June 2021
Amidst the destruction in Gaza, Ahli Arab Hospital offers compassion and care to all
Even in the midst of bombardment and destruction, Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City continued to be a safe haven for its neighbors. Throughout the 11-day war, Ahli - the only Christian hospital in the densely populated territory home to two million Palestinians - treated people with broken bones, shrapnel and glass injuries, severe trauma and burns, as well as regular medical care.

With the ceasefire holding, its long-time director, Suhaila Tarazi, has turned her attention to the aftermath of war. “There is no family that has not been affected by this war either physically, emotionally, or economically. Families have been shattered by its devastating impact, especially children,” she said. “Due to the closure of government health centers, Ahli now has an increased number of patients coming to us for treatment.” In just a matter of days Ahli has added staff in surgical, nursing, laboratory, X-ray, and psychosocial departments.

Ahi was able to adapt to meet the needs of Gazans caught in a war because of the generosity of the hospital’s American friends. As the news of devastation in Gaza spread, the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) shared the hospital’s pressing needs and you responded immediately. Your gifts have reached Gaza and are being put to work by Suhaila and her team.

Your generosity has enabled Ahli Hospital to: 

  • Increase the free community clinic from one day to four days a week
  • Purchase fuel to power generators 18 to 20 hours each day when the power grid is offline
  • Purchase medicine and medical supplies
  • Expand its burn center to treat an increased number of children with burns
  • Expand its psychosocial rehabilitation program to treat children and their caregivers severely traumatized by the war
“With your help we will replace despair with hope, mourning with comfort, humiliation with dignity, and injury with healing.” 

— Suhaila Tarazi
director of Ahli Arab Hospital
Suhaila said, “The damage inflicted in less than two weeks will take years, if not decades, to rebuild, but the clean up by Gazan youth has started on a small scale and shops and banks have opened for business, though schools remain closed.”
Hisham al-Jeroushah’s barber shop was destroyed but he is working from the rubble in Gaza City. Photo courtesy of "We Are Not Numbers" Facebook page
She added, “To our friends in Ahli’s mission of healing, I give thanks. We are grateful for your prayers and generosity. Though the situation in Gaza is horrifying and grim, we at Ahli are confident that through your support we will replace despair with hope, mourning with comfort, humiliation with dignity, and injury with healing. We pray for the day when the cycle of violence is over and the children of Abraham can live together in peace.” 

Archbishop Hosam Naoum said of the ministry in Gaza, “We are proud that in all conflicts, the hospital was there to alleviate suffering of the injured, the poor, and those in need of a compassionate heart. The doors of Ahli Hospital will remain open, and with your benevolent help, it will stand as a powerful witness in this place of desperation and unimaginable horror. (Read his full statement.)

We invite you to join us in continued support of Ahli Hospital’s ministry in Gaza. Give now www.afedj.org/give/give-online.
Join leaders of Jerusalem’s Princess Basma Centre for Brunch @ Basma on June 19
Friends of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre (JPBC) are invited to join leaders and staff for a virtual visit on Saturday, June 19, at 12 p.m. EST to learn more about this remarkable rehabilitation center serving Palestinian children with disabilities.

The Archbishop Hosam Naoum of Jerusalem and AFEDJ Trustee Bishop Daniel Gutiérrez of Pennsylvania will host the event along with leaders at the center. This is a great opportunity to learn more about JPBC as they begin a campaign to build for the future.

Farewell and welcome to AFEDJ trustees
As four two-term trustees concluded their service at the end of May, our gratitude goes to Robert Drumheller of Washington, D.C.; Christopher Hayes of San Francisco, CA; John Nasir of Tuscaloosa, AL; and Solomon Owayda of Arlington, MA. They will join AFEDJ’s Trustee Alumni Council, along with many past trustees who continue to support our work with Diocese of Jerusalem schools and hospitals. 

We are pleased to welcome three new trustees whose terms begin this week. Donald Crawshaw of Salisbury, CT; Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple, suffragan bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina; and Endicott Peabody III, of Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Clockwise from top left: Donald Crawshaw, Robert Drumheller, Christopher Hayes, John Nasir, Solomon Owayda, Cotty Peabody, Anne Hodges-Copple.
June 20 is Jerusalem Sunday
Remember our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land
Each year, on June 22, the Anglican Cycle of Prayer calls for prayers for the Diocese of Jerusalem.

American Friends calls on all friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem to join us on the fourth Sunday of Pentecost, June 20 – the Sunday closest to the appointed day – to reflect and pray for Holy Land Christians and the transformative humanitarian ministries they freely offer their neighbors across Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon. 

Visit the Jerusalem Sunday page on our website for prayers that can be shared with church members and personal pilgrim stories from AFEDJ trustees and Diocese of Jerusalem leaders that can be used by preachers in their sermons on June 20.

Bishop Greg Rickel, AFEDJ Chair and Bishop of the Diocese of Olympia:

“The deep faith of our sisters and brothers in the region – lived out with great hope amidst unimaginable challenges – is a powerful witness to us all. Jerusalem Sunday creates a space in the Episcopal Church for us to honor, pray for, and remember that abiding witness.”

Resources to share Jerusalem Sunday are available at www.afedj.org/jerusalemsunday
Your generosity set records in 2020
Over the course of the most unsettled and unsettling year in memory, you - the supporters of the schools and hospitals in the Diocese of Jerusalem - responded with incredible generosity. 

Your gifts enabled AFEDJ to send almost 50% more financial support to 17 humanitarian institution than in 2019. Thank you!

Please download our 2020 Annual Report to learn more about the life-changing work your support made happen.
From the report:

“It is our belief the inability of any member of our community to afford healthcare should not and will not be an obstacle to receiving high quality care. We need the tools to do our job. For many patients, St. Luke’s Hospital is their last, if not only, hope. We humbly thank God for sending you to us and are honored to carry the responsibility of putting your good works into action on the ground here in Nablus.”

Dr. Walid Kerry, Director
St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus, West Bank
AFEDJ offers a safe, secure channel to make gifts to support the work of the humanitarian institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem | 203-655-3575