Beyond the Impossible:
Doors Open for JPB Summer Institutes
in Jerusalem and Acre
Dear Friends,
A tremendous break-through has just occurred. Instead of cancelling our programs this summer, Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB) can now operate our five intensive peace-building institutes in Jerusalem and Acre during July and August .  Needless-to-say, we are overjoyed and we need your help to make it happen!
Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted peacebuilding across the Holy Lands.  Fear, public health restrictions, and the closure of Israel's airport to group travel led every major international peace organization to cancel its summer programs.

JPB alone did not.  We soon set to work leveraging our bi-locational structure and professional network to determine how and where JPB might safely operate in-person peacebuilding programs in the Holy Lands this summer.  Thankfully, God's grace  moved us beyond the impossible.
Watch this video of JPB teens thanking our donors for their generous support. We could not do it without you!
New Bridge at Acer Farm in honor of Stuart and Angie Kensinger. JPB welcomes their son, Philip Kensinger, to our Board in June.

After six weeks of prayer and inspired conversation, two exceptional institutions opened their doors to JPB.  This summer, St. George's College in Jerusalem  and the Akko Center for Arts & Technology  will host our five institutes for 110 Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Druze educators and young leaders.   Here's the plan:
  • Program: To accommodate the elongated school schedule, JPB will operate five condensed programs in Jerusalem and Acre.  Each will begin on a Monday afternoon and conclude on a Sunday evening, allowing the teens to experience dialogues, workshops, and each other's worship.
  • Health and Safety: We will strictly follow all Israeli Ministry of Health guidelines, including social distancing and daily disinfection of surfaces and door handles.  Each participant will have their temperature checked daily, receive and wear a mask, and sleep in single or double rooms.
  • Costs: $125,000 will cover transportation, room, board, program, staffing and insurance for all five institutes.  It will also empower us to develop on-line learning tools to engage participants in advance as well as other promising youth during the programs with live video workshops. 
To succeed requires special planning and your generosity.   At a time when opportunities are few and too many doors will remain locked, will you help us open wide the doors of peace?   Please sponsor a young leader by making a gift of $500 or $1,000 today.
Bless these young Israeli and Palestinian leaders with opportunity, and join us in advancing peace.

Peace, Shalom, Salaam,
(The Rev. Canon) Nicholas and Dorothy Porter
Co-Founders, Jerusalem Peacebuilders

Webinars, Panel Discussions, and Social Events offered
Our alumni discuss their interfaith friendships and community formed in JPB
In response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, JPB has launched a series of online opportunities to support our alumni and summer 2020 participants.  Over the last two months, teens and staff have gathered for educational webinar sessions on self-care, storytelling, and meditation as well as two panel discussions featuring some of our most promising young leaders from last summer.  Later this month, teens will come together for an interfaith Iftar and trivia night. 

Thanks to this new normal, we will continue incorporating online engagement and learning into our educational model.  The offering of more online engagement will serve to both support past participants and current ones as we prepare for an exciting summer.   To view the JPB's other online offerings over the last two months, click here! 
Peace Scholarship created at Haifa University
JPB's second class of teens in the Creating Friendships for Peace (CFP) program celebrated their graduation  in a ceremony at Haifa University  on February 12 with family and friends. HU's Head of Government Relations,  Hila Elroy w elcomed the group and then  officially  announced the Creating Friendships for Peace Scholarship in Memory of Henry John McKinney.  This undergraduate scholarship in science  represents quite an opportunity and  will be awarded to a deserving CFP program alum.  The teens shared their CFP experiences through speeches, videos and pictures.   All expressed gratitude for the CFP-JPB partnership and the life-changing opportunities it creates.   The evening concluded with a generous buffet of falafel, salads and desserts. 
Above the line tax deductions increased to $300
To incentivize charitable contributions to worthy organizations like JPB, the CARES Act provides an above-the-line deduction for "qualified charitable contributions" up to $300 for individuals who do not itemize deductions.  JPB is a "qualified charitable organization".  The CARES Act also increases the income limitations on charitable deductions by suspending the 50% adjusted gross income (AGI) limitation for 2020.   Thus, individuals may deduct qualified contributions in 2020 up to 100% of their AGI.  Any excess qualified contributions are carried forward to future years in the same manner as other charitable contribution carryovers. 
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world