At Roots we envision a social and political reality that is founded on dignity, trust, and a mutual recognition and respect for both peoples' historic belonging to the entire Land.

Our Story

Our story begins in 2014 at a meeting between students of Rabbi Menachem Froman,  of blessed memory, and members of the politically-prominent Abu Awwad family. This grew into a series of encounters between Palestinians and Israelis: meetings between families, a women's group, workshops, and a joint response to violence. Sensing the transformative power of this work, we committed to a long-term project and called it Roots.

The Team

Grassroots activists, Palestinians and Israelis, who have endured the embers of conflict, propel our mission for a better future. Additionally, a network of international supporters facilitates their work on the ground. Our team members come from diverse life and career paths; a spirit of compassion unites them all. 



We believe human interaction is the first agent of transformation. Our initiatives create the spaces and activities for such personal engagement. Our ongoing programs address victimhood and suspicion with trust, empathy, dialogue, and mutual support

As an Israeli peace activist, I truly believe Roots has found the most genuine, although arduous and occasionally frustrating, path to peace: the bottom-up, grass root path, not between theoreticians and self-righteousness redeemers, but between actual neighbors, who live and experience the conflict on a daily basis. They can appreciate more than anyone else the meaning of reconciliation founded on equality, dignity and justice.
— Dr. Muli Peleg, Rutgers University

A Hebrew testimonial from a hug bayit (house meeting) in Dolov, Samaria:

ביום ראשון בערב, ישבנו 25 איש בביתנו, והקשבנו לסיפורם המרתק של הרב חנן שליזנגר וחאלד אבו עווד, מקימי ארגון " שורשים". שמעתי בהתרגשות על החיבור המדהים שיש להם על החשיבות הרבה בשיח משותף ומכבד, על הקושי במפגש כזה, על המורכבות, ובעיקר על התקווה, הכבוד והאהבה הכל כך לא מובנת מאליה. בשבילי זה היה חלום שהתגשם להביא אותם אלינו לישוב..יצאתי בתחושת השראה והתפעמות ובתקוה בלב שגם פה, בנימין, נוכל לשבת יחד מתיישבים ופלסטינים ולדבר..

תודה לרב חנן ולחאלד שהגיעו ולכל המשתתפים בערב

Roots youth group co-director Raz Kones visited Switzerland to deliver a speech at the B8 for Hope Gala in Geneva:

Roots offers a real path toward a better, more peaceful, and more humane future for all, in a land known by many names to the many people who love it. It does so by appreciating not only the centrality of person-to-person encounter, but by respecting the grand historical and spiritual narratives which are too often overlooked by so many well-intentioned peace-builders, and without which, the most needed voices in the conversation are left unheard.
— Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President, CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership