September 2019
"From the experiences at this school, I know that when I go to university I will have the confidence to accomplish whatever I want to do. I have learned how to be a spokesperson. I can express my feelings and talk about myself without being shy in front of others.

When I say I will do something, I will do it regardless of the cost. I will not be silent for anyone’s rights."
Lara, at right, is a senior with cerebral palsy at the inclusive school at Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre. Students with disabilities make up about 40% of the K-12 student body.

She is pictured here with Aseel, a fourth-grader, and JPBC Programs Officer Nisreen Manarioius who graciously translated the interview on September 10. Lara and Aseel will be featured in a story in the October edition of The Episcopal New Yorker.
St. Luke’s Hospital’s new ambulance is now on the job in Nablus City
The transformation from empty van to fully-operational ambulance takes time, but in early September the newly purchased, converted, and equipped ambulance at St. Luke’s Hospital in Nablus transported its first patient. 

“We are very excited to have the ambulance now in service,” said St. Luke’s Director Dr. Walid Kerry (at right with Mr. Bassam Khoury the driver) on September 9. “The licensure came through just two days ago, and we started to transports patients immediately.”
When St. Luke’s 15-year old ambulance became too unreliable to drive in 2018, the problem was compounded by a new standard for Palestinian hospitals which required a functional ambulance at any accredited hospital. Dr. Kerry was able to attain temporary accreditation, but where to come up with an additional $110,000 to pay for a new ambulance?

Enter the clergy of St. John’s Norwood in Chevy Chase, MD. The Rev. Sari Ateek and the Rev. Anne Derse, enlisted the support of congregations in Greater Washington D.C. By January, along with donations from the UK, enough funding was raised to place the order for a new ambulance in early 2019. 

“Because there was a surplus of support, we were able to purchase additional, much-needed equipment for the ambulance,” said Dr. Kerry. We are very grateful to all who helped to make this possible.”

There was palpable excitement at the hospital entrance last week as visitors, staff members, and patients alike ducked their heads inside to attest it has that new ambulance smell. 
Back to school at Holy Land Institute for the Deaf
What happens at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf each weekday at 3 p.m.? 

School’s out! 

But the day is far from over at this boarding school that’s home to about 120 hearing-impaired, deaf, and deaf-blind students: older students care for younger children and deaf-blind students, teachers supervise games, vocational classes continue, all students perform chores, and visiting student teachers receiving training at the school compare notes and prepare for evening sessions.

Here’s a little snapshot of joyful, everyday life at HLID.
Learn more about Holy Land Institute for the Deaf here .
Learn about the urgent need for ministries of peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land with Archbishop Suheil Dawani
Thursday, October 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Seabury Auditorium at The General Theological Seminary
440 West 21st Street, New York, NY
On Thursday, October 3, the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem will host a reception at General Theological Seminary in New York to honor the Most Rev. Suheil S. Dawani, Archbishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

All are invited to gather from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Seabury Auditorium to learn about the transformative ministry of the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf in Salt, Jordan. Archbishop Dawani will also speak about the urgent need for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East and the other humanitarian ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Refreshments and hearty hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Prior to the reception, all are welcome to attend a special Jerusalem Evensong at 5:30 p.m. in General Seminary’s Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

Please RSVP to Betsy Wilson at or 203-655-3575 by September 25, 2019.

Check out our expanded pilgrimage listings and pilgrim reflections at
Visit the new pilgrim news section on our website. We have current listings of upcoming Holy Land pilgrimages and classes at St. George’s College in East Jerusalem. 

Also we welcome brief reflections from recently-returned pilgrims to share their impressions and experiences of visiting the places where Jesus lived and ministered to the people he met along the way. Send reflections of 350 to 500 words (stellar photos welcomed too!) to Heidi Shott at .

Pilgrims from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut Holy Landers’ trip shared their reflections from their summer 2019 trip. Read more here .
Transforming lives of the vulnerable and displaced
in the Middle East through support of schools, hospitals,
and centers for children with disabilities

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 |