MAY 2020
From the staff of
St. Luke's Hospital
in Nablus

From left: Dr. Bashar Haja, emergency unit physician; Saed Tufaha, emergency unit nurse; and Salwa Khoury, public relations director

Thanks to your generosity the Diocese of Jerusalem is better able to respond to the health and financial needs of people in the West Bank and Gaza affected by COVID-19.

Your donations provide critical emergency support to Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, St. Luke’s Hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus, and the Archbishop’s Fund to help impoverished families.
Update from Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City:
On May 5, AAH Director Suhaila Tarazi shared news from Gaza. 

  • While the number of COVID-19 cases in Gaza remains low, Tarazi said, “The head of the World Health Organization declared that the coronavirus curve has not yet started in Gaza and that it is a matter of time.”

  • 15,000 people wait at the Egypt border crossing in hopes of returning home to Gaza. She said, “They hope to return as soon as the border opens which is a catastrophe itself if it happens.” 

  • The Ministry of Health has closed many outpatient clinics at other hospitals in Gaza to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak. That has put additional pressure on AAH’s free community clinic to care for poor Gazans in need of routine healthcare.

  • While AAH has been fully engaged in emergency preparedness since February, Tarazi explained, “There remain huge shortages in PPE and laboratory reagents to check the virus in the suspected cases. Health authorities continue to appeal for support to procure additional lab testing kits. In Gaza a total of 4,804 people (in a population of 2.1 million) have been tested.”

She concluded, “I thank God that our leaders, Dr. Maher, and Samira, all the staff members, and I are healthy.

Thank you very much for all your sincere efforts to support Ahli. Without such help, I do not think Ahli will be able to continue this humanitarian mission in Gaza.” 
Mother’s program welcomes its first Dad
When a West Bank mom, whose son Ahmad has cerebral palsy, was denied a travel permit to participate in the Mother Empowerment Program at Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre, Ahmad’s father, Razi, stepped in. By taking the lead in Ahmad’s rehabilitation, Razi is now a role model for fathers within his community.

Read more of Razi and Ahmad’s inspiring story. 

With the MEP program on hiatus because of coronavirus, therapy sessions have moved online. As one member of staff explains, "Mothers are now our hands and our voice." JPBC Director Ibrahim Faltas reports, “We are also advising these isolated families how to keep safe from COVID-19 and offering pastoral support and hope to transcend these distressing times.” 
You made 2019 a year of generosity in the Holy Land 
Your generous support in 2019 for the Diocese of Jerusalem’s schools, hospitals, and centers for children with disabilities resulted in the highest donation totals in AFEDJ’s 31-year history! 

Your support provided healthcare services and education to more than 125,000 people at 17 institutions.

Please download our 2019 Annual Report to learn more about the life-changing work of these institutions and how you made it happen.

From the report...

“We welcome students from impoverished families who would otherwise be sent by their parents to work as child laborers. At Schneller, they receive a good education in a family setting and hope for their future.”

— The Rev. Dr. Khalid Freij
Theodor Schneller School
Marka, Jordan
Thanks to departing AFEDJ trustees and welcome to new ones

Clockwise from upper left: Holly Boone, Anne Derse, Cotty Peabody, Lynn Lantz,
and Barbara Boehm.
Beginning on June 1, two new friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem will join the AFEDJ Board of Trustees.

We welcome Holly Boone, a retired technical writer and a long-time leader at Epiphany Parish in Seattle, and the Rev. Anne Derse, a deacon at St. John’s Norwood Parish in Chevy Chase, Maryland, who recently retired after a long career as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State.

The AFEDJ Board of Trustees, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and the thousands of people served by its institutions in the Holy Land send a huge thank you and best wishes to three AFEDJ trustees completing their terms in May.

Barbara Boehm of Montclair, New Jersey, Lynn Lantz of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, and Endicott Peabody of Scottsdale, Arizona, have made tremendous contributions as trustees and have promised they will stay involved with our shared mission. Thank you!
Remember Easter lasts 50 days!
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 |