Teambuilding & Peacebuilding
Dear Friends,

COVID-19, lockdowns, school-closures, travel-bans and economic slowdowns combined to make 2020 a year like no other.  The disruption caused to peacebuilding in Israel and Palestine cannot be underestimated.  Uncertainty reigned if online programs could overcome health precautions and funding-cuts to generate the transformational person-to-person encounters essential to peacebuilding.

Challenged by the JPB board and inspired by your support, the JPB staff doubled down to redesign our summer and in-school programs.   Care-packages, individual attention, original content and more combined to create online curriculums that balance learning, dialogue and community.  The result has been a surge both in confidence and in demand.

Into this exciting time for JPB, we proudly welcome Sarah Aweidah as our Palestinian Co-Director for the Jerusalem area.  Her considerable professional experience and energy have already opened new opportunities in the West Bank.  To amplify Sarah's gifts, a new staff-training program will develop the skills and leadership of an entire new cadre of JPB educators.  Among them are Amran and Rotem in the photo to the right.
We believe that investing in a second generation of staff members can only strengthen our team and further the compassion and commitment needed to advance peace in these most uncertain times.  We also believe that none of this can be done apart from your prayers, involvement and generosity.  Thank you.

Peace, Shalom, Salaam,

(The Rev. Canon) Nicholas and Dorothy Porter
Co-Founders, Jerusalem Peacebuilders
First gov't grant recognizes impact of JPB programming 
In September, JPB learned that it will be awarded a grant from the US government via the Embassy in Israel. The $9,000 grant will underwrite our 2021 EXCEL Institute for Arab and Jewish Israeli teachers. The EXCEL Institute is an advanced program for adult training and education. The program offers a hybrid of English language pedagogy and peacebuilding training, with the ultimate goal of integrating both in high school classrooms. We approach this with local and international partners such as Retorika for Multiculturalism, the Oranim Academic College of Education, and the Israeli Ministry of Education. Applications open in January!
Sarah Aweidah comes with experience, energy, and aptitude 
After completing her role as a Lead Educator this summer, Sarah Aweidah joined the JPB team as our Palestinian, Jerusalem Regional Co-Director.  Born in East Jerusalem, Sarah comes with a strong background in conflict transformation and dialogue facilitation. Prior to JPB, Sarah was a participant in Seeds of Peace and a dialogue facilitator with Hands of Peace. She studied electrical engineering at Tel Aviv University, which led her into teaching students in math, physics, and Hebrew. In her new role, Sarah joins her Israeli counterpart, Yardena Prawer, in growing JPB's high school programs in Jerusalem and beyond. Upon her appointment, Sarah shared these words:

"I started working with JPB a few months ago and already the program has changed my life. I decided to shift my career after seeing first-hand the impact of JPB's summer institutes on our young leaders. JPB helped me realize that we build a better future, for all of us, together. I am very excited to play an essential role in empowering and shaping future peace leaders with JPB."
4 Online Summer Institutes, 60+ participants, 1 success story! 
2020 Interfaith Leaders Panel
Click to watch our Summer 2020
Interfaith Leaders Panel

Just to recap - JPB hosted four online summer institutes for 60+ Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians in early August. The programs were held over the course of two weeks and featured much of the hallmarks of our transformational summer experience. Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druze, and Alawi youth and staff engaged in meaningful workshops and dialogues on identity, communication, storytelling, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. In addition to the care packages, social time, and movie nights, we were blessed to welcome renowned faith leaders Rabbi David Rosen, Coadjutor Bishop Hosam Naoum, and Dr. Mustafa Abu Sway for an interactive, interfaith panel discussionWith the second lockdown firmly in place, we are preparing to hold our Summer 2020 Reunions online in late-October, as well as offer alumni programming for our growing community. These parts of our multi-year peacebuilding program are more essential than ever to keep youth engaged and committed.
Fellow peace organizations join hands to share learning
In early September, JPB Educator, Sarah Benazera, organized and hosted the second Shared Education Forum with several peacebuilding organizations in attendance.

The Shared Education Forum is a safe space where dialogue facilitators and teachers who work with Jewish and Arab youth in the Holy Lands have the opportunity to meet, find inspiration, and learn from one another.

During the first Forum last November, participants had the privilege to hear from two Shared Education experts: Prof. Tony Gallagher of Queen's University of Belfast and Mr. Loizos Loukaidis, Educational Programs Officer at the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research in Cyprus. During the second Forum, JPB's new Regional Co-Director, Sarah Aweidah, gave a presentation on JPB's online summer institutes for youth. She shared with peers and leaders from organizations such as EcoPeace, Tomorrow's Women, and Givat Haviva. Together, they exchanged multiple ideas and tips to run effective online peace programs for Palestinian and Israeli teens, as well as discuss the challenges we face and the creative solutions we are finding to overcome them during the pandemic. We plan to host future Forums in the coming months to encourage greater cooperation and share best practices between like-minded organizations.
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world