New York, July 11, 2011—OneVoice is mourning the loss Eran Schafferman, former OneVoice Israel (OVI) Youth Leadership Program director, who died early Monday morning in Ramat Gan, after a four month battle with cancer.
In 2004, Eran, 35, became a youth leader with OneVoice Israel because he believed in the movement’s unique approach that defined the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be between moderates and extremists and not between nations pitted against each other.
“OneVoice challenges the apathetic -- those who are tired of the conflict, but have shut themselves off from any part of the process -- by showing them they still have a partner for peace on the other side,” said Eran, in 2005. “Meaningful participation through OneVoice is the only healthy future for Israel.”
Eran served as an advisor to both MK Colette Avital (Labor) and MK Amir Peretz (Labor) in the Knesset, where he was in charge of parliamentary and political issues. In the Labor Party, Eran was elected as Chair of Young Labor Jerusalem.
“Eran was 100% dedicated to what OneVoice is working toward,” said John Lyndon, executive director of OneVoice Europe. “He contributed to some of our greatest successes.”
Eran participated in two International Education Program tours, the first to California in 2005 with OneVoice Palestine youth leader Christine Soudah and the second to Washington, D.C. with OneVoice Palestine youth leader Aya Hijazi. During the latter trip, Eran and Aya spoke at a OneVoice outreach event alongside Ambassador Dennis Ross, White House advisor, and Daniel Lubetzky, founder of OneVoice.
“Beyond his personal warmth and innate charisma, Eran possessed a unique combination of intellectual skills and grassroots instincts that made him an invaluable leader,” said Daniel. “He was proud of his Jewish religious education and always brought forth insightful commentary from Rabbinical sages to advocate peace with his Palestinian neighbors. We will honor this tragic loss with a renewed commitment to continue the fight for peace.”
In a video-cast statement from his hometown of Jerusalem, Eran addressed over 2,000 dignitaries and global business leaders at the 2007 World Economic Forum, including President Mahmoud Abbas, Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima), and President Shimon Peres.
In April 2007, Eran went into the streets of Tel Aviv dressed as a Saudi king to raise awareness and initiate dialogue about the Saudi Peace Initiative. Youth leaders passed out materials detailing the principles of the initiative and the potential opportunities it presented.
"The fate of Israelis and Palestinians is shared,” said Eran. “And so is our conviction not to let extremists infiltrate and damage our cause for peace and prosperity."
Eran is survived by his mother, father and two sisters. The funeral will take place tomorrow, July 12, in kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, near Jerusalem.