The Rooftop Consciousness Award was established in 2011 in memory of beloved Board member Ron Miller. Each year, Ron would give his "House of Consciousness" talk which used the metaphor of a house to describe levels of consciousness of "the other". For those at the basement level, dialogue is not possible. For those at the rooftop, there is recognition that despite our differences we are all connected as one human family.
The Rooftop Award honors those alums who consistently show this high level of consciousness in their daily lives.
This year, we are pleased to recognize 4 recipients.
Mary Andersen (American, Hand 2009, XL 2010) - Mary lived and breathed Hands of Peace growing up. Her family hosted 10 times!! During college at Notre Dame, she began playing Ultimate Frisbee and has parlayed that into a summer role with Ultimate Peace in Israel/Palestine. Mary also has been Assistant Program Director for HOP in both Chicago and (during their first year) San Diego.
Mary has asked that we share the following: "Big thank you to Hands of Peace for being my ground zero, the place that sparked my desire to strive for peace and meaningful life experiences. Because of Hands of Peace, I will continue to care and seek out ways to make this slice of the world a little better for all of our friends."
Adi Mansour (PCI, Hand 2012, XL 2013) - Adi is in his second year studying law and political science at Tel Aviv University. He is the head of the Arab Law Students Forum at his university. He has also been an activist in the Haifa youth movement, working to strengthen the ties of the Arab community with youth. He remains regularly involved in HOP and is a great role model.
Adi has shared the following: "I ask all of you, don't be afraid to change. It is our duty to build a better future for our communities. There is hope. Yet the hope is us. It is not thrown out there waiting for something to happen. We make our hope, and most importantly, we make our peace. Hopefully I'll see you all one day in our fight for freedom, equality and liberation for all people."
Noam Preminger (Jewish Israeli, Hand 2011, XL 2012) - Noam has been an active member of Hands of Peace for 6 years now. He continues to pursue and implement HOP values in his life. He's one of the main people who is pushing to revive the older alumni community, and is also a meaningful role model for the younger alumni.
From Noam: "This award will remind me of how much is left to be changed, to make things right and just, and how I'm a part of a movement that's making the world better. I'd like to use this opportunity to speak to you, the participants who finish a very intensive and meaningful three weeks. From my small experience this can be either three weeks of only fun with new friends or three weeks that have a big role in shaping the people you will grow and choose to be, for me it was the second one. Dialogue became my motto and the other side was no longer a stranger. Which one it will be for you is for you to decide. I hope I can now call you my partners for future change."
Anas Al Salame (Palestinian, posthumous, Hand 2009, XL 2010) - After moving to the U.S. Anas was getting ready to re-embark on his Hands of Peace journey when he died suddenly in California at the age of 25. Before he passed away, Anas was thrilled to be a program volunteer for HOP San Diego this summer, and he attended the March Gala event. During the summer program, trees were planted in his memory at the MCC mosque in San Diego and at Glenview Community Church in the Chicago area.
On the memorial plaques that will be placed by the trees in each city is the following quote: "How can the dead by truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?" Even though Anas is gone, a piece of him lives on in each and every alumni that he knew, as well as those he never had the privilege to meet.
The Don and Ellen Clark Scholarship award was created in 2015 to provide financial assistance to a Hands of Peace Alumni in their efforts to secure a college education. This year's recipient of the $1000 scholarship is Hadeel Abu Asaad.
Hadeel Abu Asaad (PCI, Hand 2012, XL 2014 San Diego) - Hadeel is from Nazareth and is in her second year at Technion Haifa studying Biomedical Engineering. Prior to University, she took a year off to work and volunteer in her community. This scholarship will help her tremendously.
In Hadeel's words: "Since I joined Hands of Peace five years ago, many little things have changed, and those little things had an enormous impact on my everyday life.
My friends in Hands of Peace always give me hope for a better tomorrow, even in the hardest situation. Their understanding and passion are truly inspiring. And I am sure that the experience of Hands of Peace will keep affecting my life."