I was born in Haifa,and I grew up in a German speaking family. My parents emigrated from Germany in '33.
At the age of 16 I went to an agricultural high school and joined a kibbutz. I was a kibbutz member for 25 years and I was in charge of the fruit trees and worked in education. I was the secretary of the kibbutz.
And after the Six-Day War, I started to study psychology. Actually I see that as an outcome of the crisis period of the '67 War and of the Yom Kippur War. At that time I became interested in working in psychology, as a therapist, with families of Holocaust survivors. I did my research in that field. I was in the army for one year as a psychologist in '75 after the '73 War. I became more and more interested in the intergenerational after-effects of trauma, what was transmitted to second and third generations among the Holocaust survivors. In '85 I launched a pioneering research project in Germany where I interviewed the children of Nazi perpetrators, which I did for over 3 years. I interviewed about 90 people in Germany. As a result of my interviews, a group was formed of my interviewees; there were about 10 or 12 of them who met as a self-help group for over four years, from '88 to '92. In '92 (I don't think I had the courage before that), I asked them if they would be willing to meet a group of children of Holocaust survivors.
When they said yes, I suggested it to some of my students in Beer Sheva and some colleagues from Boston and New York. That group, which is called TRT, To Reflect and Trust, started to meet in June 1992 and has met every year since then. In '98, I brought practitioners from current conflicts into the group, people from Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Palestinians and Israelis, to see if what we did in that group was relevant for current conflicts. We knew that they were very different situations, but we wanted to see if it was relevant. We had developed a method for storytelling, which we felt might be relevant.After the Oslo Agreement I started to look for Palestinian colleagues to work with. I felt that after there was mutual recognition we could do some research together. That was when I first met Elia Awwad,
who is a psychologist from Beit Sahour, who is now living near Boston. Later I met Professor Sami Adwan
from Bethlehem University. We first joined a research project on the youth and history of twenty-seven countries, which was initiated by the Europeans.
We participated in that research and got to know each other and decided to continue to do research together. We brought together a group of academics from Israel and Palestine and we had meetings at Talitha Kumi
where PRIME is now located. In 1998 we decided to initiate PRIME and to work specifically on projects, always joint, on an equal basis, where Israelis and Palestinians would do research together to promote the peace process.