Dear Hands of Peace Supporters,

94 lives were changed across Chicago and San Diego this summer as we completed our 2017 summer program. As always, we were so impressed with the courage, dedication and honesty that our participants displayed during this process.  All members of the Hands of Peace family walked away knowing that, while they may be from different countries, cultures, or religions, we are still humans. Armed with that knowledge they are ready to go out into the world and create peace.

Some highlights from this summer's program included:

- High Ropes Course/Rock Wall 
- Social Activism with Hunger Van 
- Multiple writing workshops to help the participants learn how to express their feelings in words
- Visits to Mosques, Synagogues and Churches
- Special Interest Groups including photography, writing, basketball, and music

and of course, hours and hours of dialogue sessions that not only addressed the cultural differences but also helped the participants realize they have the ability to make a change. Through the power of dialogue, Palestinians, Israelis and Americans partnered to achieve peace, equality, freedom and justice. Hands of Peace believes the future depends on the leadership of the next generation, and that begins during our summer programs, and continues throughout the year with our Alumni activities, leadership programs, and continuing education.

Thank you to everyone for supporting these teenagers on their remarkable journey! 
San Diego Peace Photo
Chicago Peace Photo

We have created pages on our website that are filled with pictures from this summer's program - to view pictures from our Chicago Program click here. To view pictures from our San Diego program click here.

We also launched a new project this summer on our website called our " News Bureau". The Hands of Peace News Bureau will be a source of information for all that is going on during our summer program, featuring articles written by alumni and highlighting different events at each site, along with any media coverage that we received during the program. We are grateful to the many alumni that offered their services and are really pleased with the insight they shared. Please visit our  News Bureau page and share it on social media with all of your friends!

Hands of Peace relies on the generosity of individuals and families to run the summer and year-round programs. Please consider making a gift today by clicking below:

Thank you for being part of this powerful program to empower youth to pursue peace, equality, freedom and justice.
Salaam, Shalom, Peace,
Rick Rosenfeld
Executive Director      

At our Farewell Celebrations, we were privileged to announce the alumni recipients of our Rooftop Consciousness Award and our Don and Ellen Clark Scholarship Award.

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."

Congratulations to all our award-recipients. 

For more information about this event, visit our website at: