The Promise of Partnership
Dear Friends,
American politicians may be flirting with isolationism, but not JPB's Israeli and Palestinian partners.  Record numbers of impressive Jewish, Christian and Muslim youth have applied to our summer institutes.  And it does not stop there.
Next month, we are attending a peace-building and diversity conference organized by JPB teens in the northern Israeli city of Haifa.  It will draw participants from the many religious and ethnic groups across the land and focus on pluralism and peace. Later we meet with local educators to initiate JPB programming in nearby Nazareth.
JPB Alums lead their peers in MUN conferences
Israeli and Palestinian teens engage in respectful debate
Our journey concludes in Jerusalem.  Our time will be spent with friends old and new, and includes meetings to expand our in-school programs.  Currently JPB leads programming in three Jerusalem-area high schools.  We plan to double that number to six.
Why is JPB experiencing such positive response?  Because our Israeli and Palestinian partners recognize that JPB offers teen leaders the skills, relationships and support needed to strengthen their lives and advance peace. 
We hope that you recognize the impact of your involvement.  With your prayers, volunteering and donations, you have brought JPB to the exciting place we stand today. Thank you.  
In today's Middle East, our work together is much needed and needs to expand. Please support JPB's new programming and the influx of Israeli and Palestinian applicants with scholarships this summer.
God bless you,
Fr. Nicholas Porter and Stuart Kensinger
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world
Equipping teen diplomats for JPB Summer Youth Institutes
Since last year, JPB has partnered with the Model United Nations Israel program, Debate for Peace (DfP), to support young Israeli and Palestinian youth diplomats in developing their leadership and peace-building skills by offering them competitive scholarships to JPB's Summer Youth Institutes. 
The first conference was held last November in Jerusalem at the US Embassy's American Center Jerusalem and hosted o ver  80 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim high school students from more than ten cities and a dozen high schools.  For five hours, participants worked diligently to resolve and pass resolutions on current conflicts in Afghanistan and Somalia . At the conclusion of the conference, Camp Director, Jack Karn, announced the names of five teens f or scholarships to attend our Youth Leadership Institutes this summer.
MUN Security Council teens discussing resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Recently in January, a nearly two-fold increase of 150+ participants convened at the Al Qassemi High School in the Israeli Arab town of  Baqa al-Gharbiyye to discuss and debate the ever-sensitive Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Across six committees, teens explored issues involving holy sites, education, incitement, the Palestine Partition Plan of 1947 and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and deliberations in the Security Council.  In debating a topic that directly touches the lives of all the participants, the delegates' limits were tested by maintaining an atmosphere of respectful debate that focused on the issues and by remaining true to their assigned roles. Also at this conference, Jack announced seven more names to be awarded scholarships. Lots of photos from the conference can be found here! 
JPB Scholarship recipients announced!
The site of a recent MUN conference

Model UN programs like DfP allow for high school students around the world to practice and learn the art of debate and discussion on controversial topics in an atmosphere of respect and mutual understanding.  These unparalleled programs give teens a vital platform to communicate and come together through simulating top-level negotiations.

High school students become diplomats at Model UN
High school students discuss Debate for Peace program on Israel Hayom
With a conference scheduled in Modi'in for late-February and a special two-day youth leadership conference in Haifa in early-March, JPB is keeping an eye out for more exceptional teens to invite to the USA this summer.
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world
Jerusalem high school participants prep for summer in USA
This winter JPB returned to the Sts. Tarkmanchatz Armenian School in Jerusalem to lead an improved Leadership and Peace Education program.  Using a newly designed curriculum by renowned peacebuilder Paula Green, along with guest educators and service projects, the teens explore a wide range of theoretical understandings of leadership and peace-building, as well as benefiting from opportunities for applied practice and developing relationships with Arab and Jewish youth engaged in similar leadership programs.

Now in its second year, the program focuses on high school students currently in the 10th and 11th grades.  JPB alums at the school have opportunities to hone their leadership skills in preparation for the Summer Youth Leadership Institute in Brattleboro by assisting their peers in the program before returning to the USA this summer.
Students crafting personal identity wheels
Identity-ranking experiential activity
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world
Palestinian school offers access to key constituency
In an exciting development, JPB increased its reach to more Palestinian youth in Jerusalem by adding a third high school leadership program to its profile at the Dar Al-Maarefa School.  The Dar Al-Maarefa School is situated in a unique part of Jerusalem located outside the Separation Barrier, but inside the Jerusalem Municipal boundary.  Thus, its students represent a disadvantaged segment of the Jerusalem population that our programs aim to reach.
Students work on vision and goal setting
Working  with 9th grade students, JPB is spending the next five months preparing teens to   participate in our Service-Learning Program this August in New Haven, CT.   Using the same specialized curriculum as the JPB program at Sts. Tarkmanchatz School, the  Dar Al-Maarefa students are beginning the journey of leadership that is crucial for any future peace in Israel and Palestine.
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world
In late February, Texas welcomes JPB co-founders Nicholas and Dorothy Porter for a weekend of presentations and events.  During the first part of the weekend, the Porters will participate in two events for the Order of St John: in Austin on February 23 and in Houston on February 25. The Order is a supporter of JPB, and the St. John Eye Hospital Group is a major health care provider in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
On Sunday, February 26, Nicholas Porter will speak from the pulpit at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church.  The church-home of f ellow JPB co-founders, Stuart and Angie Kensinger, Palmer Memorial Church was an earlier supporter of JPB's Houston programming.  It will soon provide office space for JPB operations.  Later that day, Nicholas and Dorothy will join a JPB pilgrimage reunion at the Kensingers' home in Houston.
In New England, Fr. Nicholas will be preaching and teaching about Jerusalem Peacebuilders at St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Scarsdale, NY on Sunday, April 2.  Throughout the winter and spring, he will also lead sessions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Kids4Peace Boston teen gatherings.
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world
Speaking events in Houston-area faith communities
The First Presbyterian Church of Houston  recently invited co-founder, Stuart Kensinger, to speak about JPB's current work in Jerusalem and the United States. This capped off a month of successful interfaith events led by Stuart in the greater-Houston area.    
First, Stuart guided 20 participants in Palmer Memorial Church's peace-building class to visit the Clear Lake Islamic Center .  The group was struck by how closely the message of the imam's sermon   reminded them of the Ash Wednesday lesson which calls Christians to live as if only God were watching. Stuart later took the same group to St. George Orthodox Church , a congregation comprised of mostly Palestinian and Syrian Orthodox Christians.  The group was able to celebrate the Nativity Paraklesis, participate in a beautifully chanted service, and enjoy fellowship and dinner afterwards.  Everyone was excited about deepening their relationship with the various faith communities in Texas, and preparations are already fully underway for an Interfaith Citizenship program this August in Houston and at Camp Allen .
Visiting the Clear Lake Islamic Center
Touring St. George's Orthodox Church
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world
Applications for USA teens close on March 15
This year, we are preparing for our biggest summer yet, with three interfaith leadership and peace-building programs scheduled to commence!  In total, we expect that 80 participants will attend our programs.  Do you know teens interested in peace leadership?  Applications for all youth programs are now available on our website.  Don't wait, applications close soon!

Leadership (VT)
 July 16 - 30, 2017

 Service-Learning (CT)
 August 3 - 13, 2017

 Interfaith Citizenship (TX) 
 August 3 - 13, 2017

Now is the time to inquire and apply to our dynamic peace-building and leadership development programs. JPB offers sessions with a mix of Jews, Christians and Muslims, males and females, Israelis, Palestinians and Americans.  Through this balanced formula, we explore the tough issues of peace and social justice to empower and develop the next generation of leaders.

Have you ever wondered what happens 
at a  JPB Summer Youth Institute?

Please contact about how to involve your family, school, synagogue, church, mosque or organization with Jerusalem Peacebuilders.  
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world
Introducing Patrick Golden   
Patrick Golden is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a BA in History and Religious Studies. Patrick first worked with JPB in the summer of 2015 where he served as a counselor for the Houston Exploration Program.  This past fall in Jerusalem, he studied at the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University. Soon after arriving in Jerusalem, Patrick assisted Jack Karn with JPB's pilot leadership program at St. George's Anglican School.  This summer, Patrick will participate in the prestigious School for International Training's (SIT) CONTACT Peacebuilding program in addition to continuing his work as a Program Assistant at the Vermont Leadership and Houston Interfaith Citizenship Institutes.  We recently spent some time with Patrick to learn more about his interest and commitment to peace work.
1).  Why is the future of Jerusalem important to you? How does your faith inform this?
One of my favorite rabbi's once wrote, "Living is not a private affair of the individual. Living is what man does with God's time, what man does with God's world." We become good citizens when we learn to live life for the greater good of humankind, rather than the selfish, individual pleasures.
The Methodist Church taught me the importance of carrying the message of Jesus from within the sanctuary out onto the streets. As I mature, I continue to realize just how important of a role religion plays in the development of my own character and ethics. I want to serve others like my church served me. The future of Jerusalem is telling of our story, collectively, as Christians, Muslims, and Jews.  We cannot be reconciled, unless peace is found in Jerusalem first.
2).  What made you decide to get involved with Jerusalem Peacebuilders?
My good friend Logan Crossley served as a counselor at JPB's Houston program for two consecutive summers and he recommended me to fill in as his replacement in the summer of 2015. As a religious studies major who spends most of my time studying comparative religious practices and theology, getting involved with JPB seemed like a no-brainer to me in regards to being able to pursue my call to ministry.
3).  How was living and studying in Jerusalem these past four months for you?
This past fall I studied at the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University in Jerusalem where I took courses such as Radical Islamic Movements, Jewish Philosophy, Israeli History, Hebrew Language Acquisition, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. I met students from around the world who challenged me on a daily basis to remain up to date on political and global affairs. I also interned for JPB as a teaching assistant at St. George's School whose students are Muslim and Christian youth living in East Jerusalem.
As an American and a gentile, I came to Israel with quite a neutral political state of mind. This allowed me to meet people from all sides in Israel and Palestine and to develop my own opinions. Jewish settlers, Palestinians living in refugee camps, Israeli journalists, and Israeli political leaders helped me better understand this "narratively" driven conflict. It was very special to learn in the classroom and then to walk outside and see it in action.
4).  What is your most memorable experience in the Holy Land?
From tense political and religious experiences at the Kotel (Western Wall), Church of the Nativity, and Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif) to numerous travel adventures in the Negev and all over the region, I learned on the fly to be okay with the uncomfortable because it is through the uncomfortable situations that we become stronger and better human beings. I've never matured more than in the four and a half months that I spent in Jerusalem.
5). What do you hope to gain from serving with JPB this summer?
This summer, I want to help empower young peace-builders. I also hope to gain hands-on educational, programmatic, and management skills that I can apply in my faith-calling to help bring peace and reconciliation to divided peoples from around the world.
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world

JPB leaders inspire hope in a divided world. Please help us in raising the  next  generation  of peace-builders.

JPB Alumni Testimonial
JPB Alum - Nadia Abu Ata

"Now more than ever, we need to sow the seeds of peace.
Teaching youth is the way to go. Thank you for your work to 
bring peace on Earth and goodwill to humankind.
Blessings on all you do and on all the hearts you touch."
~Recent donor

 Donation checks should be payable to  "Jerusalem Peacebuilders" 
and sent to:
Jerusalem Peacebuilders, Inc. 
3300 Chimney Rock, Suite 301
Houston, TX 77056 USA 
Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB) is a tax-exempt organization  per section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is further classified as a public charity. Donations may be made directly to JPB and deducted under Section 170 of the Code. JPB's federal tax identification number (EIN) is 45-2233148

Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world