The Bereaved Families' Forum - A Special Dialog Group
The Bereaved Families' Forum was founded by Israeli businessman Yitzhak Frankenthal, whose son was killed by Palestinians while serving in the Israeli army. Members are Palestinians and Israelis who have lost loved ones in the conflict. They have held numerous dialogs and taken joint action for peace, and continue to do so, even in the midst of the turmoil now gripping Israel and Palestine.
After the Israeli invasion of the West Bank in retaliation for the Passover Seder terror of 2002, Yitshak Frankenthal visited Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, on the eve of the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (disaster) day (commemorating the declaration of Israeli independence in 1948).
At the very worst time of conflict, the forum began a traveling exhibit of coffins that won headlines in Israel and the US.
Previously, the forum opened a peace tent in Tel Aviv's Rabin square, which became the center for practical activity and organization, as well as prayers and meetings. Yitzhak Frankenthal wrote a letter summarizing this time, and plans for the future.
Recently, Families' Forum members Roni and Mira Hirshenson lost a second son to the conflict, after losing one son in the Beit Lid bombing of 1995. Their son El'ad committed suicide after his best friend was killed while serving in the IDF at the infamous Netzarim junction outpost, which protects the Netzarim settlement in Gaza. Yitzhak Frankenthal wrote about this sad event to settlers at Netzarim, asking them if land is more precious than human life.
An article in the San Francisco Chronicle recently outlined the history of the Bereaved Families Forum and its recent dialog efforts during the violence. Twelve members of the Forum held a meeting in London - because meetings elsewhere were impractical, and formulated a plan of action to bring about cessation of violence through Palestinian activism and withdrawal from settlements through Israeli activism.
How You Can Help
We, Bereaved Families' Forum can and must influence the public in Israel and Palestine. We have been active for the past 6 years. Both sides regard us as credible. Our credibility stems from the common understanding that we have paid the price for the absence of peace. Everyone understands that we do not act out of love for the other side but out of love for our own people. Bereaved Palestinians love their own people and bereaved Israelis love their own people.
Please, any contribution will help.
In Israel, contributions can be sent direct to the following address:
Bank Hapoalim, Branch 567
Please advise us directly via e-mail that you have sent your contribution to the bank.
In the U.S., tax-deductible donations can be made via:
P.E.F ISRAEL ENDOWMENT FUNDS INC.
Form Letter for Donations
P.E.F. Israel Endowment Funds, Inc.
Enclosed is my contribution of $ ____________________ with a recommendation to your trustees that it be used for:
Organization : PARENTS’ CIRCLE
Minimum contribution accepted is $25.00.
Gifts are tax deductible only if made payable to P.E.F. Israel Endowment Funds, Inc. (IRS No. 6104086)
Upon request a copy of the last Annual Report filed by P.E.F. Israel Endowment Funds, Inc. with the New York Secretary of State may be obtained from either P.E.F. Israel Endowment Fund, Inc., 317 Madison Avenue, Suite 607, New York NY 10017 or the office of the New York Secretary of State, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12226.
Yitzhak Frankenthal firstname.lastname@example.org
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