The Branch: Real stories about building connections between Jews and Arabs

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The Branch offers a glimpse into the everyday lives of Jews and Arabs in Israel forging meaningful relationships. Presented by Hadassah and hosted by Dina Kraft, The Branch shines a light on the stories of people living the example of a shared society. Together. Even though it’s complicated.

Hadassah believes in the power of women for Israel, and that positive stories from Israel can make a powerful impact. Today the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) serves 1 million patients a year, regardless of race, religion, or nationality, HMO doctors, nurses and staff work together, Arab and Jewish, building bridges to peace through medicine. HMO is the only medical organization to have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

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Podcast Episodes

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Season 2, Episode 7: Zooming In for Dialogue


As part of their peace-building work, two facilitators are bringing Arab and Jewish teens together to find common ground. And now, they're doing it online.


Season 2, Episode 6: The Road to Healing

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For three years, Yael has been driving Mohammed and his son, Dia - who live in Hebron - to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem for the 5-year-old's cancer treatments. Over many rides, arranged by Humans without Borders, the two...


Season 2, Episode 5: Common Ground

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A Jordanian, a Palestinian and an Israeli have joined forces in the fight to save their shared environment. As the board of directors for EcoPeace Middle East, they're not willing to let pushback, regional conflict and politics stand in their way.


Season 2, Episode 4: The Artists

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At the height of the violence of the Second Intifada, artists Faten Elwi, an Arab Israeli, and Hadass Gertman, a Jewish Israeli, began collaborating on art exhibits. Nearly two decades later, their friendship and powerful new exhibit are bringing Jews and Arabs together in the historically conflict-ridden city of Umm al-Fahm.


Season 2, Episode 3: Team Goals


Soccer team captain Ali Ottman, an Arab Israeli, and Harel Sela, his Jewish coach, work side by side on the Sakhnin team in the Galilee, proving that sometimes coexistence is as simple as a shared goal.


Season 2, Episode 2: The Midwives


Amid the second wave of the COVID-19 crisis in Israel, midwives Gila Zarbiv, a Jewish Israeli, and Rahel Najwan Rasslan, an Arab Israeli, at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem work side by side to calm mothers bringing new life into an uncertain world.


Season 2, Episode 1: The Corona Chronicles


As the Israeli economy reopens, uncertainty continues. Host Dina Kraft takes us back into the lives of Jews and Arabs we met in earlier episodes to see how they're faring, and what's changed about the efforts that brought them together...


Episode 17: Skyping Gaza


From each side of the Israel-Gaza border, two peace advocates – Rami and Roni -- organize via Skype and WhatsApp, convinced that people-to-people ties can help break the deadlock of decades of cross-border fighting.


Episode 16: The Tour Guides


Yuval Ben-Ami, son of an Israeli army spokesman, and Husam Jubran, who spent a year as a teen in a wheelchair after being shot by Israeli soldiers, are friends. The two give tourists a powerful experience – learning Israeli and Palestinian perspectives by crisscrossing the conflict by land and history.


Episode 15: The Code Breakers


Tsofen, founded by Sami Saadi and Smadar Nehab, is an Arab-Jewish initiative that has cracked the code for integrating Arab Israelis into Israel’s booming hi-tech industry.


Episode 14: The Poet and the Prophet


When Neta Weiner, known as The Prophet for his dynamic on-stage presence, met Mohammad Aguani at an open poetry mic night, he was spellbound. Together, the activist-rappers founded System Ali, a hip-hop group that tackles social justice issues, now a central part of Jaffa’s diverse music scene.


Episode 13: Kid Power


Talia dances, loves drawing, and traces her Muslim ancestry back to Jerusalem's Old City. Shali is the wise-cracking son of an Israeli rapper. The teens met by joining Israel’s only youth movement for peace. Listen as they teach us what it means to be Kids4Peace in 2019.


Episode 12: Two Doctors and a Case of Friendship

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When it comes to sexual abuse and assault, Dr. Dvora Bauman and Dr. Moshira Aboo Dia share the same goal: to return control to the victim. Despite their political differences, they work together to empower women at Hadassah Hospital's Bat Ami Center.


Episode 11: Karate for Peace


Danny Hakim and Hazam Abu Qwedar are longtime friends and martial arts instructors. Through the art of karate, they're showing kids in Israel -- Jewish and Bedouin -- a new approach to coexistence.


Episode 10: From Gaza to Tel Aviv

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Two journalists forged a 30-year friendship out of covering conflict, and today their families' lives are intertwined. Jonathan is a Jewish New Yorker who moved to Israel. Saud is a Gaza City native. This is their story.


Episode 9: Shuk Days

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Mahdi and Michal work long hours side by side at ShakShuk, a small restaurant in Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda market. They're like brother and sister - and they're learning how to have difficult political conversations.


Episode 8: The Parents Circle

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Robi, an Israeli mother, and Bassam, a Palestinian father, each lost a child to the violence. United instead of divided by grief, they're working together to show how important one-on-one reconciliation is on the path to peace.


Episode 7: A Sisterhood for Change

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Israelis Hamutal and Samah — one Jewish, the other Arab — are feminist activists combating domestic violence. Through their friendship, they show up despite having conflicting identities.


Episode 6: It Takes a Village

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At Meir Shfeyah, the Hadassah-supported Youth Village, Arab Israeli 24-year-old Kassem takes on the role of mentor and confidante to three Jewish teens.


Episode 5: The Blue Bridge

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This month, we travel to Juha's Guesthouse in the Israeli Arab fishing village of Jisr az Zarka. This small guesthouse is bringing new life and opportunities to an often forgotten town.


Episode 4: The Nurses Station

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In the dialysis unit at Hadassah Hospital, the nurses and patients are like a family. Host Dina Kraft asks, "How do we take this island of peace and connect it to the main land?"


Episode 3: A Sweet Scoop

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Meet Adam Ziv and Alaa Sweitat, the owners of Buza, Arabic for ice cream. This Jewish-Arab team have not only found meaningful friendship through their business, they've created "a corner of delicious sanity."


Episode 2: School Days

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A look inside life at the only school in Jerusalem where Jewish and Arab students learn together, and about each other, in Hebrew and Arabic. Here, they aren’t just classmates – they’re friends.


Episode 1: Harmony Onstage and Off

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We begin our journey in the Jaffa Theatre, meeting actors and musicians from different backgrounds, brought together by the music of famed musician Farid Al-Atrash.


About Dina Kraft: Dina is a veteran foreign correspondent. She currently writes for Haaretz and The Christian Science Monitor, covering Israeli and Palestinian society. A former AP correspondent based in Jerusalem and Johannesburg, she has also been a regular contributor to The New York Times, JTA and The Daily Telegraph.

Want more Hadassah podcasts? Check out Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine, which takes listeners behind the headlines with Hadassah Medical Organization doctors and specialists, patients and nurses. Listen and be amazed.

Explore more perspectives on Israel with Hadassah's Defining Zionism in the 21st Century video series. 

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