Authentic Social Change with Marisa Handler

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A true global citizen, Marisa Handler was born in South Africa to a Jewish family. They moved away from the imposed apartheid to California's San Fernando Valley, when she was eleven years old. She has since become an activist for social justice, and is inspired by the wisdom of her spiritual convictions of compassion, and her understanding that the process of deep listening is the true road to world peace. She's lived in Jerusalem and traveled to Jordan, Egypt, India, Nepal and throughout the U.S., speaking and organizing for the Tikkun Community. She has also spent time in Central and South America as well as Cuba. Handler says, "I realize that sometimes the work we were doing, trying to make things better, seemed to be actually pushing people apart and really making things worse. In thinking about how can we make things better; how can we bring people together, I became convinced that listening has to be a key." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Marisa Handler has written for, the San Francisco Chronicle, AlterNet, Tikkun, and Orion. She has worked as an activist with numerous organizations, including Direct Action to Stop the War, United for Peace and Justice, and the Tikkun Community.

She is the author of:

To learn more about the work of Marisa Handler go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How moving from District Six in South Africa to "The Valley" in Southern California opened her eyes to the universality of racism
  • What the Jewish "Habonim Dror" summer camps taught her about peace
  • How her travels helped her to become more aware of the deep issues and mutual traumas that people inflict on one another
  • Why does she believe in a Jewish State as well as a Palestinian State
  • How religious fundamentalism is inherently violent
  • How deep listening is the true path to peace
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 9/18/2007      Program Number: 3217