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David Harris-Gershon in Conversation with Cheryl Cutrona
David Harris-Gershon and Cheryl Cutrona will discuss Mr. Harris-Gershon's book What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist that Tried to Kill Your Wife?
When David Harris-Gershon and his wife, Jamie, moved to Jerusalem, they were young and full of hope. Then a bomb ripped open Hebrew University’s cafeteria, hurling Jamie across the room, puncturing her body with shrapnel, and killing the friends sitting next to her. The bombing sent David on a psychological journey which, years later, led him to East Jerusalem and the doorstep of the family of the Hamas terrorist who set everything in motion Not out of revenge. Out of desperation.
This is the story of one man’s attempt to heal by understanding his enemy—an enemy who inexplicably expressed remorse upon being captured by Israeli police. It’s the story of reconciliation between an American Jew and the Palestinian family of the perpetrator. And it’s the story of digging, of unearthing shadowy decisions made by Israel which undermined a historic cease-fire attempt by Palestinians just days before the attack.
Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, this fearless debut confronts the personal costs of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and our capacity for recovery and reconciliation.
David Harris-Gershon is a popular blogger on Palestinian-Israeli issues for Tikkun magazine, a regular contributor to Daily Kos, and a periodic essayist for the Jerusalem Post. He received his MFA from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and has published work in numerous venues, including Colorado Review, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Passages North. He lives with his family in Pittsburgh.
Cheryl Cutrona is the Executive Director of the Good Shepherd Mediation Program. She is an attorney, mediator, conflict coach, trainer, facilitator, writer and editor. In addition to her work at GSMP, she mediates for the PA Department of Education Office of Dispute Resolution, the Philadelphia Bar Association Lawyer Fee Disputes program, the Landlord-Tenant Appeals Mediation program, and the United States Postal Service REDRESS. In May 2009, Cutrona spent two weeks in Israel offering Conflict Resolution Coaching training to community mediators. The opportunity was co-sponsored by Mosaica: The Center for Conflict Resolution by Agreement Gishurim Program in Jerusalem and the U.S. Embassy in Israel American Center. In 2010, the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators named her "Peacemaker of the Year."