Dear Friends,
2020 has been a challenging year for us all.  A global pandemic fractured our lives.  Where we once found surety and comfort, now fear, stress, and confusion reign. Bigotry, division and stridency have risen, and families struggle to educate their children and make ends meet.  But we also see something else. 
In every nation, at great personal risk, front-line volunteers and workers care for the poor, the sick, and the hungry.  Their courage reveals a strength and beauty in humanity that flows from a Source greater than the confines of this world.  They are lights in the long night of COVID, and they awaken in us what it means to be human, to connect, to respect, to honor.

Unite with Eliran
United in Solidarity 
with Eliran
Unite with Maisaa
United in Purpose 
with Maisaa
Unite with Philip
United in Family 
with Philip

The Lamp of Hanukkah and the Star of Bethlehem shine with that same Source.  Each invite us to claim the beauty and the strength dwelling within each of us.  The world's challenges need the light that only our compassion, resiliency, and ingenuity can give.

At Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB), we believe accepting this Divine invitation means widening our scope and engaging new partnerships. With your support in 2020, JPB taught in schools across Israel and operated the summer's only peacebuilding programs for Israelis and Palestinians.  Offering these four summer institutes caused our profile and reputation to soar and produced a windfall of new strategic opportunities. All the while, we kept to budget without reducing staff.

Unite in Listening with Yvonne
United in Listening 
with Yvonne
United in Leadership with Mohamed
United in Leadership 
with Mohamed
United in Listening with Amalia

United in Listening 

with Amalia

JPB's multiple programs empower highly motivated Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze students and educators, but we are not stopping there.  During 2021, we will join others in building a new paradigm for freedom, peace and equality in the Holy Lands. In Jerusalem, JPB will lead regular encounters between Israelis and Palestinians. In Israel, our programs will extend into the most neglected schools. In the West Bank, JPB's Crossroads initiative will provide interfaith peace and leadership training to youth, women, educators and community organizers.
Our commitment is steadfast, and all these programs require funding.  That's why, in this special time of year, we are reaching out to friends like you who recognize the importance of building lasting peace in the Holy Lands. Won't you, during this holy season, advance the work of Jerusalem Peacebuilders by making a gift now? 
Thank you and God bless you.  The world needs the light that only we can give.

Peace, שלום ,سلام
(The Rev. Canon) Nicholas and Dorothy Porter
Founding Directors, Jerusalem Peacebuilders
Staff sit in on panel discussion with top youth organizations
Actor Jason Issacs interviews Sarah about JPB
This week, JPB was invited by the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) to participate in its inspiring Shine A Light event. The impressive fundraiser included famous celebrities, politicians, diplomats, and members of the peacebuilding community. Each shared the message of peace, while elevating the work of local peacebuilders and the importance of a government funding for the field.

In a series of speeches, performances, and panel discussions, the imperative of Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding was affirmed. One such panel hosted Harry Potter actor, Jason Issacs, and our Jerusalem Regional Co-Director, Sarah Aweidah. Sarah spoke well about JPB's approach and scope, concluding the panel on a hopeful note. You can watch the whole event here! 
PCFF Members lead training for JPB Staff
JPB recently connected with the
about advancing interfaith reconciliation. As part of our eight-month Staff Training Program, we invited members of the Forum to lead our staff through a powerful storytelling session. Their stories of bereavement were challenging for everyone to hear, but their choice to transform their pain into nonviolent action inspired everyone. Looking ahead, there is lots of opportunity for future partnership, and we are excited to see where this leads in the new year!
Schools and faith communities further partnership
IYH Participants "join hands in Kindness" via Zoom
Over the fall, our programs in Houston surely advanced, both in local schools and faith communities. The strength and trust of existing interfaith partnerships is helping us reach hundreds of participants through online and in-person programming. Our Interfaith Youth Houston program hosted its first event of the 2020-2021 School Year in November focused on Community & Kindness. An impressive turnout of 35+ youth and adults joined from Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism, and ILM Academy. The strong start to the year has given us great momentum as we plan three more engaging events for the spring term. 

In schools, JPB will pilot a very special week-long intensive at The Emery/Weiner School for over 350+ students during the first week of January (look for a full report in February). The gracious help of JPB volunteers, EWS teachers, and our worldwide staff will ensure a successful program. In, addition, our programs will return to other schools in the spring, including St. Cecilia Catholic School and Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart.
Get your contribution in for this tax year!
With just a few weeks until the end of the year, now is the time to make a gift to JPB through your IRA! Qualified Charitable Distributions made by December 31 count toward your required minimum distribution for 2020.

Under the CARES Act, itemizers may deduct up to 100% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) for cash contributions made to JPB in 2020, up from the standard 60% limit in prior years. The Act allows for an additional, "above the line" deduction for cash contributions made in 2020.  This deduction is limited to $300 for an individual of $600 for couples.
Normally, no additional deduction is permitted when taking the standard deduction. The AGI limit for cash contributions was also increased for corporate donors, allowing corporations to deduct up to 25% of their taxable income. This is an increase from the 10% limit in prior years.
Although the CARES Act has suspended required minimum distributions from retirement accounts for 2020, individuals may still make a "qualified charitable distribution" of up to $100,000 from their IRAs, without the distribution being added to taxable income. Should your donations in 2020 exceed your AGI deduction limits, you may still carry forward excess deductions for up to five subsequent tax years. We encourage you to consult with your tax and legal advisors when considering how these provisions may impact your charitable giving this year.
Because the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world