Building Resilient Communities

Gaza, a 25-mile sliver of land between Israel and Egypt, is regularly referred to by its own inhabitants as “the world’s largest open-air prison.” One of the most densely populated places on our planet, Gaza frequently experiences unpredictable land, air, and sea attacks and is subject to violent political and clan schisms. The entire population of 2.2 million has witnessed and/or been affected by violence. Unemployment and poverty levels are soaring. Access to basic needs such as water, sanitation, power, food sources and adequate health care are extremely limited and unreliable.

Our Work

CMBM’s program in Gaza is one of the world’s largest, most effective and most culturally acceptable programs of trauma healing. CMBM is the only program providing ongoing trauma relief at scale for both Palestinians and Israelis. Since 2005, CMBM has trained 1500 Palestinian clinicians, educators and community leaders in its model of psychological self-care and group support. These trainees have brought the CMBM approach to more than 280,000 children and adults. Some 50,000 people have participated in 10-week Mind-Body Skills Groups. CMBM works closely with the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Welfare; The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA); and an additional 200 international and local NGOs.

Each week, many thousands of men, women and children gather to practice CMBM’s mind-body skills. They are regaining a sense of calm in the midst of chaos, and transforming their despair into hope.



  • Over 280,000 children and adults served to date
  • Trained more than 1500 clinicians, educators, leaders of women’s groups
  • 25 gifted and committed local faculty members, led by psychologist Jamil Abdel Atti, PhD
  • Hundreds of Mind-Body Skills Groups meeting each week
  • Immediate emergency response during conflicts
  • Cooperation with the MOE to completely integrate CMBM’s model and mind-body skills into all of Gaza’s public schools and the 250,000 children they reach
  • Service to 39,000 children and their parents living in UN shelters during the 2014 war
  • Emergency services for orphans of war, those who have lost family members, and those rendered homeless by conflict and disruption
  • CMBM model used by all of Gaza’s major programs which address gender-based violence
  • Special programs for disabled children and adults, those with cancer and other chronic illnesses, and first responders


Our Model in Action

The Lesson of War,” CBS 60 Minutes (5/3/2015)

Mind-Body Skills in Use at the Hetten School in Gaza

Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund & CMBM Childrens’ Summer Camp in Gaza

Community-Wide Healing

Finding Hope in the Face of Another: Trauma Relief in Gaza

Healing and Hope 3 Project

CMBM Gaza in the Press

The Jerusalem Post

Stressed Gazans Turn to Meditation After War

“‘We are teaching very simple tools of self-care,’ said Dr. James S. Gordon, a psychiatrist who runs The Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., and offers a parallel trauma program in Israel.” Read more.

The New York Times

Finding a Steadier Path in Gaza

“‘We try to look to the light, to the hope,’ said Jamil Abdel Atti, who heads [The Center for Mind-Body Medicine] in Gaza. ‘We say, ‘Take off those dark glasses.’” Read more.

Funding partners

Thank you to our funding partners for their generous support:

  • Atlantic Philanthropies
  • Irene Meister-Armington Trust
  • O.L. Pathy Foundation
  • Sam Ben-Avraham