Letters from workshop participants, Dror Intl. Oct. 2009

Jeanine writes:

To the Dror Community

I am writing this letter to you 3 months since I left your wonderful country.

I am writing you to again thank you for hosting the workshop this fall.

I have been very busy since returning. Actually it didn’t take long before I got back into USA mode. Such as working crazy hours, rushing to get where I was going and not being able to slow down.

I must say that when I first returned I was much calmer and more relaxed than I can ever remember being.

I think of you often but in this hectic mode have not had the time to write or connect.

Last night I was with a group of people who I haven’t seen since going to the workshop and was asked about my trip. Well I got talking and had so many wonderful things to say I found myself excited again by being able to tell about it.

It also reminded me of how awesome you all are. How giving and generous fun and alive you are.

I was reminded of the great connection I had with many of you at the workshop and how easy it was to be with you.

One thing I get a bit frustrated with about workshops is that I feel so connected at them then come home get involved with everyday business and are not able to keep connected.

So this is my attempt to stay connected by saying hello and that I hope all is well with all of you.

I know that the invitation was made for all of you to come to the USA this April for our workshop April 20-25. I still want you to know that the invitation is still there. I do know that it is expensive to fly here but I want to remind you that we do have Bursary money available and special effort is given to support those coming from abroad. Just so you are aware requests for bursary need to be received by 2/19/10. So if you even think that you might be interested send in a request. You can always change you mind.

We do set up places for people to stay and rides to the workshop. If places and rides are needed after we usually are able to offer these also. I know that the hospitality you offered was exceptional and I certainly will do what I can to support you in enjoying your time here if you are able to come. As I write this I am thinking Oh! I just might have to take time off from work. Being in workaholic mode it is a bit scary but I know it would be worth it.

So I hope to see some of you in April or at other workshops. If I am not able to see you know that I do think of you often.




Marlies writes:

Dror International meeting in Israel 16 to 20 of October 2009.

Sytse and I participated in the DROR international meeting with 7 other international guests and about 30 participants from DROR. We were involved in the planning of the meeting earlier this year, and we were very happy that this event could take place! It was very inspiring that so many Israeli cocounselers and international cocounselers could take part in the event. On Friday evening there was a meeting with the Yafia group (The group which meets once a month already for 30 years). That was on the first evening of the conference. Since many Israelis did not have the possibility to take off work during the full event, they could only participate during the weekend, till Saturday afternoon.


It was wonderful to experience Israeli hospitality and to feel at home in a setting which was very much the same as CCI meetings in Europe, and as I understood as well like USA CCI meetings: we had workshops in the morning and afternoon, people could choose the workshops they preferred or do sessions. In the morning there was an opening circle with the announcement of the workshops. At the final evening there was a talent show, which was new to the Israeli cocounselers, and there were validation envelopes, which was really overwhelming.


On arriving in Israel we were picked up from the airport by Janice. We met already two times earlier this year: In February 2009 when we visited Tel Aviv and at the CCI in Germany in August. We enjoyed very much the warm hospitality from Luiza and Avner and the lift Luiza gave us to Beit Oren, in the hotel in a kibbutz near Haifa the next day.


Right at the start I was asked to do a session with Naomi, even though the conference had not started yet: cocounselers being together can do sessions. More sessions were going on. It felt like being home immediately. We met more people we know from CCI in Scotland, which gave a lot of nice feelings to see each other again!!


On Saturday, the people who stayed on had a party on the beach, which was very nice and cozy. There was a bonfire and we had coffee and tea to drink.


Sytse and  I ran a workshop with some co-creating techniques in it. There was a lot of interest in the explanation of the steps (papers on the ground) we learnt from co-creating. At first there was a bit of resistance: well, why should we do the steps, why not just sit and do a session? Then there was the satisfaction after doing it. The possible steps were: art, celebration, new beliefs, opening to the spiritual world, regression (with discharge), and life action. People did feel a little hesitant at the start: doing sessions while walking. After the sessions we shared about the experience: the discovery was that following the steps makes a session very lively and dynamic.


What made a big impression on me (Sytse) was the exchange of war experiences. Listening is an art which is one of the most important, basic elements of co-counseling. The workshop by Ofer about use of physical power in the workshop named "Anti-Terror Techniques". We really used our bodies to feel the strength. The workshop taught me (Sytse) to explore some very important inner resources and also caring for somebody else in tense situations.


The exchange on prison work in Israel, US and Hamburg showed the possibilities of sharing our most important techniques with people who needed them maybe even more than we do. It was very interesting to hear about the experiences in Israel, in USA and in Germany - how people work in prisons and how inmates change when doing emotional growth work. As both Sytse and I work in AVP as well as in cocounseling Bob’s contribution about AVP was very interesting. He spoke about integrating cocounseling techniques with AVP, like actively giving free, aware, loving attention (active listening), validation and life action. Inmates change during the emotional growth work. Other inmates notice this, as well as family members.


I attended the workshop Phillo gave on "Intimacy, Physical Touch and Sexuality". It was a very careful process in which we explored the differences among the concepts. Sentences in my notebook which still appeal to me are: being present in the moment and responding by speaking from my heart.

I made myself a picture of the learning cycle of Kolb (the picture below is taken from internet) , which clarified for me some of the differences in workshop styles.



Beginning with the exercise or concrete experience (1), more the style which I use or starting with a theoretical approach or abstract conceptualization (3) what I saw being used in some DROR workshops. Interesting is that the workshops I attended in the DROR international meeting now were much more like short explanations and then doing an exercise. So I observed a difference there or at least a different approach. I enjoyed very much seeing people working together and learning together.


After the CCI we travelled to Ramallah and Rudolf and Corrie came with Sytse and me. It was very special to travel together and experience Palestinian hospitality after the Israeli hospitality. It was great to have the possibility to enable Rudolf and Corrie to benefit from our earlier travel experience in the West Bank.

 We are very grateful for the support we got from Dutch CCN, contributing for our conference fees.


New Plans for next year 2010

During the DROR international meeting together with Csaba from Hungary and Gail from the USA, we discussed the possibility of coming back to Israel to learn more from each other. Maybe we could teach fundamentals in an international training setting for new DROR members. Talking this over with Janice, it appears to be more motivating to organize a teachers' meeting in Israel. We could invite Israeli coco teachers and people who have assisted in fundamentals courses to exchange theory and techniques during a weekend. This, like the teachers' exchange weekends like in Europe before CCI’s.

Together with Janice the following plan is in the making:
Meeting on the 25th till the 26th of June 2010 in Israel for a weekend with teachers.

The weekend after that we could meet in a mini DROR International meeting for two days on the 2nd and 3rd of July.

In the week between the two events we could have one or two evenings with people in the area of Tel Aviv or attend a meeting in Yafia with the ongoing group there, the last one should be on the Friday evening.  This could give more people the opportunity to participate in activities all around the world. We would like to hear from other people from CCI who are interested in this plan, please contact me or Janice.

Janice: Janice.wasser@gmail.com

Marlies: marliestjallingii@home.nl


Personal report from Rudolf Giesselmann on his issues of special interest for members of Co-Counselling and friends.

'Why on earth do you want to go there?' Some friends asked me before I went. With 'there' they meant two things: The Co-Counselling workshop and Israel. With 'you' they also meant two things: First me with my interest in Co-Counselling and personal development, and me who is sometimes overtaken by muscle weakness. Because of the latter I always need a good reason to travel.

My relationship towards Israel is not as simple as towards, for example, France, or the Fiji Islands. In Germany every sentence said about Israel at anytime can violate tight political correctness. And this political correctness is also part of me. At the same time I feel distinctly connected with Israel because of Germany's history. Is that a reason to go? I don't know. I'm just drawn. Attending the Co-Counselling-Workshop offers me the opportunity to go there without being only a tourist. And I'm curious: What is Dror? For a long time now a Jewish-Arab Support Group is meeting, and once they even did a peace performance in Jerusalem. I'm especially interested in their sociopolitical approach inside their work with Co-Counselling methods for personal development. I have questions: how does Co-Counselling and joint political action work together? About Dror and the International Co-Counselling Network CCI, how does this all fit together? Here we are 40 years after the Six-Day-War - why is there still no peace in the Middle East? So I bought my flight ticket (Hamburg - Istanbul - Tel Aviv) and flew. From the very beginning this felt good since Janice, Marlies und Sytse cordially offered to give me a hand as needed.

The first things to catch my eye were the differences which especially stood out. When I was queuing up at an arm's length (normal space for me), I had to learn that for an Israeli this could mean that I don't seriously intend to be part of the queue, and they just planted themselves in the gap before me. A similar experience occurred when I was walking on the sidewalks in Tel Aviv. Just to pass each other was irritating now and then. Obviously here you don't move aside as widely as you do in Hamburg. The distance of a cigarette box (lengthwise) is enough even when the sidewalk is spacious, and there are only two persons passing. In Hamburg that would signal aggression or at least a lack of attention. In Israel obviously this means nothing special. For me, it took a short while to understand this.

Also different was the use of mobile phones. And here I finally start to speak about the Dror International Workshop. Participants received phone calls during a workshop. They searched for their mobile phones in their handbags. They got up to start talking; they walked to a corner of the room or they left the room. Evidently no one bothers at all. For me this is also a shift from an annoying matter in Germany to an amusing little story in Israel. But even after I understood, it was still possible to be astonished. Once during a workshop one of the two facilitators answered a phone call. Even in a session one time someone did so. The one who was clearing things for himself had a short phone call in between with the same amount of implicitness I noticed all of the time. No Israeli wasted any words on it.

The same goes for being late to a workshop. There was no discussion at all with the late comers. At Co-Counselling events in Europe and the US you pay attention not to be late. Punctuality there means attention and respect for each other. With Dror, it's different. This meaning doesn’t exist here. Nobody bothered and surprisingly, I didn't bother after a while myself. Often it took more than half an hour until the critical mass arrived for the workshop to start. That gave me time to write something down, to contemplate things or to find a neighbor on a chair or a pillow to chat with. A process not organized, but in the end offering quite valuable productivity. That only could happen because punctuality in this context didn't have a special meaning for anyone. So no one had to talk about it or get annoyed about punctuality. But trains are on time in Israel. What about their companies? I should have asked.

And what interesting cultural differences did I observe at the Dror International Workshop? Surprisingly there were not so many. 'Do Dror and Co-Counselling-International CCI fit together?' This question quickly lost its significance. After half a day it was in a way normal to be there. There was the same basis for togetherness as at other CCI-Meetings: Much caring and interest for each other without being fussy. In Psychology this is called: Caring acceptance of the other person without trying to make the other person self-similar with oneself (Levinas). That enables the possibility for a special connection with oneself it helps to express our truth. In this respect Co-Counselling is a space for the possibility of full speech (Lacan). (This just was my very basic answer to the question 'What is the core of Co-Counselling CCI?') I also found this in Dror. What was different was that differences in cultural backgrounds of the participants were a bit greater than at a workshop with only Europeans or people from the US. This special openness of the participants towards the world of experiences of other persons made it a real treat to be there. (Isn't this what helps make a better connection between the strange unknown worlds inside oneself?) In Israel if you meet several people you meet several cultural backgrounds at the same time. That's not different in Dror. This makes Dror special for me. The somehow working diversity is just beautiful. There is plenty of space for many people and enough for everyone. Dror is probably like Israel. One question arose: Why is it then so hard to offer respect for the Palestinians as well?

Dror members are from the middle of the society. Mostly they have jobs, are in a relationship, have children. There are older ones and younger ones. You could talk about politics easily with members of Dror. Co-Counselling practically is theory and practice for personal development. What in Dror enables there to be this political impulse? Is there a piece in their Co-Counselling theory or does it lie within one, two, three persons who promote this engagement by conviction? There is the Jewish-Arabic Support Group in which peace, friendship and support between Israelis and Palestinians is created again and again. There were workshops with societal implications: 'How can we pass on our culture to the next generation without passing on our traumas' [Daniel] and 'aging' (how to transform the existing roles for elder people in society into a wider space with more colors, more sex, more sparkling eyes, more pride and more laughter) [Luiza]. Another active involvement of Dror is their activities in the prisons. One element of this work is about how to cut the cycle of anger and violence. We learned that prison work with elements of Co-Counselling is also done in the US [Bob] and Germany [me, Rudolf]. Spontaneously, a workshop around this topic appeared and we shared experiences from the different countries.

I was really touched by a workshop which was not a workshop. It was a circle in which we shared our personal and family history which is related to the Holocaust or the period after it. After the catastrophe everyone had experienced really different situations but obviously we felt allied in that connection. Everyone was eager to hear the story of the other and to tell his/her own story. Our personal stories somehow belong together - the stories of the Israelis, the Dutch, the Americans and the Germans. It was a little miracle for me being treated with such open-mindedness. Everybody listened with openness and attention when I spoke about my childhood after the war in Germany - about the shame, the silences and the work mania. 'You are not guilty, you were not involved' I heard in Israel several times. I heard it clearly and without bias as I had never heard before in Germany.

Many workshops were developed on the spot by participants with subjects raised from a kind of bigger group process. One more example: One afternoon I heard someone mentioning 'tomorrow will be Sabbath'. Three hours later during sunset nearly everyone stood in a circle in front of the big window of the meeting room. Someone lit candles - it took some time to find the matches - and we sang together. Nobody had announced this; nobody had even called others to come. It just happened. And the following activities just had to wait.

The basics of Dror work were mentioned or explained several times: Equality, Respect and the right amount of safety. In practice I experienced this during the Jewish-Arab Support group on the first evening. There I could solidly see equality and respect for diversity. Especially the phrase 'the right amount of safety' [Avi] was important for me. It is easy to ask for more safety not thinking about the fact that in a room with much safety, some things can happen especially well, but other things can nearly not happen at all. For instance, it's almost impossible for friendships to develop in a purely therapeutic arena. Friendship can only emerge and flourish when there is the free possibility to refuse friendship. When everyone is just a friend to everyone, friendships cannot grow at all. In this spirit Dror maybe has less safety but more friendships than some CCI Co-Counselling Networks. On the other hand, most of the members in my daily support group wanted a great amount of safety: Equal parts of time for everybody and isolated decisions ('self-directed') - what to do with this time- snippets. That was Co-Counselling in its basic version .

Thank you for enabling me to have all of these inspiring experiences and some friendships too. Thanks to everyone, especially for Hava, Janice & Philo.


Things I didn't write about so far:

- Indeed because of the heat I had to struggle with the weakness of my muscles most of the time. But they never gave me a serious handicap. I was able to take part in the workshop with great joy. Wonderful isn't it!

- After the workshop, Hava and Janice drove a bunch of foreigners down to the Dead Sea. First I had to learn how to be in the water with swim rings for my arms and legs, and not to get water in my mouth and eyes (very useful advice). Afterwards when I knew the trick, it was pure pleasure.

- One day I lost my way in Tel Aviv. I had no address, only a tiny piece of paper with Aviva's phone number. Naturally it was easy to find an Israeli with a mobile phone and a taxi to drive me back as well.

- Meals in Israel are consistently similar to the ones in the restaurant 'Falafel al Arabi' in Altona, Hamburg five km from the place I live.

- Even in late autumn when there is cooler weather in Israel, it might get hotter than in summer. It's called a heat wave and it means 32 degrees or hotter.

- Tel Aviv is a major city with 400.000 inhabitants situated right near the sea with mile-long white beaches, deck chairs, parasols. Many roads lead directly to the sea.

- The answer to my question: why there is still no peace? Of course I really cannot say I know enough to make a real conclusion. All the numerous exchanges and conversations and dailies I've read, left me with an idea: Israel is so much more potent, powerful, and effective, economically and militarily over the Palestinians. That makes it difficult to get into real peace negotiations. That makes it easy to let new settlements grow. Reasons to do so are expressed everywhere. They are found in Archaeology, Torah, cultural superiority, the Holocaust, the recent rockets from Lebanon last week, the suicide bomber from 2006 in Tel Aviv ... I very seldom read about a reason for peace.

- The sound of the Dij. More than two meters in length with a broad tune. We heard it every morning and sometimes Ida blew it while we waited for a workshop to start. These sounds created a connection towards the belly, the earth underneath, and to the bodies on the left and on the right.

- In this report I left out valuing adjectives in many sentences. My impression is that these adjectives are so much more easily used in Israel and in the US than in my place in Germany. Obviously we start to measure from a different reference point. That is my culture, and therefore it's in me too. Often we even put these adjectives in the gap between words or between lines. Adjectives which would be fitting for this report might be: Interesting, enriching, joyful, open, honest, engaging, cooperative, helpful, generous, hospitable, flexible, creative, attentive … to mention a few for those who may need cultural translation.


Bob Sawyer writes:

As I prepared to leave for the international co-counselling workshop being hosted by the Dror community in Israel I got to thinking about all of the international workshops I had attended over the years and wondered if this would be strikingly different than those experiences.

When I arrived on Wednesday, after travelling from Boston to Frankfurt and on to Tel Aviv, Janice met me at the airport and off we went to Jerusalem. There we met up with Corrie and her host Phillo to go take in the Old City and have a late supper. Over the next day and a half I did a few of the typical tourist things, spent time with my friend Avi Butavia and also learned how to take public transportation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem..

On Friday afternoon Gail Fuller, Jeanine Lajeunesse and I boarded a train along with our guide Gina and headed to Beit Oren, a kibbutz north of Tel Aviv where the workshop was being held. People began arriving during the afternoon and by about 4:30 we got started with an opening circle and a discussion about workshop norms which were very similar to the culture setting at other workshops. Client in charge, confidentiality, setting the contract, culture of validation. Did mini-sessions and then broke up to go have dinner.

After dinner, members of the Arab/Jewish support group arrived and we spent a good part of the evening sitting in circle with members of the support group sharing what it's been like for them to be involved. It was very interesting to hear Palestinians and Israelis (Jews and Arabs) talk of their experience in this support group which has been ongoing for about 30 years. Lots of sharing from the heart, openness, gratitude and caring of and for each other and real hope for transformation.

On Saturday there were two facilitated workshops. The first one in the morning was 'What is the meaning of community' led by Ofer and Luiza, two long time teachers and facilitators in the Dror community. After lunch Sytse and Marlies from the Netherlands led a topic group entitled 'what we have in common' which covered some CCI techniques. That evening there was a bonfire on the beach with music, baked potatoes, hot tea and snacks.

The next two days consisted of participant led topic groups. I wasn't able to attend all of them but did go to 'Arabs and Jews as Allies', 'Hopes for the next generation', 'Aging and Oppression', 'Stories from our past' and also co-facilitated with Rudolph and Janice 'Prison Work, an Exploration'. Great sharing, learning, co-creating and co-counselling.

On Monday night we all enjoyed a spirited talent show coordinated by Corrie and Ida followed by a dance party which went on long after I turned in for the night. The next morning, Tuesday, we gathered for a wonderful time of sharing and a closing circle.

Some personal reflections:

* Gathering with co-counsellors from Israel, Palestine, Hungary, the Netherlands, England, the US and Germany, I felt at home.

* I found members of the Dror community committed to the process of co-counselling both for personal transformation and as a way to impact society.

* The quality of co-counselling is as good, if not better, than any I've experienced. The client is firmly in charge of their session and confidentiality is the norm. One difference was the counsellor offering a direction, which could be accepted or not by the client.

* Diversity encourages my growth and expands my view.

So, was it different? In some ways it was but, in most ways it was very similar to the international co-counselling workshops that I have attended over the years in other countries. The process of co-counselling brings us together in a very special way. I came away feeling even more connected to our co-counselling friends in the Dror community. Thank you for sharing your selves with me.



Luiza writes:

Indeed, there's nothing like the Dror Community! And there's nothing like coming together with the aim for growth and for making the world a better place.

The three musketeers: Hava, Janice & Philo – who each worked for the benefit of all of us, with grace and generosity, with much love, who received more than once, negativity that was actually meant for work in sessions, and not directed specifically at them.

I wanted to share with you all what I learned and what was renewed in me, especially for those of you who weren't able to participate for the full workshop:

1) The importance of giving validations – especially the worker to him/herself (for every session).

2) In support groups, what we did in the beginning was summarize what happened during the day and in the second part, we dealt with our needs (some frozen patterns, some rational needs) of touch, love and validations.

3) Marlies spoke of the importance of examining free attention at 3 levels: inside myself (am I paying attention to my health, to my needs?); between me and others (with my co-worker, in relationships, etc.); with the environment, G-d, the spiritual realm, the universe.

4) Corrie raised our awareness about the importance of giving validations to our bodies (as they serve us) in order to contradict all the critical voices and comparisons we make. Our group of women – each one at her turn, stood in front of the others while they gave feedback on what they see – including ideas for improvement – it was a huge success – which turned into an act in the talent show where we flaunted our lovely bodies.

5) I noticed where there was a sense of oppression regarding the language issue: when translations were given for our Arab members, they patiently listened and it seemed clear that they didn't understand everything completely. When our English-speaking members had to listen to other languages, there was no patience if they didn't understand something. It is worth paying attention to this issue and working on it – Why it so important that we understand everything and that everyone is understood and can express him/herself clearly without feeling inadequate for not speaking English?

6) I acknowledge the comment about many Dror people answering their cell phones, even in session time and about our lateness regarding starting times for gatherings – which exhibits patterns of control. In spite of this, such intensity over knowing when we are going to eat or when we must start an activity, keeping to a schedule also puts light on patterns of control. Especially because we have differences, we can identify and work on patterns. If we were the same, then we might possibly miss the opportunity to point these things out.

7) During my and Ofer's workshop, I spoke about the idea that among non-Jews, possibly subconsciously, that there is a fear of getting close to Jews and to having them in their lives because it may be dangerous to be identified as a "Jew lover".

In the discussion in the afternoon, one of our guests from abroad admitted that he was embarrassed about the fear of telling others that he was traveling to Israel, but with the theory he was reminded that he is okay. It seems to me very important for us to enable others to discharge on this topic if the opportunity presents itself.

8) Our guests from CCI seem to be less interested in theory and less focused on discharge.

9) Workshops in general were lacking discharge, and work leading to making our world a better place. Most workshops were focused on working through personal patterns.

Thank you Avi for bringing the Yafia Group to Beit Oren!!!

10) Hearing about feelings of guilt among Germans which prevent them from talking about their past within the family, and the desire to hear our stories was very moving. It appears to me that it's very important to arrange a workshop on this issue so we can discharge more feelings.

11) I was happy to see many participants who came to my workshop on liberation from age oppression – during the workshop, one of the participants expressed an interest in working on this topic back in his home country and to exchange ideas by email.

I was happy to see the sparkle of Or (the word for light in Hebrew) around the workshop in such a nurturing environment and how he was inspired to give the best of himself. (Or is Luiza's newest student).


Gina writes:

Thank you Luiza, for the detailed email sharing your insights and your thoughts. This gave me inspiration to do the same. I noticed several things about myself and others at the workshop.

I primarily did sessions with our guests from abroad because I wanted to see if there were differences in the styles. They were very good co-counselors, and I didn't find any significant differences between their sessions and ours. I wonder about all the talk on this topic. I was relieved to find that our sessions were "fine."

The preciseness with regard to time for the guests from abroad reminded me of myself when I first started in co-counseling. I remember the shock at my first workshop when no one arrived at the hour the workshop was supposed to start. Now I realize that this is a cultural difference and it's not about what is right or not right.

The workshop on "Community" by Luiza and Ofer was very powerful. I am by myself a lot and it's very easy and comfortable. There's no need to take others' patterns into account besides my own. No one tells me what to do and no one bothers me. I don't need to take others into account and I'm not disappointed in anyone. But, I saw that I don't enjoy the advantages of the community. I am happy that I have a community like Dror. Also, suddenly I'm interested in becoming active and to initiate activities and to stop being "lazy". Suddenly it sounds fun to organize activities and not overwhelming.

Many people expressed warmth towards me and I didn't believe everyone. I noticed that I am suspicious of people that I see as "not real". Interesting, why? I would like to investigate this in a session.

Up until now, I was not interested in traveling to workshops abroad. Suddenly, I really want to go. It seems like a wonderful vacation. I plan to attend the workshop in Ireland this summer. How great it's going to be!

The Dror workshop was incredible! I enjoyed it so much, and I'm so sorry I couldn't stay on after the weekend. All the time I was sitting at work, I was thinking of you all.

Thank you Janice, Hava & Philo for the gift you gave us. I will never forget this.

Also thanks to Luiza and Ofer for the wonderful workshop you facilitated.

So thanks again to the organizers and all those who participated (including myself) and who made this workshop possible.

Love, Gina


Ety writes:

From deep in my heart, I join my dear friends with their praise.

Thanks to each and every one, my fellow partners on this journey in offering so much love and resources of humankind.

Janice, without your confidence, your faith and determination and great sensitivity, all your support in providing for our guests from the different communities. You realized your heart's inspiration, your joy is our joy.

Philo, without your confidence and financial savvy, with your integrity and faith that the workshop would take place, it wouldn't have happened. You kept your promise; your joy is our joy.

Hava, without your gentle power, your great wisdom, your focus of attention wrapped in love, this workshop would not have been what it was for me. You realized action from a vision. Your joy is our joy. I admire and respect you very, very much!

And this is all before I truly absorbed the incredible experience that I had at the workshop. Every moment, every second with all those present (my roommates, Dror members, guests from CCI, new techniques, sessions, group meetings, creativity, food, drink, touch, the Dij (Ida Rubin, the one and only!), bonfire on the beach, tears and laughter, discharge, discharge, discharge) and more…

I continue to celebrate the great pleasure I felt from the workshop, and I want to compliment Luiza, my dear friend. My partner in the excitement before the workshop, on the trip to the workshop, sharing a room together, working in groups together and being together throughout our stay in Beit Oren. As a roommate, from the goodness in your heart and your sweet laughter, you turned the room into a special place that was great to be in.

As a co-counselor, you identify distresses and obstacles in the counselor and you know how to offer support by giving free attention, warmth, strength and courage, security, recognition, creative thinking, love such that you inspire responsibility and support for growth in the other. You offer new ideas for building pathways to growth.

You are an amazing woman,




Hava writes:

To my loving, extended Dror family,

I am happy and proud to me part of this family. Thank you for all the loving support that I received during the whole length of the workshop. To be in your presence is to be in a good place, loved, and knowing that all is possible. This workshop, in my opinion, was very fruitful because of each and every one who was present and brought him/herself at his/her best. Thank you for all the wonderful letters that you've written from your hearts about your personal experiences.

A huge thank you to Ida and her didge.

G-d willing that we shall have more wonderful, happy days together.

Love to you all – always,



Noam writes:

To keep it very short, as someone who only experienced a very small part of the workshop, I am very happy that it was a success for us, that is to say, for the Dror Community. Congratulations to my fellow members of the administrative council. Truthfully, I am honored. I am happy to see the accumulation of letters from the participants about the workshop. Look at this amazing energy that you all have brought in. See for yourselves, what energy new connections can bring in. I hope that this workshop will bring the inspiration to expand our community.

Hugs, and see you soon,



Iris writes:

Hello everyone, Such letters! How wonderful. I wasn't able to say good-by properly, with hugs and kisses for everyone.

In spite of our short stay, I returned home with the feeling of power and understanding. I found my motivation and a great energizing push for making changes in my life.I wanted to thank Naomi specifically since she was the one who brought me to Dror. Thanks also to Luiza and Hava who didn't let me back out of my fundamentals class. Thank you to the wonderful people that we have in our community, who are not afraid of their feelings, who recognize the power of the tools we have, our hugs and support for each other. I am so lucky that I am a member of the Dror family.

Philo, you are strong and courageous. I honor your courage and motivation and your initial financial investment towards this workshop.

Hava, You are a loving and very dear woman, so generous and committed, making all those phone calls and working against old patterns so that this workshop would happen.

And, lastly, darling Janice. What kind of woman chooses such a focused objective, even when she hears pessimistic voices? You continue to see the light and focus on what's important, turning a vision into reality, not giving up on anyone in the community, you are beautiful, you are generous and not confused. I honor you and your wish to make this workshop happen.

I honor the three of you as organizers for your determination and successful results.

Or, thank you for coming and thanks for participating. Welcome to the Dror Community!

Etai (our son) is healthy again and he sends warm regards to all,

With love, Iris


Yoav writes:

I join in with deeply felt gratitude. I was at the workshop for only 2 days. There were wonderful, and for that experience I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.To Janice, for her jovial leadership, to Hava, for her commitment and generosity, to Philo, for his courage and faith in us. The three of you are leaders that Dror can be very proud of.

All my love to you and all the other wonderful Dror members.



Or writes:

Thank you Dror.

To all the organizers, and to all the people who gave of themselves, to everyone for your support, love, encouragement and courage. I discovered an amazing group of people who are truly making changes in the world, and it's important for me that more people will know about this and join along.

About conclusions and my personal growth, I went through so many things. It will take more time to see it all clearly. I am very busy these days. So I write this here so you would know what it was like for someone new to the community. I left the workshop the knowledge that it is important to continually work on my feelings. I felt recharged with new powers.

The environment in Dror is perfect for enabling my true self-expression, and that is so rare. Giving the stage so people can act (the talent show), is so rare in our world, and it is so powerful. Thank you! With love and recognition of the community,



Naomi writes:

Hi Janice, Philo & Hava,

I want to thank you all with all my heart for 5 days that were so rich in human kindness and warmth across nations, in which for Dror, the quality speaks more than the quantity. It was wonderful, Well Done! And so here's to many more meetings like these.




Rahel writes:

I wish to join in with Naomi's blessings. I love you all and thank you for the support and the opportunity to be there for someone else.