Peace with Penny

Grassroots Israelis and Palestinians Work on Peace—Amen

Penny S. Tee Podcast

I’m very excited to be sharing that in just a few days, on January 26, 2021 at 11AM PST we’ll be having our first video podcast of Peace with Penny. Here’s just a taste of why I’m doing a podcast and a bit about my first guest, Shaul Judelman, co-founder of Roots-Shorashim-Judur. I hope you can join us!


Transcript:  Grassroots Israelis and Palestinians Work on Peace—Amen

Hello and welcome to Peace with Penny! I’m Penny S. Tee and I’m your host. Israel signing Peace agreements with Bahrain, the UAE, Sudan and Morocco have been great steps in the right direction, yet we always hear, what about Israelis and the Palestinians? Well, I’m here to tell you lots has happened with incredible Peace makers between the two, they just don’t often make the news here. I’m hoping my video podcast will change that. We’ll be speaking with grassroots Israelis and Palestinians in our podcast truly making a difference who realize that they love the same land, but have very different narratives.

So why did I get involved? It was the summer of 2014 and for my son’s bar mitzvah present, we took him to Israel. Just like many Jewish parents, we wanted him to bond with the Holy land. Oy, it worked – perhaps too well. My husband had stayed back at the hotel and our friends, my son and I, had just stopped in a pharmacy…

“Run, Run to the bomb shelter Sweetie! Please, please hurry! I didn’t hear the sirens at first, but the Israelis did. They’re used to hearing these things! We ran to the back of the storeroom. It was a 12’x24’ windowless bomb shelter. My heart’s pounding. Boom! Boom! I hear and feel the percussion of the exploding bombs. I’m trying not to get sick. I look at my thirteen-year-old son and I think I’ll never forgive myself if something happens to him.”

That’s an excerpt from a speech I gave to the Orange County Jewish Bar Association. It was the first, but not the last time we had to run to a bomb shelter.  Our adventure and my transformation is also the subject of my book, “BLASTED from COMPLACENCY: A Journey from Terror to Transformation in Israel.” There is no chapter in a parenting book on what to do when a war starts and you are on a family vacation. Think touring extraordinary and sacred sites mixed with cowering in bomb shelters. I’m still trying to get over the Jewish guilt of taking my son to war for his bar mitzvah present! The impact of being human targets helped me understand the plight of Israelis living like this and it also made me want to work on Peace. How Israel is often described on the news is not what I had seen with my own eyes. And I felt Palestinian parents also preferred their children playing safely in their backyards. The missiles exploded just near enough—to blow apart my world as I knew it, forever changing me, and you’d never recognize my life today with what it was like then. I believe I found my life’s purpose.

So I’m very excited to have our first video podcast interview with Shaul Judelman. He is a co-founder of Roots-Shorashim-Judur with Ali Abu Awwad and Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger an incredible organization that I’ve grown to love over the years. Roots is located in the West Bank—what many people call occupied territory.

Roots’ members are made up of Israeli settlers who meet with Palestinians to forge a better more cooperative life with their neighbors. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of their day-to-day life. The rest of the world thinks Israelis and Palestinians are enemies and yet these Peace makers foster a grassroots movement of understanding, nonviolence, and transformation among Israelis and Palestinians. Please join me and Shaul on January 26 at 11:00 am pst and learn about the latest accomplishments and challenges working on Peace at Roots. And think about what you’d like the opportunity to ask, Shaul. Feel free to send your questions to me ahead of time at and I’m sure we’ll all learn something new and be inspired. Hope to see you on January 26 but if you have a scheduling conflict, I will post the recording on Thank you!

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