Together Beyond Words
Women on a Quest for Peace in the Middle East
Nitsan Joy Gordon
Foreword: Marianne Williamson – Afterword: Leymah R. Gbowee
What is the book about: It is set in the Middle East: Israel and Palestine. This Holy Land to many, has been enmeshed in one of the world’s most intractable conflicts for over a century, characterized by prejudice, cycles of violence and failed peace talks.
“Is it possible to resolve a conflict that has lasted for so long?” The author, Nitsan Joy Gordon and her colleagues asked almost thirty years ago. And then: “What can we do to help?”
This book is the inspirational story of this adventure, their quest.
The way Nitsan and her colleagues chose to help is by empowering and training Arab and Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian women to create safe havens where people, caught in a conflict, can meet together, dig deep, face what hurts and heal it. Their groundbreaking approach — including Dance/Movement Therapy, Listening Partnerships, Healing Touch, Radical Aliveness (RA), Playback Theater and Internal Family Systems (IFS) — teaches women to harness conflict and intense emotions as a way to achieve empathy and deep connection with perceived enemies. The women then take these transformative practices into their communities, tribes, organizations, to spread the healing.
Nitsan’s book recounts how she got involved in working for peace, the amazing approaches they found useful for peacebuilding and stories of powerful moments in their workshops that were so moving and inspiring, she simply had to write about them.Nitsan believes this work is relevant to women and men everywhere in the world where there is conflict. Whether it’s a conflict you are looking to resolve inside you, in your home, community or country, this book will give you new insights, skills, inspiration and hope.
(Cover Illustration: Drawings from Hülya Özdemir)
Nitsan Joy Gordon
Nitsan Joy Gordon is a therapist & co-founder of the non-profit organization Together Beyond Words (TBW).
Her life experiences — growing up in an Israeli border kibbutz fraught with danger and violent skirmishes, facing hatred in the American South as the only Jew in her junior high school, and finding dance as a way to work through her trauma — set her on a 30-year quest to empower women as peacebuilders and transform prejudices between Arabs and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians.
She co-founded Together Beyond Words (TBW), a peacebuilding organization that brings Muslim, Jewish, Bedouin, Druse and Christian women together, in a dynamic process, to heal ancient wounds, recover hidden strengths, and promote emotional understanding.
Says Gordon: “Our power as women together is no longer dormant and as we liberate ourselves from various degrees of bondage and unite around the world in a call for change, we can also become allies to men in their own liberation of the heart.”
American bestselling author, Democratic Presidential US candidate
for 2024, and spiritual thought leader.
Leymah R. Gbowee
Nobel Peace Laureate. Peace activist,
social worker and women’s rights advocate.