Tuesday Oct 17 – Saturday Oct 28 featuring Antwan Saca and Hanan Schlesinger

Thursday Nov 2 – Sunday Nov 5 featuring Ali Abu Awwad and Hanan Schlesinger

For more information or to request a booking please contact Hanan at Info@friendsofroots.net.


"I had the honor to see Rav Hanan and Ali yesterday, I was beyond impressed with them and the work they are doing. It is truly one of the more powerful presentations I've heard. Both are eloquent, passionate, and honest. They really must be heard and must be supported both by hosting them in our communities and providing financial support, so they can continue the most important aspect of their work at home."

-Rabbi Ben Berger 


"Visiting with ROOTS is a transformative moment during our Interfaith Partners for Peace trips to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  Hanan and Ali's personal stories, and their vision for co-existence and partnership shatter stereotypes and offer hope.  Participants return home eager to bring ROOTS to their communities."  

-Rabbi Leonard Gordon, Co-Director, Interfaith Partners for Peace

"Even as an educator, it is uncommon for my own prejudices and preconceived notions to be challenged so dramatically by new perspectives. And even as a so-called religious leader, it is uncommon for me to see such profound evidence of the hand of God, opening hearts and conquering hatred and fear."

-Rabbi David Wolkenfeld

“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


A Taste of What We Have To Say

Painful Hope: The Roots Fall 2017 USA Tour

Who We Are

Palestinian and Israeli activists with Roots:

Ali Abu Awwad, Palestinian Activist

Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, Orthodox rabbi and settler

Antwan Saca, Palestinian activist

What We Do

Roots is a grassroots collaboration dedicated to building a model for coexistence in the Gush Etzion-Bethelem-Hebron region. Through shared discussion, activities, and support with Israelis and Palestinians, we create a new social and political reality founded on dignity and trust between the two peoples, rather than fear.

The Tour

We will be touring the United States in order share our personal, interconnected stories and present the groundbreaking and challenging grassroots work of our initiatives.

We invite mosques, synagogues, churches, Jewish and Muslim organizations, universities, organizations involved in peace work, and any other community organization to book a speaking engagement with Roots. The presentation, “Painful Hope” (also the title of Ali Abu Awwad’s upcoming book) generally lasts about two hours, but can be tailored to the needs of the hosting institution.


Tuesday, October 17th – Saturday, October 28th with Antwan Saca and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger

Thursday November 2nd – Sunday November 5th with Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger.

How You Can Help

Our speaking tours serve to spread our message and raise funds to enable us to continue our work.

The fee for the 10/1710/28 tour is generally $3,000 for evening and weekends and less for daytime engagements. The fee for the 11/211/5 tour is $7,000-$10,000 for evening and weekends and generally $5,000 for daytime engagements.

We also ask our hosting organizations to pay transportation fees for our speakers, provide lodging (home hospitality preferred), help facilitate fundraising among their constituencies, and to reach out to and put us in touch with other organizations in the vicinity as to cut down transportation costs and travel time.

Payment Information

Contributions and honorarium/expense-reimbursement checks should be made out to “Friends of Roots” and sent to:

Dave Paller

4901 Libbit Ave.

Encino, CA 91436

Contributions for which a tax receipt is requested should be made out to “Friends of Roots” and sent to:

Friends of Roots

c/o Oakbrook Church

1700 Reston Parkway

Reston, Virginia 20194

(Friends of Roots is a registered ministry of the Oakbrook Church)

Note for Jewish Groups:

The speakers are available for Shabbatot during their stay in the U.S. For a Shabbat program, in addition to the “Painful Hope” presentation, we offer Divrei Torah (sermons) by Rabbi Hanan and/or a full shiur (class) based on traditional Jewish sources on the topics of openness to understanding the Other, existential humility, pluralism, judging favorably, and forgiveness.

For further details and booking, contact Rabbi Hanan at ravhanan@sbcglobal.net


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