Penny S. Tee
May You Live in Peace, שלום and سلام.

Need Some Relief from the Israel-Hamas War?

First Annual Peace Seder April 7, 2024 11:30am Pacific Time, 2:30pm Eastern Time, 9:30pm Jerusalem

PEACE with Penny is co-sponsoring our First Annual Peace Seder on Sunday, 4/7/2024 at 11:30am Pacific Time, 2:30pm Eastern, and 9:30pm Jerusalem Time, with Unity is Strength, the Federation Movement, and Unity Made Visible. I’m also Co-Hosting the Peace Seder with a friend, Paul Storfer of Unity Made Visible. It will be on Zoom, so you can even invite your friends from anywhere in the world. Why are we holding the Seder so early? So, we wouldn’t get in the way of any family Seders. To Register click here.

Why on Zoom? One reason is that we obviously could reach more people. We’ve been working on writing our very special Peace Haggadah for months, but also adding to the mix in-person events throughout the world, we didn’t want to choke on that lamb-shank bone, given the very tight schedule. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. For folks who don’t know, on the symbolic Seder plate we use a lamb shank bone, representing the sacrificial lamb offered in the Temple in Jerusalem to commemorate the Israelites’ use of the lamb’s blood to mark their doorposts, so that the final plague would pass over their homes. The slaying of the firstborn sends chills down my spine. The Israeli parents sent their children off to war to defend their country after October 7th, and sadly, so far 600 are not coming home.1 The shocked Gazan parents’ blood-curdling screams as they carry the lifeless bodies of their children killed by bombs trying to rid Gaza of Hamas is a stark reminder of the fear and pain of death. The UN reports that 12,300 Gazan children have been killed thus far.2 When will all of our children finally live in Peace?

We knew from the beginning that this was a bit crazy, to try and squeeze in the writing of a Peace Haggadah and holding a Peace Seder in such a short amount of time. But given the Israel-Hamas War, with so much suffering on both sides, how could we not? So many Peace activists voluntarily worked so hard to get this accomplished. Compared to what the Israelis and Gazans are going through, and our desire for Peace, it was an effort of love for our sisters  and brothers, and especially for the children of this next generation. May the next generation learn to work together instead of engaging in violence that only begets more violence.

Hopefully, we can attract some sponsors and broaden our reach. As the clock ticks down toward Passover, we have our Peace Haggadah written and to be used for the first time this Sunday. Amen. Publishing it will be the next step of its journey.

For those who don’t know what a seder is, traditionally it is a Jewish ceremonial meal where we use a booklet called a Haggadah, which is a celebration of freedom for the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. It’s a story that is over 3,000 years old, yet is also timely if you bring the metaphorical themes into the modern day. It’s the story of Moses, the enslavement of the Jewish people, and the 10 plagues God wrought upon the land of Egypt, to “Let My People Go!”  Why it took ten plagues to convince Pharoh Ramses is a mystery to me. The first plague turning the water to blood and killing the fish in the Nile, leaving the Egyptians with no water and less food, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t need nine more plagues to cry uncle.

Besides the traditional plagues that you’ll find in our Peace Haggadah, you’ll also find these culprits: Hunger, War, Terrorism, Greed, Bigotry, Injustice, Poverty, Destruction of the Earth, Indifference to Suffering, and Hatred. It seems a day doesn’t go by that we are not confronted by these scourges of humanity.

Why attend? You can learn about Israeli and Palestinian experiences and about creative peace solutions you might not have considered.

We will use an original, innovative Peace Haggadah. Our Haggadah is co-written and co-edited by several of Unity is Strength’s long-time contributing writers (I’m one of them), in collaboration with other Peacebuilders. Writers of the Haggadah and organizers of the Seder include Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, Diaspora Jews, Interfaith participants, and more. Some of the better-known contributors are Avrum Burg, former Speaker of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) and Interim President of Israel, as well as Gazan peace activist Rami Aman.

I had interviewed Rami Aman on PEACE with Penny the first time in January 2023.  Rami Aman is a Gazan Peace Activist.  You may ask, isn’t that a contradiction in terms? All I see or hear about Gazans is that they are terrorists who want to kill Jewish Israelis. Especially now, it seems like an oxymoron, but it’s true.

In the Hamas Charter (or “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement”) it states that it rejects all peace talks with the State of Israel and stresses the terrorist organization’s commitment to destroy Israel through a long-term holy war (or jihad). And Gaza in Peace talks is set aside as another type of beast that is too difficult, perhaps impossible to deal with.

Rami is a freelance Palestinian journalist and Peace activist who lived in the Gaza Strip. Today Rami has paid dearly for his different attitude toward Peace and Israelis,  including being jailed for 8 months and tortured because he had the audacity to hold Skype meetings with Israelis. Given the danger he puts himself in by his Peace activities, why does he do it? We asked this in my interview with him, which you can watch in the link above.

In 2010, Rami founded the Gaza Youth Committee. The vision of the youth leaders committee is to develop Palestinian youth’s academic and cultural competencies in order to break the siege on the Gaza Strip and liberate the Palestinian youth. The PYC aims to support academic, scientific and cultural programs by cooperating with Palestinian NGOs and international organizations.

In 2015, Rami organized video chats between Israelis and Palestinian peace activists in the Gaza Strip in an initiative called “Skype With Your Enemy.”

In April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gaza Youth Committee held one of its largest videoconferences via Zoom, with more than 200 participants. Opponents of normalizing relations with Israel were also on the call, resulting in a public uproar that prompted Hamas to arrest Rami and several other call participants.

In September 2020, Hamas military prosecutors in Gaza had charged Rami and two other Palestinian peace activists with “weakening revolutionary spirit” for their role in organizing the April 2020 video call with Israelis.

In September 2020, a coalition of 70 NGOs demanded Rami’s release and ultimately, he was.

Rami had been imprisoned and tortured and has had to pay a much higher price to be a Peace activist. Many consider Rami a hero.

I’m trying to arrange another interview with Rami to hear from the heart of a Gazan Peace activist, what the ramifications of the war have been. I can tell you that when I spoke with him in January 2024, the pain was palpable. Already by that time he had lost 20 friends and so many homes and offices had been destroyed. Today, Rami lives in Egypt, but so much of his heart is breaking for Gaza.

We’re hoping that people from all religions will join us at our Peace Seder, even if you don’t consider yourself at all religious. No matter your race, age, sexual orientation, everyone is welcome! Our intention is to join together in solidarity as one large community. Passover is a holiday that celebrates freedom. Let’s hope that by April 7th the hostages will be home, and Peace will prevail!

So, who are these organizations? PEACE with Penny, is my vodcast where I interview Peace (I always capitalize Peace; Peace is so important!) organizations whose members are mostly Israelis and Palestinians working on Peace together, even during the war. We have over 100 interviews in our library with more on the way. Like the Afikomen (a piece of matzo hidden during the meal for the children to find), these organizations seem like they are hidden as well, yet there actually are patches of Peace throughout the land, but you have to know where to look.

Unity is Strength is the initiator of the project and began when Ignat Ayzenberg, one of their moderators, came to them with the idea. Unity is Strength facilitates cross-party interactions and dialogue on Israel-Palestine topics. They run one of the largest online communities for bringing together Israelis, Palestinians, and international supporters of one or both groups. Their main public forum, hosted on Quora, has over 15 million views of its 25,000 posts contributed by 500 writers. They encourage participants to propose and develop special projects such as this Peace Haggadah and Peace Seder.

The Federation Movement, led by Emanuel Shahaf, belongs to the Federal Forum where there are currently nine Peace proposals based on either federation or confederations, similar to the US or EU. The various proposals are also documented in the Peace Haggadah as new avenues one can explore to create Peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Paul Storfer leads Unity Made Visible, a Cooperation Circle of the URI, that runs programming with faith communities addressing topics, such as their perspectives on customs and practices of prayer, and the role and context of music in prayer services.

We are committed to making the Seder inclusive to people of all means. The event is free to attend. However, to help cover our costs, we’d appreciate a U.S. tax-deductible donation of $18 USD per person or $50 USD per family. Please let them know that PEACE with Penny sent you : ) To donate, please go to this link

May You Live in Peace, שלום and سلام.

Penny S. Tee


1 “Israeli Army Says 600 Soldiers Killed Since October 7,” Israeli Army Says 600 Soldiers Killed Since October 7, SyndiGate Media, Inc., April1,2024,

2 UN News, Peace and Security, March 13, 2024,,compared%20with%2012%2C193%20globally%20between%202019%20and%202022.

About the Author
Penny S. Tee is a vodcaster, speaker, author, and educator. She interviews Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, together forging a better future. Why? Read her book, “BLASTED from COMPLACENCY: A Journey from Terror to Transformation in Israel,” which describes her 2014 family vacation in Israel—daily touring sacred places, and cowering in bomb shelters at night. The missiles blew up her comfortable world—today she devotes her life to Peace.
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