Canadian Jews talk directly to young Palestinians about life in Gaza

ijv gaza webinar

Progressive Jews from across Canada participated in a discussion with young Palestinians living in Gaza in a recent webinar organized by Independent Jewish Voices Canada. They discussed aspects of life in Gaza today, finding ways to be optimistic while living in the constant shadow of death and destruction. Here, Corey Balsam, IJV’s National Coordinator (top left) moderates the conversation with Asma Tayeh (right) and Issam Adwan (bottom). Read more.

More than 40 people participated in a webinar organized by Independent Jewish Voices Canada on Sunday, December 15th bringing together Canadian Jews and young Palestinians living in Gaza. The hour long webinar is thought to be the first of its kind to be open to Canadians across the country. As of writing, it has been viewed over 2000 times.

The whole webinar is available on-line and can be seen here.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza is almost complete, making it virtually impossible for Palestinians to exit or for foreigners, including Canadians, to enter. However, various Palestinian groups are finding innovative ways to virtually “leap over” the wall, establishing contacts with people outside, including, significantly, Jewish organizations.

wann splash pageIssam and Asma are both active in a Gaza-based organization called “We are Not Numbers” (WANN) whose mission is to provide a vehicle for Palestinian youth to tell their stories.

Its website features a large collection of high quality essays and stories by young Palestinians about life in Gaza.

The Palestinian writers (for whom English is a second language)  are helped by English-language speaking “mentors” from around the world. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can use the “Mentor” tab on the WANN website. Being a mentor is an interesting and productive way to get to know Palestinians in Gaza as individuals, while at the same time helping them improve their English language skills.


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  1. It is so sad to hear these beautiful young people of Gaza expressing their desire to live a full life, to have dignity, contribute to society and be free, are decimated by Israel and have very little hope for a better future.
    How some European oppressed Jews became total oppressors.

  2. In the face of all the doom and gloom and the utter inhumane treatment of the people of Gaza by Israel, it was so nice to see beautiful young Gazans the way they hold themselves high. They do not ask for mercy or being treated as numbers but as people and only asking for solidarity with their plight and our work toward their freedom.

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