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The Leadership Institute at Acer Farm brings together young American, Israeli, and Palestinian teens with the focus of creating a new generation of peace-builders in the world.  The program takes place over the course of two weeks in Brattleboro, VT at Acer Farm.  Participants engage in intensive leadership and peace-building activities and instruction.  The youth also engage in dialogue and discussion sessions about their views and opinions towards peace in the Holy Land.

Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Spiritual Resilience

Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Education and Worship

Leadership Development and Diplomacy

The Leadership Institute focuses on developing new creative ways of thinking in our participants.  Our daily leadership seminars teach positive communication and conflict management and peace-building skills.  Daily group dialogue sessions and workshops with guest educators contribute to the goal of enhancing critical thinking and reflection in each individual participant and the group as a whole.  The goal is to promote new thinking that births the new behavior needed to break out of the deadly cycle of inherited conflict and foregone conclusions.

The peace of Jerusalem will be built on the trust between two peoples and three faiths.  The Leadership Institute’s small size, high adult staff to youth participant ratio (1:2), daily routines, recreational, and religious programs concentrate on deepening those essential relationships.  Since religion is the foundation of culture and self, we believe that understanding and respecting each other’s faith offers powerful resources for peace-building.

Peace requires resourceful leadership and the Leadership Institute challenges our Muslim, Christian, and Jewish teens to learn their limits as leaders and encourages them to expand those limits. Integrated rooming arrangements, praying and playing together, and many a late night conversation help them recognize their fears and prejudices, strengths and weaknesses, and overall potential. 

Upon arrival to Acer Farm, youth are prepared to embark on a journey for peace.  Through our exceptional program, they gain invaluable insights into peace and conflict in the Holy Land.  They learn from each other that peace requires strength.  At the conclusion of the program, a strong foundation for peace is built through deepened relationships, mutual respect, shared commitment and the understanding of each other.


2015 Leadership Camp group
Peace music with the Brothers Yares
Guest workshop on storytelling
Testing limits on the ropes course
Acer Farm

2015 Leadership Institute Projects:

Three Sabbaths

Painting For Peace

Three Sabbaths, was the title of 2015's ambitious interfaith video project. After receiving instructions and their generously donated cameras from Deacon Bill Cusano and the Elijah Project, the campers spent each day filming, editing, and negotiating on how they wanted the movie to reflect themselves and their respective religious, national, and cultural identities. The videos specific focus was on the rituals and practices of each of the three Abrahamic faiths' Sabbath days. Please click the image below to view the finished video!


Remember: The video is interactive, meaning you can click on different stories to follow while playing the video.

Each summer, in partnership with I Wage Peace, leadership

participants engage in an exciting afternoon of artistic expression

and creativity through working collaboratively on a giant 40' peace banner. Crafting the mural's design from campers' ideas submitted in the spring, at the Institute, the group is presented with a challenging exercise in teamwork, leadership and peace-building. In 2015, JPB was happily joined by participants from World Learning's Iraqi Youth Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) who were very excited to learn about our teens lives and their ideas about peace in the Middle East.

Click to watch!

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