Israel suffers from one of the largest socio-economic gaps in the developed world. The ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has created a situation of mutual distrust, in which each side sees the other as different, hostile and untrustworthy. High levels of stress and trauma among the population are under-addressed factors in other cross-cultural initiatives.

Evidence of this is seen in the ever growing aggression and violence in every segment of Israeli society including schools, sports arenas, workplaces and homes. The need for effective tools to reduce stress and build connection is clear. CMBM is working with the Israeli population better cope with these pressures and foster their overall resilience.

Drawings made by Israelis as part of a mind-body skills exercise

Our Work

Since 2005, CMBM has trained over 500 Jewish and Arab-Israeli health, mental health, and education professionals to facilitate mind-body skills groups. Between 2005-2010, CMBM implemented several joint programs with Israelis and Palestinians, focusing on children and adults who lived in heavily shelled areas and on cancer patients. In those programs, CMBM’s model regularly helped Israelis and Palestinians overcome fixed fears and prejudices. Many of them spoke with gratitude for having this unique opportunity to see each other as partners in learning and serving their communities, rather than opponents or enemies.

By addressing the root causes of stress and trauma, CMBM’s model brings people together in a manner that does not force peacemaking but instead allows for divides to be organically bridged. We provide a non-threatening setting and culturally-sensitive methodology to bring people together as equals in a safe space. The model has helped to develop active listening and self-reflection, skills that are critical to bridging differences and reducing the perceived threat of the “other”. With over 70 partner organizations across the country, the model has reached over 50,000 children and adults.

In 2009, CMBM helped local Faculty establish the independent amuta “The Training Center for Mind-Body Skills” (now CMBM-Israel) to bring its evidence-based model of stress and trauma-relief to as many children and adults as possible. Since then, CMBM-Israel Faculty members have continued to implement the CMBM intervention. CMBM-Israel is now eager and ready to start working on a larger scale within the education, health and social service sectors. They are committed specifically to supporting initiatives that build mutual understanding and compassion between Israelis and Palestinians.

Our Impact

The Training Center for Mind-Body Skills, established in 2009, offers ongoing training & Certification to Israeli clinicians and educators.

  • Children and adults served: 50,000+
  • Jewish & Arab-Israeli professionals trained: 500
  • Organizations currently using our model: 70
  • Center trained school psychologists & counselors, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education : 100+
  • In-country faculty (MD, PhD, MA, LCSW) who have co-led with Dr. Gordon, 5 Mind-Body Medicine trainings and one CancerGuides® training: 16

Our Research

Halberstadt N, Staples JK, Addesky R, Gordon JS. Mind-body groups: concepts, practice, and results (The First International Conference of the Unit of Applied Neuroscience on Training the Mind: Mindfulness, Brain, and Behavior, Dec 30, 2009 Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, Israel).

Data gathered at the Initial and the Advanced Mind-Body Medicine Training Programs in Israel in 2006 showed an increase in the use of mind-body modalities, both personally and professionally, as well as an increase in optimism, a decrease in anxiety, anger and fatigue, and improved spirituality scores.

Click above to see a gallery of photos from our work in Israel.