Nitsan Joy Gordon
"My vision is to create more and more safe places where people can transform their inner pain into understanding and empathy towards themselves and others."
Nitsan is Jewish and the mother of two children. She is the author of two books and has a Master’s Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy (Thesis on Nonverbal Cues to Prejudice). Nitsan is the director of Together Beyond Words (TBW) and is trained and experienced in dance/movement therapy, healing touch, multi-level listening techniques, Radical Aliveness and Internal Family System (IFS) – all of which contribute to the Together Beyond Words peacebuilding work. For several years, she has led courses and workshops focused on understanding and healing prejudice, the everyday application of IFS and the TBW approach for peacebuilding.
"The fact I was the only Arab girl in my school, often felt like a curse but as I grew up and worked on healing past hurts, I realized that my childhood curse could also be a blessing and a gift for me and for others, I actually grew up in two worlds and could help build a bridge between them.”
Silvia Marjeyeh, an Arab Israeli Palestinian from Jafa of Nazareth is a social worker and group facilitator by profession who has a Master’s Degree in Policy and Public Administration at the University of Haifa – Executive MPA. She joined TBW organization in 2002 and has since led many joint groups. During the last 20 years she has held a number of management positions in the areas of social care, leadership development and team building with a variety of audiences: children, adults, the elderly and people with special needs. For years, Sylvia led and directed a project for Israeli and Palestinian girls called: Creativity for Peace. Her expertise is in teaching skills that develop the emotional and mental abilities to provide a safe space for multiculturalism, the ability to hold complexity, conflict, chaos and uncertainty in ways that promote healing. Sylvia is the mother of two children.
"My mission is to enable creative, powerful, authentic dialogue between our own narrative and the narrative of the other"
Efrat Ashiri is Jewish and has been doing Playback Theatre for over 28 years. She has a BA in Theatre and an MA in Theater with an integrated program from the departments of Social Psychology and Social Work specializing in the areas of women studies, group facilitation and treatment from Tel Aviv University. Efrat is the director of Shiluvim in the Galilee School for Playback Theatre. She has been the Playback Theatre leader in our programs for the past nine years. Efrat is married and is the mother of two children.
"I love Playback Theatre because it reminds me that each one of us has a heart full of feelings and if we are able to see this heart through the story, then every meeting between peoples, no matter who they are becomes a possibility."
Lamis Dakwar is a Christian Arab, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology form Haifa University (2003-2006) and a Master’s Degree in Drama Therapy from Tel Hai College (2015-2016). She also studied Dyadic Psychotherapy (2014-2016). Lamis has been a part of our programs for eight years both as an actress and as a leader. She is married and the mother of four children.
Taresa Saada Ladkani
"I remember I was once asked to play a Jewish woman who has a hard time with Arabs and I was able to do it. It was then I understood how playback can transcend all boundaries of religion, gender, age and nationality and enable people to understand and accept "the other"
Taresa is a Christian Arab from Kfar Yasif in Israel. She was widowed nine years ago when her husband died from cancer and has since been raising her three children on her own. She received her nursing degree in 1991 from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has since been working as a nurse in Akko. She studied Drama Therapy and received her Master’s Degree from Tel Hai College in 2014. She also studied Playback Theatre for two Years in Shiluvim BaGalil (2008-2010). Taresa has been a member of the TBW Playback Theater Ensemble for eight years and says the group helped her work through her feelings of loss and bereavement.
"A Playback performance for me is a safe place where I can be who I truly am and create with the other actresses a space that is full of light, cooperation and love where Arabs and Jews can transform our community together."
Amani is a Muslim Arab who lives in the town of BouAnna Noujedaat in the Galilee. She is married and the mother of two young daughters. She has a Master’s Degree at Tel Hai College in Expressive Arts Therapy (2014-2015), has worked with children as an Expressive Arts Therapist and is currently working as a guide for Master’s Degree students in Drama Therapy at Tel Hai College and Haifa University. Amani also works as a therapist and a guide for other therapists. She is a doctoral candidate at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland in the field of healing and treatment of abused children. She has been a guest actress with our Playback Theater Ensemble for over six years.
Ofira Roll PhD
“Dialogue and choice in relationships throughout our lives, take place when we combine listening with slowing down while creating space for open-ended conversations and for vulnerability.”
Dr. Ofira Roll has a BA from the Kibbutz Seminary Teachers’ College, in a track that combines arts in with drama and democratic education. Her Master’s degree is in education, at PITT University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Her PhD is in the track of Curriculum and Pedagogy with the emphasis on integrating the arts in research and dialogue in democratic education, at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada. Currently she works at Kama center at Oranim Teachers’ Collage, as a curriculum designer, educational models’ developer, and a moderator in educational and communal processes mainly in northern Israel. She is a mother of three, with a partner she loves and has been married to for over 20 years. Ofira believes in people and in our ability to create the world we dream of and has been a part of our Playback Theater Ensemble for over a year.
“Seeing your fears played back to you from the stage helps you realize more clearly what they are and begin to heal them"
Randa is Christian Arab who was born in Abu Sinan village in Northern Israel. She has a B.Ed. in special education from Haifa Arabic academic College (1998-2009) and MA in Drama Therapy from Tel-Hai college (2014-2016). Randa studied Playback at Shiluvim BaGalil school (2016-2018) and worked with the school as a playback actress for five years before starting Hakaya playback group with another talented therapist in 2021. Since 2018 she has been with the TBW Playback Theater Ensemble. She is happily married and a mother for 3 boys.
“Playback theater makes me feel happy.”
Doaa, a Christian Arab, has a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Educational Consulting. She been an educational consultant for 20 years and a guide for teachers and counselors at Pisga – teachers’ in-service professional training. In addition Doaa is a NLP therapist, a parent guidance consular for adolescents and a playback theater actress in two ensembles: the Mishkat ensemble for Arabic speakers and the TBW bilingual ensemble. She is also a doctoral candidate in psychology.
Doaa loves life and sports and looks for activities and people that make her heart feel good. Playback Theater is one of them. Doaa is also the mother of three lovely daughters who are blazing their way through life.
Suraya Baduan Margia
“I got to know the world of playback from a very young age, and knew it was something I really like to do. Playback touches my soul because when I listen to the stories of others I can explore the meaning of my own life. In the meetings of our ensemble I had very important insights. I realized the value of meeting with other women in a supportive group and sharing about pain, equality and freedom.”
Suraya Baduan Margia is a Christian Arab from Kfar Yafia near Nazareth. She comes from a loving and supportive family. Currently she is an actress in two playback theater ensembles in the north. TBW “The Heart of the Stories” and “Hadabe-Golan Theater”. She has a BA in Human Services and Education combined with Fine Arts. She began studying theater at College and also took a course with the staff of Together Beyond Words. Since then she has been a part of the organization and its activities. She believes that there is a place for every story that is in the room, in every room.
"Playback opens the heart in the purest way possible to authentic, empathetic and compassionate listening. The use of playback for mediation, working with conflicts, and creating connections between worlds and languages is a real gift and a mission for me."
Rina Geva is a drama therapist, a member of Kibbutz Ein Shemer, married to Omer and mother to Noam, Ido, Shir and Neta. Rina has an MA in Drama Therapy from Tel Hai College, and she works with children, youth and is a parent instructor. She has been a playback theater actress since 2014, and as a therapist she leads therapeutic playback theater groups for children and youth. Rina is also a member of the TBW Ensemble.
Bat Erez Yogev
“Playback is an extraordinary display of the soul ".
Bat Erez is Jewish and from Kibbutz Yiftah. She has Master’s degree in Bible Studies, and is involved in organizing cultural events, writing for a local paper, making goat cheese, education and teachers’ guidance.
She came to the playback almost by accident in 2016 and found an exciting tool that succeeds in reaching the heart of the person as well as the heart of the matter. She feels our playback group, which consists of Arab and Jewish women, brings a unique element to the public sphere and presents the audience and the actresses with sensitivity and open- hearted awareness.
Donya Fares Marai
“The playback taught me to be a more accepting, loving and respectful person to the other person's story. Our ensemble of Arab and Jewish actresses is a calling for me: to bring a safe space for different stories, experiences, and truth.”
Donya Fares Marai is a Druze Arab from Hurfeish village in the Galilee. Her BA is in Human Resources and Art Education at Tel Hai College where she also received her first taste of Playback Theater in the TBW course with Efrat, Lamis and Nitsan.
The Playback Theater tools and becoming acquainted with different stories from a diverse population shaped her as a person during that significant year. The fact that she is Druze was very present in the meetings. All her life she had been taught that the Druze are a separate part of the conflict and then she realized that she is an inseparable part of the Arab experience in Israel. Donya felt the stage and the listening circles provided a safe space to express those feelings.
Two years ago she graduated with a Master’s degree in Planning and Public Administration and currently works as a community development coordinator in a regional council in the Galilee. Her work is mainly in relation to Jewish towns and villages and her experiences in the playback helps her understand the people who are different from her.
Rosit is a Druze Arab from the village of Maghar who is on our Board of Directors. She is the mother of four beloved children and two sweet granddaughters.
She has a Master’s degree in Management of Education Systems and Non-formal Education and works at the Ministry of Education as the manager of an organization that takes care of students with special needs from the age of 3 to 18.
Rosit has participated in several TBW courses and workshops and currently volunteers for our board of directors. She also loves to travel and prepare traditional Druze cuisine.
Danny is a board member of TBW. He has experience in public and private equity, investment banking, financial and general management, finance, and business development. He is also skilled negotiations and at at building effective, productive working relationships in multi-cultural environments. He volunteered for the board after participating in a few of our workshops.