September 2022
Welcome Eileen!
Eileen Spencer begins the transition process to become AFEDJ’s new executive director on December 1.
Early Tuesday morning Eileen Spencer joined a Zoom call with leaders of the Princess Basma Center in Jerusalem to learn more about the USAID grant project to make all areas of the Center accessible to children with disabilities, including science labs, the library, and the rooftop playground. Utterly unfazed by the many acronyms and the jargon of federal grants, Eileen expressed her deep interest in learning all facets of AFEDJ’s work and mission.

“The first few days have been spent getting to know our dedicated, hardworking staff and trustees while better understanding the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” she said.

She added, “In the short-term, I’m looking forward to our October trip with AFEDJ trustees to visit diocesan institutions. I can’t wait to meet the leaders of the hospitals and schools we support and witness first-hand the hope these institutions are bringing to their neighbors.”

Eileen welcomes hearing from supporters of AFEDJ’s work at [email protected].
For families with children with disabilities, rehabilitation offered close to home is best
A $290,000 grant from Islamic Relief USA will allow the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center to expand its partnerships with six Community-Based Rehabilitation Centers across the West Bank.
Children with disabilities in Palestine face enormous barriers to education, inclusion, and acceptance.

For families who live in East Jerusalem, the Princess Basma Center (JPBC) has offered rehabilitation services and early intervention since its founding in 1965. Some West Bank families are able to obtain travel permits to take part in JPBC’s residential Mother Empowerment Program. But for most Palestinian families of children with disabilities, their options for treatment are few.

JPBC partners with medical clinics, pediatricians’ offices, and day-care centers to help identify and refer children newly-diagnosed with disabilities. With the generous grant from Islamic Relief USA, along with a recently purchased mobile clinic van, JBPC’s multidisciplinary outreach teams will expand their existing partnerships with Community-Based Rehabilitation Clinics in Jericho and Hebron and two additional West Bank cities.

“Donors who give to ‘Where the need is greatest’ support AFEDJ’s work with institutions like Princess Basma Center on grants such as the Islamic Relief grant,” said AFEDJ’s John Lent. “This grant will have a huge impact on thousands of families within the next 24 months and, because of the increased capacity and expertise developed at the local clinics, thousands more families in the years to come.”

JPBC’s General Director Violette Mubarak (right) meets with President Joe Biden during his visit to Jerusalem in July.

President Biden met with leaders of the six members of the East Jerusalem Hospital Network. JPBC is the only rehabilitation center in the network.
St. Andrew’s Church in Ramallah, repaired and ready to welcome and serve
In the early morning hours of August 18, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Ramallah was damaged and disrupted by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in a raid on the offices of the human rights group Al-Haq, a tenant in an adjacent Diocese of Jerusalem building. The IDF forced entry to the church, smashed glass, and destroyed the church entrance, and occupied the entire compound for more than two hours, causing distress to those who live there, including the Rev. Fadi Diab and his family.

Archbishop Hosam Naoum immediately denounced the action in a statement and called for a speedy and impartial investigation of the incident. The statement read, in part, “The community living inside the church compound felt unsafe during the assault: The sound of gunshots, stun grenades, and the smashing of doors caused terror among the families living inside the compound.”

It continued, “The Diocese considers the offense on the complex of St. Andrew's in Ramallah an assault against its free exercise of religion as an established and officially recognized Christian Church. The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem therefore stands firmly with the Rector of St. Andrew's, the Rev. Fadi Diab, and the whole community of St. Andrew's in Ramallah, as well as with all who are distressed by this irresponsible act of violence.”

As of early September, repairs have been made and St. Andrew’s has resumed worship and parish life.

As part of AFEDJ’s Bearing Witness study program, Fr. Diab was filmed in June welcoming families to St. Andrew’s through the very entrance that was damaged just two months later. Watch his warm welcome in the brief clip below.

We’re grateful to see the people of St. Andrew’s steadfast in their mission to witness to the divine love “embodied in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Consider a bequest to help sustain the remarkable institutions of the Holy Land for future generations
Your generosity inspires the Christian community in the Holy Land. Your support tells Christians working for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East that they are not forgotten. Thank you for being a partner in their work.

Designating a gift in your will for the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and its humanitarian ministries in the Holy Land is a once in a lifetime chance to ensure that vulnerable children and families have somewhere to turn for help. Your bequest will sustain these remarkable institutions for generations to come.

Please consider becoming a member of the Jerusalem Saints Society by making a bequest to AFEDJ to assure that the Diocese will continue to do God’s work in the Holy Land for generations to come. 

For more information about making a bequest, please reach out to AFEDJ Executive Director John Lent at [email protected] to begin the conversation. 

AFEDJ offers a safe, secure channel to make gifts to support the work of the humanitarian institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.