Archive for the ‘URI Multiregion Blogs’ Category

Announcing: 2nd Global Campus Project in Palestine

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Dear friends of the URI Network,

I wish to share with you all about an inspiring upcoming event which started yesterday at a family-run farm in Tulkarem, Palestine. The Global Campus project, which had an initial phase at the same location in October of 2013, will now have a second two-week event. I connect with this project personally and am deeply moved by its potential to create social and ecological healing in extremely challenging conditions of occupation.   

Below I have included the invitation text written by the project holders. Below the text, you will also find a link to a beautiful article written by peace-worker and project founder Aida Shibli, explaining her deep connection to women and ecological healing in Palestine. 

Finally, please click here for the pdf invitation for the event. Please share with any friends and contacts who you believe may be interested. 

 In prayer for global peace and healing,

 –Monika Berghoff (on behalf of Aida Shibli, and the Global Campus Palestine Team)


“We are pleased to announce the second Global Campus Palestine, a 15-day training event, from April 13th to 27th, hosted by Fayez and Muna Taneeb at their farm in Tulkarem and facilitated by members of the Tamera Peace Research Centre in Portugal.”

“The event is open to Palestinian participants who want to find new approaches that bring together the subjects of agriculture, ecology, technology and community, and who want to work for positive change in themselves, their communities and the world. Key themes of the event will be Sustainability and Empowerment; Building Life-Models for Dignity, Abundance and Peace; Global Interconnectedness;Cooperation with Nature; Truth, Trust and Mutual Support.” 

“Activities will include daily work on the farm in solidarity with the Taneeb family, projects in agriculture and technology, and foundational education in environmental and social activism. Group-work will be the basis for all our activities, so we can learn how to work effectively together in a team, how to build strong communities, and how to see each other truly as human beings.”

“Meals will be provided and accommodation will be available for participants coming from outside the Tulkarem area. Participation in the event will be free, though we kindly ask for donations as a gesture of appreciation for the training and hosting. (Non-Palestinian guests are asked to contribute 20 EUR per day.)”

Date: 13 – 27 April 2014
Location: Hakoritna Farm, Tulkarem
For more information please contact:
Fayez Taneeb: 059 9827434
Aida Shibli:

All participants wishing to attend the event must complete a registration form, available from the above email address.
In service of a free and green Palestine!

Rabbi Sheldon Lewis and Torah of Reconciliation

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Dear Friends

I want to highly recommend a wonderful book about the Jewish teachings on peacemaking.  The Torah Of Reconciliation  was written by Rabbi Sheldon Lewis, and gives a comprehensive view of the rich material in Jewish texts and prayers regarding making peace among people.  The Torah Of Reconciliation is the result of Rabbi Lewis’ personal, passionate search for wisdom on peacemaking recorded in Jewish tradition. He is the rabbi emeritus of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto. He is also a school companion of mine from kindergarten through high school in Chicago.  Recently he was brought here by the US Embassy to speak all over Israel about his book.  He got a wonderful reception speaking to Jews, Christians, and Muslims about the Jewish wisdom underpinning reconciliation among people.

Below is a photo of us with his book at his presentation at the American Center in Jerusalem. 

Sheldon and Elana 

Here’s a link to further information about the book:

I bless us all to find and spread the teachings in all of our religions that stress the religious emphasis on living in peace and harmony.  These teachings illuminate not only our lives, but also the path of our holy work together to be the change we want to see in the world. 

Blessings and love,


CC Nominated for the Independent Music Awards 2014

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Dear all,

One of our CCs here: Peace Kawomera CC, has been nominated for the Independent Music Awards 2014 under the category of World Traditional and the song is entitled Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music & Interfaith Harmony in Uganda. To learn more please visit;

This CC is among 5 other nominated groups under this category from the different parts of the world. JJ Keki who is the contact person and all his associates are urging all our membership to kindly vote for this CC.


In Peace,

Despina Namwembe

Regional Coordinator

United Religions Initiative (URI)- Great Lakes

Ahowan’s Amazing Announcement!

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Namaste, Aho, Aloha, Pura Vida, Shalom,

AHOWAN goes to India!

We are sharing our announcement and excitement for our coming year! As many of you know, MyShell, the spiritual leader, co-founder, and president, has been in India for the past three months. She spent 28 days at the Oneness University and 2 months volunteering at two Animal Ashrams (equal to rescue sanctuaries) in Lucknow, India; as well as two underprivileged children schools, one in Lucknow and one in Varanasi.

Prior to leaving for India, the vision of the next year was not fully clear other than continuing MyShell’s education and continuing to share the message of our Oneness with all of Nature. We knew it was time to step it up a level and this became clearly revealed in India.

While working at these newly established Animal Ashrams, they not only need help, they WANT help with bettering their care for the Animals. At the same time, the children want to learn more in many, many ways, including compassion with the animals. Our Bigger Vision began unfolding before our eyes while there!

This is what Spirit does when you are in the Flow!! (All this taking place in two months in Lucknow, India)

  • Nightly meditations with Science of Mind discussions!  (Just imagine a Religious Science Study Group in India!! WOW!) YES we are doing it!!
  • Private Spiritual Counseling sessions! and Energy Healing sessions!
  • Bi-weekly teachings at a Hindi medium school.
  • Working directly with the people everyday in feeling their Oneness with the Animals in order  to better the conditions for them.
  • Oneness Blessings and Healing sessions for hundreds of Cows, Bulls, Horses, Dogs, Mules and of course….Humans  
  • A weekly “Spirituality with Animals” column in the local paper “Lucknow Tribune!”
  • Our volunteer visa paperwork that normally takes 6 months to a year ,,,done in three weeks

 SO ….AHOWAN is now launching off into India and our one way plane flight is already booked for May 8th!!

Please see our Facebook postings/pictures coming soon on what MyShell has already began there, as well as links to the articles that she wrote! Stay posted! and listen to our sharing of ALL of this on WWW.WRRJ.ORG on March 23rd at 7:00 PM EST

Animal Love Bless-wings,

Myshell Howler RScP, OAC

Dr Ronald Landau RN, MS, ND

…A moving celebration for Israeli and Palestinian women…

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Dear Friends, 


A moving celebration of International Women’s Day for Israeli and Palestinian women  was held on March 7 in Jerusalem.  We screened the documentary film “Women of Cyprus” about Turkish and Greek Cypriot women crossing to opposite sides of the green line dividing Cyprus since the war of 1974 to visit the family homes they had not seen for thirty years.     The film focused on the personal journey of women from opposite sides of a tragic conflict, who have been haunted by violent upheavals and forced dispersions and now work together to promote reconciliation. The film had English, Hebrew and Arabic subtitles. We were so grateful to have with us the film’s Director, Vasiliki Katrivanou,  who broke away from her busy schedule in Greece where she serves as a Member of the Greek Parliament.   She explained how the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women were meeting for four years before the film was made, and how they have continued meeting until now.   We had a panel of Israeli and Palestinian women to discuss the film and it’s relevance to our situation.   Siham Halabi, of the MADA CC arrived with a group of women from the Druze village on Mt. Carmel with Druze pita to add to the refreshments. Some Palestinian women obtained permits to attend.      

We opened by connecting with URI women  and women all over the world who were celebrating International Women’s Day and focusing on the achievements of women and the need to be vigilant to see further advances.  The film was a deep and moving expression of women’s suffering in the midst of the violent upheavals and dispersions in Cyprus and afterwards.  Vassiliki then spoke about the current situation in Cyprus where negotiations have resumed several months ago in an effort to again hold a referendum to reunite the Greek and Turkish parts of the island.  She is optimistic that the on-going dialogues women have been holding for past several years are breaking down the walls between the two populations.  The panelists shared their perspectives on how women are the primary victims of conflict situations and how they can be instrumental in promoting a sustainable peace. An Arab Christian woman spoke about fleeing their home in Katamon, Jerusalem as a child in ’48 because of bombings on their street.  Dalia Landau of Open House in Ramle spoke about having the original Palestinian owners return after ’67 to visit their home, and their subsequent joint decision to turn the house into a place of encounter and cooperation between Jewish and Arab youth.   

A lawyer from Itach Maaki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice, a group of Israeli and Palestinian lawyers, spoke about the recent and needed advances in getting women represented in negotiations.  (  A leader of the Parents Circle – Families Forum  spoke about their on-going reconciliation work.   A Druze woman spoke about the film bringing up painful memories of the plight of the Druze in the  ’48 war.  Women said they were inspired, moved, and encouraged to see and understand the situation of the Cypriot women and see the similarities and differences with our situation.   One woman asked Vasiliki what was the relationship – since in Cyprus they’re trying to reunite the two different populations on the  two sides of the island, and here we’re trying to divide the land. She answered that in each case the people were looking for freedom and independence – just in a different form.  

In the evening we had Palestinians and Israelis – Muslim, Christian, and Jewish –  gather with Vasiliki for a Shabbat dinner which welcomes and honors the female spirit.   Jewish rituals were shared and blessings were said.  We shared many stories of suffering, displacement, and reconciliation.  The Muslims and Christians had never attended a Shabbat meal before and appreciated the inclusive spiritual energy of the meal and deep discussion. 

Co-sponsors and speakers were TRUST WIN (Women’s Interfaith Network), Parents Circle – Families Forum,  Itach Maaki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice,  HeartPath Women: Jerusalem Peacemakers.   We are grateful to Barbara Meislin for her generous support.

In a related development for International Women’s Day, my Peace Corps colleague US Congressman Sam Farr, obtained 50 signatures of US Members of Congress for a letter to Secy John Kerry calling for more women to be involved in all levels of the peace negotiations “to ensure that peace in the region endures”.

We are confident that the moving out-pouring of women’s suffering and love had an inspiring and healing benefit for everyone. 


Blessings and love,