Instructors (according to alphabetical order) Shahad Abu Hamad, Michal Oren, Anuar Elsheicha, Tal Gotfeld, Tal Tzuk, Michal Shaviv, Avital Shaked. Producers: Bat-Shahar G. Gurfinkel and Michal Oren (Menifot for Social Innovation) The idea for the My Family workshop was born from materials that were raised during the Association’s previous conference, which dealt with Friendships between Women. In the previous conference, participants talked quite a lot about the supportive role of the family in general, and specifically in the context of the illness. It was clear that the family is an important hub for a multitude of occurrences – some beneficial and some possibly hurtful. Our goal was to create a safe space for participants to share, support and examine their familial relationships, and of course encourage them to get to know themselves and their needs and to make their voices heard within the family. As the workshop was short (2 hours), it was important to create an immediate sense of intimacy among the many participants in every group. Accordingly, the workshop was constructed as a two-phase event: Phase 1 - Three participants working on questions we sought to examine with them (hereunder); Phase 2 – Sitting in groups and conversing about a topic raised and taken from the conversation in phase 1 (an opportunity for people who are less familiar with each other to meet). In-group summary of both phases in small groups. In plenum: sharing with all conference participants. Production wise: the workshop was constructed based on materials that were raised in the field. We approached instructors we appreciate and we have accompanied them in preparation for the meeting: we held preparatory telephone calls and a meeting before and after the conclusion of the workshop. Important points raised in the course of the workshop: • Some of the participants talked about the meaningful support they receive from their families and that the relationships between family members grew stronger due to the illness. • Some talked about a desertion of a spouse, which at times led to the family breaking apart. • Some told of friends who served as an alternative family to that which turned its back due to the illness. • The difficulties that the illness raises were raised and its interaction with traditional roles: women responsible for the home and family, men as providers. One of the participants in the conference defined the workshop experience thus: he compared the participants to flowers who need more than water, but also love and giving. That is the most important part of the treatment, and this part, along with a feeling of hope, they receive from the Israeli Association for Multiple Sclerosis. Questions for Phase 1 (for three participants. Distributed text): What is a family for you? Recount a family related memory or a strong experience. What do I adopt from my family? If there was a need, what did I change due to the familial experience? Questions for Phase 2 (topic for conversation between two participants): What is the most important thing / thought / association that you take from the conversation you just had? Avital Shaked is a personal mentor with a BA in Social Sciences and a graduate of Beit Berl Group Facilitation studies. She provides guidance services to various organizations, including the National Employment Service, Al Sam, the Open University, the Unit for Guidance of Discharged Soldiers, the Center for Child and Family. Tal Tzuk is an organizational consultant and group facilitator. He has an MA in Organizational Behavior as well as the IDF’s Mandel program of Educational Leadership. He holds a certificate from the Wingate Institute for mental counseling in sports. He is an instructor of cross-country mountain bike riding and a martial arts coach. Tal Gutfeld is a group facilitator and organizational consultant and coach. She is the Director of Development and Training in the External Studies Unit at Ariel University. She holds an MA in Sociology from the Hebrew University. Tal is a graduate of the program for group facilitation from the Center for Advanced Management Studies at Bar-Ilan University. Michal Oren is a graduate of group facilitation studies at Beit Berl College. She is a facilitator leading workshops for gender empowerment for girls within the framework of the Cracking the Glass Ceiling program by Kot Yisrael Haverim (KIAH), and accompanies the preparation for discharge from the army by the Unit for Guidance of Discharged Soldiers. She is a facilitator in the Women and their Bodies Association and facilitator of the MS Veterans Support Group in Haifa. She has an MA in Gender Studies from Bar Ilan University. Michal Shaviv is the certified parent group facilitator on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Kibbutzim College, and a certified family facilitator on behalf the Ministry of Education and Ma’agalim NGO. She works in the Education Division of the Holon Municipality as a group facilitator, as well as providing individual guidance and training of the educational teams. She holds an MA in Social Work from Tel Aviv University. Sharon Gershon is a group facilitator and therapist for individuals. She leads parent groups, is a counselor at the Center for Victims of Sexual Assault, as well as in the centers of City without Violence. She has an MA in Social Work from Tel Aviv University, and an MA in Family Studies from the College of Management and a certificate from the Psagot College in CBT Studies. The workshops will be held in Arabic - in parallel, a seminar will be held in the adjacent hall in Arabic Fatten Hasuna is a graduate of group facilitation studies at the Adler Institute, and a graduate of the Beit Berl mediation program. She has certification to use the Byron Katie method from Germany. She holds a BA in Humanities and Social Sciences from the Open University and an MA in Bibliotherapy. She is a volunteer at Tair – the Center for Victims of Sexual Assault in Rehovot. Shahed Abu Hamed holds a BA in Special Education for preschoolers and a diploma in group facilitation combined with arts from Bar-Ilan University. She has been working for 7 years with children on the spectrum. She has lead support groups for parents of children with special needs, groups for social communication for children, and was a co-facilitator for Arab and Jewish studens dialogue through music groups at Bar-Ilan. Anwar Al-Sheikha accompanies people in personal meetings and workshops based on the emotional communication approach and is engaged in group facilitation for personal development and self-realization. She has undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Education and an MA in Organizational Consulting. She holds a training certificate in the course for Wellness and Welfare in Chronic Illness, according to the WCC model of the Ruth Vrobel Foundation and the Goma Center for Mediation and Training.