Earthquakes & Truth
Now is the time to invest in transformative leaders.
Dear JPB Friends & Family,
February began with unimaginable tragedy. Deadly earthquakes ripped through northern Syria and southeastern Turkey, flattening whole cities and killing thousands. The images and reports are heartbreaking. They are also frightening, and they leave us asking, “How will the living ever recover from such loss and horror?”
In the Holy Lands, the election of an extreme government in Israel, daily killings of Palestinians living under occupation, political corruption in the West Bank, mass Israeli Jewish protests against proposed curtailing of the Supreme Court, and the exclusion of Israeli Arabs from those protests resemble a deadly earthquake. The images and reports are heartbreaking. They are also frightening, and they leave us asking, “How will the living ever recover from such loss and horror?”
Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB) believes the answer to that question lies in the formation of new leaders who seek peace and not war and who respect the sacred dignity of every human being. This training requires encounter, patience, and humility. It involves experiential learning, skills, and life-long friendships essential to forging a new shared narrative and society. This is the interfaith formation that Jerusalem Peacebuilders provides to teachers, women and youth in Israel, Palestine, and the United States.
February also began with a message from a JPB alumnus who now clerks for the Israeli Supreme Court. He is one of an handful Palestinian Christian Arabs ever to be selected, and he clerks for a conservative, religious judge. Asked about the pressures on the court, he wrote, “We work as we always do to uphold the values of democracy and the rule of law.” This is JPB’s answer in action: an Arab and a Jew standing shoulder to shoulder to uphold the values of democracy that protect them both.
The earthquakes are a metaphor for the entire region, and 2023 will be a difficult year. Please join us in investing in transformative leaders. This newsletter is filled with how JPB staff and alumni are helping to forge a new and shared future. Thank you for standing with us and with those whom we serve during these unsteady days.
Peace, שלום ,سلام Nicholas + (The Rev. Canon) Nicholas T. Porter Founding Director