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The Make Meaning Podcast

Jan 15, 2022

Noor A’wad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger may have come to the question of how Palestinians and Israelis can co-exist on land that they both claim as sacred from different perspectives, but through their work with Roots, the Palestinian Israeli Grassroots Initiative for Understanding, Nonviolence and Transformation, they are figuring out a way to share the land while respecting both communities’ claims on it.

In this first episode of 2022, the Make Meaning Podcast looks at one of the world’s greatest global concerns and begins to make sense of it by speaking to two inspiring leaders in the quest for reconciliation. Noor A’wad is a Palestinian whose family moved to Palestine after the Oslo Accords were signed in the hope that it would be a new opportunity for their family. Growing up in that shattered dream, Noor became a voice for co-existence and understanding.

Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger made aliyah to Israel from the United States decades ago as a religious Jewish settler in the West Bank. He sought to meet his Palestinian neighbors but found it was nearly impossible to do so, since Israeli military law forbids the two populations from residing or gathering in each other’s communities. He is a founder of Roots as a way to make sense out of a truly perplexing situation.

In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, Noor and Hanan speak with host Lynne Golodner about the work that Roots does to bring together Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank toward building relationships and understanding. Their goal is apolitical – generating dialogue, hosting meetings and summer camps, offering photography workshops and generally building relationships that pave the way for lasting understanding and co-existence.

In this episode, Lynne, Noor and Hanan discuss: 

  • The importance of using the right terminology (it’s not a “conflict” – given the differences in power)
  • The “hubris of exclusivity”
  • How media on both sides (and around the world) are part of the problem
  • That identity is the core of the conflict
  • That today’s situation dates back to 1948
  • Why a two-state solution is ideal, but not the two-state solution that most people think of
  • The importance of accepting each other’s legitimacy
  • That self-definition and self-determination are essential for lasting peace


Links and Resources:


Find Roots:
Facebook (Noor)
Facebook (Hanan)
Instagram (Roots)
Instagram (Noor)
LinkedIn (Hanan)