10,000 Blessings
Dear Friends,
Your commitment showered  Jerusalem Peacebuilders  with blessings.  Summer 2019 was a season of exceptional peace and leadership programming for JPB.  During a time of sadness and uncertainty, you generously stood shoulder to shoulder with us, and your prayers, volunteering and donations made all the difference to our staff and participants from Jerusalem, Israel, Palestine and the United States.
From July 14 to August 14, JPB operated four leadership institutes in the United States, co-launched a fifth at Cambridge University, England and coordinated two week home-stays with Creating Friendships for Peace.  85 American, Israeli and Palestinian youth, ages 14 - 19 participated as well as 22 Arab and Jewish adults (in the teacher-training program).  To lead and organize this unforgettable series of programs, JPB deployed 25 Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze staff, consisting of veteran educators and junior counselors , many of whom are JPB alums.  At every location, local volunteers ably assisted with hospitality, transport, activities and organization.
We hope that the articles, photos, and videos in this newsletter give a taste of the summer's 10,000 blessings.   Lives were changed, life-long friendships forged, and leaders empowered to build peace locally.  Furthermore, the quality and scope of our programming has led to a surge of attention both in Jerusalem and the United States.  
Thank you for your confidence, generosity and involvement.  You are among this summer's 10,000 blessings to our participants and to us.
Fr. Nicholas and Dorothy Porter
Co-Founders, Jerusalem Peacebuilders
Memories of a lifetime  

Teacher training program in UK well received
Fr. Nicholas with EXCEL educator, Dr. Norbert Schmitt, and Retorika Director, Elias Farah
Between July 21-29, in partnership with Retorika for Multiculturalism, the University of Cambridge, and the Oranim Academic College of Education, JPB operated the second-ever EXCEL Institute for 22 outstanding Israeli Jewish and Arab teachers. The program featured a mix of workshops on peacebuilding, English language curriculum design, dialogue, touring, and cross-cultural exchange. Accredited by the Israeli Ministry of Education, participants returned to Israel and are now engaging in follow-up programming, assignments, and meetings through the use of the Project ECHO Telementoring program. Just last week, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv hosted our group for their summer  debrief  meeting.
Presenting research findings to the group 
i n Tel Aviv
Dr. Paula Green leads a group dialogue
Teen voices highlighted as public takes interest
This summer featured a blitz of captivating newspaper articles, interviews, and videos of our programs in action. Learn what all the buzz is about by reading or watching one of the following:

After completing JPB, he continues to lead
At 21 years old, Jiries Elias is an impressive young man. He is in his second year of law school at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was a JPB camper when he was 15 years old and then returned twice as a counselor after turning 18. And though he had very different experiences in his three summers, he credits Jerusalem Peacebuilders  with helping to shape his personality.

JPB was his first encounter with peace and leadership programs, his first attempt at discussing politics in a formal way with people from different backgrounds. And he came back with stories from both sides, from the Jewish-Israeli side and from the Arab narrative. It helped him shape his ideas, his personality, and who he wanted to be in the future.

"JPB was the first time that I felt like I have something to offer to 
my community, to society. It gave me a lot of self-confidence. Self-confidence is one of the main things   that I now use everyday in my life: in my studies,  work, volunteering, and other activities."
When asked what unique skills the JPB experience has left him with, he says:
"JPB was the first time that I felt like I have something to offer to my community, to society. It gave me a lot of self-confidence. Self-confidence is one of the main things  that I now use everyday in my life: in my studies,  work, volunteering, and other activities.  That's the first time where I spoke to a crowd of people, and where I got a lot of compliments, which helped strengthen my personality as a whole and embrace who I am. I don't have to run away anymore from being an Arab, or being a Christian, being afraid to say this or that, because this might hurt that person or something. I think that's the main skill that I'm very thankful for JPB for: self-confidence. I don't know where I would have acquired it, but I know that if I didn't acquire it in the peace camp and wouldn't acquire it later on, then I would not be where I am today, in law school, participating in a thousand other activities.... At JPB, I learned how to speak, how to stand and it helped me at MUN, I was the manager of the Model United Nations in all of the country. And if I didn't learn the skill of being a leader, of leading from behind and from the front... then maybe I wouldn't have gotten elected.... And third is the...moderate-ness, not being an extremist. I think that also helped me later on to be involved in student unions, student councils, so I try to bring both sides, both ideas, the middle ground. And that's something I also practiced for the first time at JPB when we did conflict resolution sessions."
He also came to terms with big parts of his identity as an Arab Christian in a predominately Muslim minority community within Israel:
"I am Arab for Jewish people and I'm Christian for the Arab people, so I'm always a minority in my group. And when I got to camp and everybody was equal, it sort of gave me the feeling that I shouldn't look at the people around me and let my identity as an Arab keep me silent, I should actually express my ideas. I can be friends with both sides, no problem, but I can express my ideas to both sides. My ideas should not be curved in a way that would conform with society's, I can have my own ideas, I can think... for example, hypothetically that I can justify the existence of the state of Israel or I can not justify the state of Israel, and it shouldn't have to do with me being an Arab or Christian, but it has more to do with my moral values and my principle and my sense of belonging after all. I find a way, a middle ground, in order to bring myself to the best level of integration in both societies, which is the optimal solution for me, which is also a way for me to bring peace. If I'm at the center of both societies, then [I can] bridge them together. That's what I pray to do."
Jiries' experiences with JPB pushed him out of his comfort zone, allowed him to test out the confines and the flexibility of his identity and highlighted his natural abilities as a captivating public speaker. He has utilized the skills he learned to become an exceptional leader in his community and we, at JPB, are so excited to keep following his impressive path.
Mark your calendars!
Between  October 9-13 , JPB's Executive Director, The Rev. Canon Nicholas Porter, will be in Houston, TX for a series of meetings with key partners and speaking about JPB at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church. This will be a great time to connect with Fr. Porter and learn about recent updates with the organization. We hope some of you can join us!
"I came back to the Holy Land with hope. And the  people
  I got to know during my two weeks in the USA  are 
the foundation of my hope."
                                                    - Dan, Summer 2019 Participant 

Help us grow our domestic and Mideast programs this fall, 
reaching hundreds more Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians!
Please donate securely online or make your donation check payable to 
"Jerusalem Peacebuilders" and send it to the following address:

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