Local Hero: Naomi Ackerman

Naomi Ackerman photo by Ed KriegerNaomi Ackerman draws upon her vast experience as an actress in theater, musicals, films and television to develop programs that promote peace, change and encourage self-empowerment.

A U.S. born, Israeli immigrant who now lives in Los Angeles, Ms. Ackerman is founder and director of the Advot Project, a registered 501(c) 3 that uses theater for transformation.

The word "Advot" means "ripples" in the Hebrew language, representing the ripples that action engages. Through interactive drama experiences they foster self-esteem, prevent violence and promote social justice and healthy relationships.
Prior to founding the Advot Project, she lived in Israel where she created the children's clown school for the Jerusalem municipality and was part of the first groups of clowns in Israel to engage in medical clowning. She since has been a consultant for different organizations that integrates professional medical clowning into the medical services provided at Israeli hospitals.

She also was one of the founding members of "View Points" an Arab-Jewish theater group promoting tolerance and dialogue, sponsored and produced by the Peres Center for Peace.

Ms. Ackerman wrote, directed and continues to perform her acclaimed one-woman show Flowers Aren't Enough, which has been translated from Hebrew to English, Arabic and Spanish and performed over 1500 times globally, including the Middle East, Spain India South Africa and more. In March 2004, Flowers Aren't Enough was performed at the United Nations in honor of International Woman's Day in front of the commission for the Status of Woman. She donates proceeds from 4-5 performances a year to non-profits all over the world, which have included shelters, legal aid, Jewish Family Services, and a school in a small village in India.

Ms. Ackerman continues to work as a social activist, mediator and conflict-resolution specialist. Her educational curriculum, "Relationships 101," is currently being implemented in public and private high schools as well as in juvenile detention camps in Southern California.

She is married to Raphael Harrington and is the proud mother of three beautiful daughters, Zohar, Ella and Hadar.

For more information on Naomi Ackerman and The Advot Project, please visit www.theadvotproject.org
The Advot Program video taken by: Karee Maxson and Chrystie Martinez with Creative Visions Foundation.

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