Letter from the Executive Director
Dear JPB Family and Friends, May’s warfare in the Holy Lands left a deep wound. Fought on four fronts, the violence reached a scope not seen since 1948. Today trust between Arabs and Jews nears an all-time low, with majorities in both communities unsure of their future together.
Throughout the crisis, the JPB staff worked around the clock to provide support, encouragement, and prayer for our network of 8,000+ students, educators, clergy, alumni, and medical personnel. Time and again, dialogues were cut short due to Hamas missiles, Israeli airstrikes, and street violence. For too many Israelis and Palestinians, no place felt safe.
Fr. Nicholas and the JPB Board pray for peace in the Holy Lands
Now begins the hard work of germinating encounter, trust, and coexistence. In August, we will be operating five interfaith, residential peace and leadership institutes for exceptional high school youth and teachers. All five programs will gather in East Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as a visible witness to the strength and possibility of peace in the Holy Lands.
Come October, thanks to active partnerships with the Israeli Ministry of Education’s Learning Together and Excellence on the Periphery programs, Retorika for Multiculturalism, Amal Educational Network, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and QSchools, JPB will effectively cultivate the future in schools across Jerusalem, Israel, and Palestine. We will also expand existing programs in Houston. Our initiatives include:
Seeding an interfaith women’s economic and leadership empowerment program in the West Bank
Planting a full-time director in Houston to expand local programming
Growing our programs in Jerusalem and Israel with a local Arab Christian educator
Our goal is to raise $250,000 by the end of July. To date, we have raised $135,000 in donations and pledges. These initiatives depend on your generosity. At a time when war has eliminated most opportunities and caused too many organizations to step back, will you help us plant the blessings of peace? Thank you for joining us as we nurture a harvest of peace, empowerment, and leadership.
Peace, שלום ,سلام
(The Rev. Canon) Nicholas Porter
Executive Director, Jerusalem Peacebuilders