Report on the Dror International Workshop Oct. 2009, Israel

Here is a brief report on the Dror International Workshop which took place on Oct. 16-20th, 2009 at Beit Oren, Israel. There were a total of 37 participants and 7 special guests for the first night. Nine people from CCI attended the full workshop, 7 of them visiting Israel for the first time. We had representatives from 5 communities outside Israel – Bob Sawyer, Gail Fuller and Jeanine Lajeunesse from the USA; Rudolf Giesselmann from Germany, Csaba Ghimessy from Hungary, Alan Trangmar from the UK and Corrie van Haasteren, Marlies and Sytse Tjallingii from The Netherlands.

The workshop was a mixture of styles from Dror and CCI for several reasons. Dror's usual national workshop is only two days long; CCI is usually a week – so we worked in 5 days. Dror used to have planned workshops around a theme with facilitators in place. CCI usually has an open program where any participant can make offerings. This workshop was partly planned in advance, partly open for offerings.

On the first day, opening circle started at 16:30. In the evening Avi Butavia facilitated our Arab-Jewish support group. There was a very moving sharing round where those who have participated over the years (the group has been running for over 30 years), spoke about what the group means to him or her. Translation was heard for Arabic, Hebrew and English speakers. Avi led us in very powerful visualization imagining that we were members from all the countries present in the meeting: "Imagine we are all Germans, imagine we are all (Israeli, Palestinians, Americans, Dutch, Hungarians, British …) It gave a feeling of interconnectedness, despite our differences.

The second day was arranged with two group sessions after opening the day with Ida sounding the didgeridoo and Tibetan bowls – this naturally became our regular opening exercise since everyone seemed to find this appealing. Support groups were determined by random selection, picking a color group out of a sack.

Ofer and Luiza facilitated a workshop entitled: "What is the meaning of Community". Afterlunch and a nice afternoon break, Marlies and Sytse facilitated the group on CCI techniques, bringing in some tools of co-creating with a possibility to do sessions with more movement. That evening we had a lovely bonfire on the beach with all the trimmings of a typical Israel "kumsitz" – music, potatoes in the fire and hot tea and snacks.

The following two days were open to offerings from participants. The following workshops took place:

Anti-Terror Tactics, Ofer Cornfeld; My Inner Tune, Ida Rubin; Biography work: Age 5, Age 9 (journaling) Aviva Haim; Arabs and Jews as Allies, Avi Butavia; Our Relationship with our Surroundings, Naomi Springer; Contact and Movement, Or Inster; How do you experience your body? Corrie van Haasteren; A Co-co way to deal with pain caused by hurt, mistreatment or rejection, working in 3s, Csaba Ghimessy

Evening: Bring a Song, Alan Trangmar

Good parenting, Daniel Krichmar; Intimacy, physical contact and sexuality – Dividing lines, Philo Aviram; Aging and Oppression, Luiza Namizov; Role-playing for advanced co-counselors; Sharing stories from our past, Rudolf Giesselmann; Prison Work, An Exploration, Bob Sawyer, Rudolf Giesselmann, Janice Wasser;

Evening: Talent Show and Dance party

Tuesday: Closing Circle – We asked the CCI representatives if they noticed differences or learned something new at the Dror workshop, and the questions asked to the whole group were what characteristic in you enabled you to have the experience you had here at the workshop, and what will you take home with you. There was a very rich round of positive validations and a feeling of great inspiration for future meetings of Dror and CCI. The use of validation envelopes was adopted from our CCI brothers and sisters. For the Dror members who forgot to take them home, a sweet surprise is waiting in their postbox.

Although we had an unexpected heat wave that brought in temperatures well into the 30s, everyone seemed to take this in stride. The accommodations were not ideal, but somehow everyone seemed to feel at ease – the nights did cool off a bit and the meeting rooms were air-conditioned. The food was excellent - very healthy selections, serving everyone's needs and there was plenty of it!

We are very happy to say that bursary was offered to 7 participants and generous donations were given from the Dutch community, also supporting all three of their representatives and from our dear Alan Trangmar. Thank you!!!

The letters participants have written about their experiences are available on our web site: www.dror.org.il along with pictures in the gallery which are currently being collected.

Janice Wasser, Dror Co-counseling, Israel