Our History in Israel & The West Bank
In 2012 Israeli acupuncturist Keren Assouline attended one of AWB’s 2-day Level I training programs in Portland, Oregon. Keren returned to Israel, trained three colleagues, started a clinic for trauma survivors in Tel Aviv, and created an AWB chapter.
In 2013, AWB Israel and AWB (US) worked together to develop a trauma healing course for Jewish, Muslim, Christian and secular acupuncturists. In 2014, AWB Associate Director Carla Cassler traveled to Israel with AWB founder Diana Fried and a team of volunteers to train 40 acupuncturists. The training was remarkably powerful and effective, and trainees set up healing circles throughout Israel, implementing what they had learned. They also worked regularly under the auspices of Physicians for Human Rights to provide field clinics in the West Bank. The need for this work was underscored shortly afterwards when the horrifying Gaza war erupted, creating more trauma for the region.
Carla Cassler and Diana Fried returned to Israel in 2015 with a team of AWB volunteers to provide a second training, and partner with local peace and women’s organizations in supporting ongoing work. Carla and Diana have also partnered with Creativity for Peace, doing trainings and clinics for this program that supports healing, friendship and leadership development for Arab-Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli young women.
AWB Training Israel/West Bank 2019
AWB works here because it is a conflict area where most people suffer from deep trauma. Palestinians suffer displacement, discrimination, economic restriction, high imprisonment rates, and other horrors of the occupation. Israelis suffer from traumatic war experiences, terror attacks, and transgenerational trauma from the Holocaust and centuries of antisemitism. And there are other communities that experience trauma-the Druze, Sudanese refugees, and Palestinians who are also Israeli citizens. It is a complicated place with more nuances than not.
It is AWB’s mission to treat EVERYONE suffering from trauma, to intervene in trauma cycles that perpetuate fear and hatred. We also train practitioners to provide trauma reduction treatments in their own communities so that people can receive support over time.
- Continue to train both Jewish and Arab Israel acupuncturists to provide treatments in their communities.
- Provide trauma-reduction treatments in Palestinian villages & settlements, for Holocaust survivors, for Israeli soldiers with severe PTSD, for Bedouin women, for at-risk youth in central Israel, and in other communities.
- Support AWB Israel, which started a weekly treatment clinic affiliated with Tel Hashomer, the Israeli version of the VA, where veterans receive treatment for trauma.
- Take acupuncturists from the US and Europe on a two-week World Healing Exchange to Israel and the West Bank. During WHE trips, the group provides clinic services, learn about indigenous healing practices and meet with coexistence and peace activists throughout the region. The important element of the training is that we bring Israelis, Americans and Palestinians TOGETHER to train and practice
- Continue to cultivate organizational relationships with Israeli and Palestinian social justice activists to bring trauma healing acupuncture services to more under-resourced communities.