you can’t find in others. She has a special ability to connect to all kinds of people and open our minds to new ideas and ways of thinking. Now, I am really hoping to come to the USA and take the Circlework Training. I need this in order to come home to myself and stand firmly in my own power.
The way Jalaja guided us from the mind to the heart and from the frequency of political struggle to the frequency of inner peace, was powerful for me. I experienced her as a teacher who brings balance between mind, body, and heart. Now, I want to come to Ithaca to take the Circlework Leadership Training.
I am absolutely amazed. I experienced three days filled with light and magic/ enchantment, significant learning, and connection to others. What a gift! Jalaja’s way of leading circles is extraordinary and very unique. I personally experience a great deal of healing and empowerment every time I come to a circle, and once I’m back in my own community, I am able to transmit what I received to others. For example, during her last visit, Jalaja led a circle in Ussafiya for Arab, Druze, Christian, Muslim and Jewish women. Now, we are going to offer a regular circle there. It’s crucial that Jalaja come to Israel. I also want to come to the United States and take the Circlework Training, so that I can become a circle leader.
Circlework gives me an opportunity to get to know women of different cultures, to learn about the other, to accept the other, just by being together. It also allows me to get to know myself, to work on my own healing, and through my own healing, bring healing to other women, and create a sense of sisterhood. The story telling really opens the heart. When I hear someone else’s story, it might be my own story too. Women tend to share parts of themselves that they don’t usually share.