I n mid-July AFEDJ Trustee the Rev. Canon Nicholas Porter invited Executive Director John Lent and Communications Director Heidi Shott to Acer Farm in West Brattleboro, Vermont, to meet 19 young people chosen to participate in the 2019 Jerusalem Peacebuilders summer leadership camp.

Porter, the co-founder and executive director of JPB, explained how these students came to the program, “This is their climactic time with us. Some of them have already participated in programs over three years to get here, either in a summer program or in a school program in their hometown. We’re preparing them to return home to be agents of change in appropriate ways.”

AFEDJ staff conducted video interviews with six students and were wowed by how poised, articulate, and thoughtful they were about the turmoil in their country and the difficult relations between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel. Despite the isolation they feel at home from other young people of different religions, each student expressed hope for the future and gratitude for the opportunity to build lasting friendships through JPB.

Sarah Benazera, a JPB instructor from Tel Aviv, told us, “They don’t know where the road will end, but they know they won’t walk it alone.”

Look for the interviews to be shared online in the coming weeks.