Skip to Main Content

Empowerment & Resilience in Children Everywhere (ERICE)

Our Mission Statement

Guided by the belief that children everywhere are to be cherished and that respect for and protection of children is a shared human value, ERICE works to promote human rights, joint action, training and interventional projects focused on enhancing the well-being of children and families affected by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ERICE brings together child mental health professionals from Israel and Palestine to formulate and accomplish joint projects to enhance the well being of children and families that neighbor one another in this strife-torn region of the world.

ERICE Leadership

  • President | Shafiq Masalha, PhD
  • Board of Directors | Alan Apter, MD (Schneider's Children's Medical Center); Itamar Lurie, Sofi Eldar, Hazem Ashour (MD, Ramallah Mental Health Centre); and Twafiq Salman, Eyad Halaq, Morshid Farhat, Mustafa Qossoqsi (PhD, Institute of Psychotherapy).
  • Foundation Child and Yale University carry out a role of coordination, support and scientific supervision, thanks to the leadership of Prof. Ernesto Caffo (President of the Foundation Child) and Prof. James Leckman (Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine).

Members of the ERICE group include: Arab-Israeli academics, physicians and psychologists; Jewish Israeli academics, physicians and psychologists; and Palestinian academics, physicians and psychologists.


At present, a number of pilot projects have been funded to impact other lives of a large number of Israeli and Palestinian children:

  1. Assessing Post-Traumatic Distress in Infant and Young Children: A Multi-Dimensional Approach (Ruth Feldman, Eyad Hallack, Miri Keren)
  2. Children in War: A Look at the Inner World of Palestinian and Israeli Children via their Dreams (Shafiq Masalha, Esti Galili)
  3. The Development of an Evidence Guided Approach to Child Mental Health in Arab Populations in Palestine and Israel (Eyad Hallak, Sami Hamdan, Orit Krispin, Alan Apter)
  4. An Evaluation of Special Education Programs for Palestinian and Israeli Children (Viveca Hazboun, Nadia Barakat)
  5. Pilot Surveillance of PTSD among Children in Israel and the Palestinian Authority (Omaima and Morshid Farhat, Itamar Lurie, Mustafa Qosssoqsi, Hazem Ashour)
  6. Enhancing the Psychosocial Health and Empowering the School Age Children in Gaza (Fadel Abu Hain, Jabr Abu Naja)


  • 2015 Milestone | ERICE, created by Foundation Child and ICACAPAP (International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions), is established as NGO, Rome, Italy
  • 2015 | "When Psychotherapy Involves a Therapist and a Patient from Different Sides of a Long-Standing Divide: The Case of Palestinians and Israelis", lecture by Shafiq Masalha, MD and Prof. Ernesto Caffo, hosted by James F. Leckman, MD, PhD, Yale University, New Haven, CT, US
  • 2015 | ERICE scientific conference, sponsored in part by the Italian government, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2013 | Meeting at the Innocenti Centre, attended by 40 professionals, sponsored by Foundation Child, the John E. Fetzer Institute and Yale University, Florence, Italy
  • 2007 | Meeting during XIII European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ESCAP) Congress, Florence, Italy
  • 2006 | Meeting to discuss results of initial research showing that children who are exposed to conflict exhibit severe signs of psychological trauma, presented by Ruth Feldman, MD, Rome, Italy
  • 2005 | Group adopts the name E.R.I.C.E., not only in honor of the name of the meeting place, Erice (Sicily, Italy), but also an acronym of their common goal (Empowerment and Resilience In Children Everywhere)
  • 2004 | Established as first joint project among Israeli and Palestinian professionals, led by Prof. Ernesto Caffo, Director of Foundation Child, at the Italian Embassy, Berlin, Germany
  • 2004 | Initial plans to establish ERICE took place following a meeting of parents of children (both Arab-Israeli and Jewish Israeli), enrolled in a Kindergarten at the YMCA in Jerusalem; organized by Shafiq Masalha, PhD

For More Information | How to Make a Donation to ERICE

For more information and to donate to further the development of ERICE and its programs, please contact James F. Leckman, MD, PhD at

Hand in Hand Learning together Living together | ?? ??? ???? ???

Aug 2013 | The story of Hand in Hand pioneering schools, almost the only bilingual ones in Israel, and the joint Arab - Jewish communities surrounding them. (Shafiq Masalha, PhD, President Hand In Hand)

Resilience in child development – interconnected pathways to wellbeing

by Catherine Panter-Brick & James F. Leckman (Yale). (2013)

"In our view, attention to interventions with synergistic effects across multiple one of the most exciting foci of research and practice in child development." - Authors

Full text J Child Psychology and Psychiatry.