Sapir Handelman is the Chairman of the Board of Minds of Peace and a negotiation moderator. Sapir founded the Minds of Peace in 2009 based on his concepts of conflict resolution in intractable conflicts. Sapir has successfully implemented Israeli-Palestinian public negotiating assemblies, called Minds of Peace Experiments, in a number of bilateral divided communities both inside and outside the region. These include public groups from Israel and Palestine assembled in Beit Jala, as well, as expatriate Israeli-Palestinian communities in Detroit, Los Angeles, Irvine, Chicago in the United States, and Windsor Canada. Sapir is the co-laureate of the 2010 Peter Becker Award for Peace and Conflict Studies in recognition of his efforts and academic contribution. Sapir is the editor and co-author of “The Minds of Peace Experiment: Public Diplomacy and People to People Negotiation” currently in preparation, which details the theory behind Minds of Peace, and the author of two books: “Thought manipulation: the use and abuse of psychological trickery” (Praeger) and “Conflict and Peacemaking in Israel-Palestine: Theory and Application” (Routledge). Sapir has also authored articles in International Journal of Conflict Management, International Negotiation, Middle East Policy and others. Sapir is a visiting professor at the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University, the 3 times Lentz Fellow in Peace and Conflict Resolution Research, and an associate at Harvard University.
Mazen Badra is Associate Partner and principal Palestinian moderator of Minds of Peace since its founding in 2009. Mazen has successfully moderated Israeli-Palestinian public peace assemblies, called Minds of Peace Experiments, in a number of bilateral divided communities in Saint Louis, Irvine, Los Angeles, and Detroit, in the United States and in Windsor Canada. In addition to moderating Minds of Peace Experiments, Mazen is responsible for organizing the participating Palestinian negotiators from expatriate communities, and training associate moderators. Mazen has been a peace activist since 1988, promoting non-violence, and dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis, first in Bethlehem, and later in expatriate communities in the United States. Mazen is the co-founder of The Children of Abraham, a non-profit organization dedicated to bring about understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Since 2002, Mazen has managed several projects in World Bank, UN, etc. Mazen is a professor and Chair of Business Administration and Health care Administration in Sanford-Brown college in Fenton-Missouri.
Daniel Mahgerefteh is President and co-founder of Minds of Peace. Daniel coined the name ‘Minds of Peace’ and is the designer of the organization’s LOGO, which signifies peace emerging from the middle of an assembly. Daniel has also provided seed funding for the organization since its inception. Daniel has successfully brought Israeli-Palestinian public negotiating assemblies, called Minds of Peace Experiments, to highly divided Israeli-Palestinian communities in Los Angeles, and Irvine, as well as in Beit Jala. Before founding Minds of Peace, Daniel was the founder and CTO of Azna LLC, a successful start-up in the telecommunications area in Boston, MA. Daniel brings his experience in a fast paced, goal oriented technology company to the ambitious undertaking of the social grass-roots organization; Minds of Peace. Daniel has over 50 issued patents and numerous publications. Daniel has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Southern California.
Ronnie Y. Fredman is the Secretary, Treasurer, and co-founder of Minds of Peace. Ronnie recruited the legal and accounting services to establish Minds of Peace in 2009 and to obtain 501C3 non-profit status in 2009 and continues to maintain rigorous accounting practice on the organization’s finances. Ronnnie was the founder of ‘Through A Child’s Eyes,’ a non-profit organization that used discontinued furniture to generate charitable dollars for disadvantaged children throughout the United States. Ronnie has served on the boards of directors of Bais Abraham Congregation and Epstein Hebrew Academy. He is formerly the Chairman of the development committee of Epstein board. Ronnie is on the board of directors of Fredman Bros Furniture Corporation, and the Executive Vice President of Glideaway.
Hannan Lis is member of the board of directors and a major contributor to Minds of Peace. He is the Principal and Chief Operating Officer of The WW Group, Inc., Weight Watcher’s largest franchise group. Hannan is also serving as Chairman HBR Labs LLC, Chairman, The Yoga Shelter International, Founder and President of Lis Ventures LLC, Chairman, Estrakon Corporation, and board member InfoAlly Corporation. Hannan has a long history of community activism and philanthropy both in Israel and in the United States. He is board member of Detroit Public Television, President of Detroit Region, American Technion Society, Vice Chairman, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital Campaign, Member, American Jewish Committee National Board of Governors, Co-president, MOPAC, Board of Governors Member, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Hannan has held leadership positions in a number of other non-profit organizations; serving as Midwest President, Jewish National Fund, Executive Committee Chairman, Jewish Community Centers of Metropolitan Detroit, President of Jewish Community Center of Metro Detroit, National Board Member, and JNF National Board of Directors, among others.
Khaled S. A. Abu Awwad is member of board of directors of Minds of Peace. He facilitates the search for Palestinian moderators and manages the organization of the Palestinian delegations for the Minds of Peace experiments. He is the General Manager of Parents Circle-Families Forum, an organization of over 600 Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost a close family member to the conflict in the region. The parent circle promotes reconciliation with joint meetings, use of media and education. Khaled is also the Manager of Al-Tariq, the Palestinian Institution for democracy and development. Al-Tariq focuses on promoting a culture of non-violence and implementing development projects in Palestine. Khaled was named as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in 2010, and was the 2011 winner of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence. Khaled holds a degree in Psychotraumatology from the Center for Pyschotraumatology and Trauma therapy, Germany, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and programming from Al-Quds University.
Ibrahim Enbawi is a member of the board of directors of Minds of Peace and negotiations moderator. Ibrahim has been responsible for organizing the Palestinian delegations for the last four public negotiations congresses, all of which were held in open and central public places in Israel. Ibrahim has been instrumental in bringing Palestinians from all walks of life to the negotiating table, including some that spent a major part of their lives in Israeli jails for resisting the occupation. As a moderator he helped to bring citizen delegates to peace agreements that addresses the most difficult and sensitive issues, such as borders, Jerusalem, security and refugees.
Ibrahim has served as the field director of a number of grassroots organizations in the past 10 years, notably the Arik Institute for Reconciliation, Tolerance & Peace (2004-2007 ), Hand in Hand (Yad B'yad) (2010-2011) and All Palestine Youth Commission (2011-2013). Ibrahim was in charge of building relationships between Israelis and Palestinian people, elites and leaders. In 2006, Ibrahim created the first contacts between the Israeli government under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the leadership of Hamas in relation to the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
Since 2010 Ibrahim has been working on building peaceful relationships between Israeli settlers and Palestinians. Significantly, he arranged several meetings between Israeli settlers from the movement Eretz Shalom and Palestinian leaders, such as the president Abu Mazen and the governor of Bethlehem. The main purpose was to explore the possibility that settlers will remain in their places and live under Palestinian sovereignty after a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be achieved.
Ibrahim has spent one year of his life in an Israeli jail for resisting the occupation. In addition his brother and uncle were killed by the IDF. Nevertheless, he decided to dedicate a major part of his life to peace activities in the hopes of putting an end to the conflict. In May 2013, Ibrahim was a participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), which is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program.