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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 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.”

Forward by

Marianne Williamson

American bestselling author, Democratic Presidential US candidate
for 2024, and spiritual thought leader.

Afterword by

Leymah R. Gbowee

Nobel Peace Laureate. Peace activist,
social worker and women’s rights advocate.

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This book and the incredible story it brings to us is so much more than a simple telling; it’s an offering of light and hope. Nitsan joy Gordon’s work is visionary, wise and important. It’s a call for all of us to do the deep healing that must precede a lasting peace. She asks us to live beyond our stories into the heart of love. This is a message for the  world.”
Paula D'Arcy
American writer, retreat leader, conference and seminar speaker
“The  importance of this book, in my humble opinion, lies in the ability of the author/healer and her colleagues to reach across the boundaries of religious beliefs, ethnicity, skin color and nationality to the essence of our existence as human beings that yearn to live in harmony and peace with one another.”
Dr Mariam Mar’i,
Director of the Akko Arab Women’s Pedagogical Center
This inspiring book not only tells the story of one woman’s brave journey from a border kibbutz to a lifelong dedication to peace building; more  than that, it gives us a heartening example of what can happen when two visionary change makers – Esalen Institute and Together Beyond Words – combine their creativity in the service of our highest human values.”
Nancy Lunney Wheeler
MA, pioneering leader in education for personal and social transformation. Senior advisor at Esalen Educational Institute
"I love this book.It tells the story of a girl, and all the life experiences that led her to become a brave and powerful woman. A woman who was touched by injustice, pain, and bigotry. A woman who could have led a privileged life, a woman who could have not listened to the calling. But a woman who most certainly did. Read this delightful book. Let yourself be inspired. There is so much we can do with this one precious life. Nitsan is a testament to that."
Ann Bradney
CPRA, founder and director of the Radical Aliveness Institute. Faculty Member at Esalen Educational Institute.
“In this powerful book, Nitsan Gordon takes us with her on her amazing  journey toward bringing healing and peace to the chronic pain and conflict that plague relations among Jews, Arabs, and Palestinians in Israel. Having co-led several Together Beyond Words workshops with her, I can testify to the power of having traditional enemies express their most painful truths and feel witnessed by one another — particularly for Palestinians to feel heard by Jews and watch Jews work on the legacy burdens that drive their racist and oppressive behaviors. Through dance, movement, and psychodramatic techniques, Nitsan creates exceptionally safe spaces for these encounters that are building an important  grassroots movement for cross-conflict connection and change. Reading this beautifully written, engaging book, is moving, enlightening, and left me with even more admiration for Nitsan’s courage and persistence.”
Richard Schwartz
Ph.D., developer of the Internal Family Systems model (IFS)
“All  over the world, nations and communities and cultures are experiencing the pain and destruction that happens when one group demonizes another, when people lose the ability to see the human in each other. But all over the world, people are also transforming trauma and pain into healing and peace. It takes hard work–brave and patient work–to do this,  and the Israeli Peace Activist, Nitsan Joy Gordon, has been doing this  kind of work for many years. Her new book, Together Beyond Words is a roadmap for all of us who want to be part of the solution.”
Elisabeth Lesser
Cofounder of Omega Institute, New York Times bestselling author of Broken Open, Cassandra Speaks, and other books.

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