NEW HAMPSHIRE & VERMONT – COUNSELORS & STAFF 2015
USA – STAFF
Jeff Mandell (Camp Director)
Jeff is the North East Regional Director of Kids4Peace and Camp Director for Vermont and New Hampshire. This is his third summer with Kids4Peace. He has traveled to over 20 countries including living in China for two years. Jeff eventually made his way to graduate school to study mediation and applied conflict studies, which lead him to run a leadership camp for Turkish, Armenian, and American teenagers. Jeff also teaches at the Woodbury Institute of Champlain College Master’s in Mediation Program. He is devoted to bringing peace and joy to the world by teaching conflict resolution skills, laughter yoga, and acroyoga.
I got involved with K4P because I enjoy being part of transformative experiences. I am a firm believer in growth through conflict. With the right guide, conflict can metamorphosize perspectives and invent solutions.
Sarah Dobson (Facilitator)
Sarah grew up in Baltimore, MD, and has lived in Ghana, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. She has worked as a mentor and supervisor in youth programs in Maryland and in 2011 co-founded The Peace Project, a community organization in Nicaragua dedicated to building a culture of peace and youth development. Sarah has facilitated peace workshops for kids, youth, women, prisoners, police, and university students. This year, she is finishing her Master’s in Gender & Peacebuilding from the UN mandated University for Peace. Sarah has a black belt in kung fu, and loves soccer, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee!
Ken Barnes (Jewish Faith Advisor) is an attorney who understands the anxiety and worries his clients face.
In providing legal representation, Ken’s philosophy is to listen carefully, give honest and clear legal advice, explain various options, and work tirelessly to achieve his client’s goals.
Ken has more than 25 years of experience helping clients resolve legal disputes and improve their lives. He focuses his practice on civil litigation including complex litigation, class actions, and appeals.
In addition to litigation, Ken is experienced in mediation and collaborative law as alternative ways of resolving disputes.
Areej Kadhem (Muslim Faith Advisor) grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, and graduated from University of Baghdad. She got her bachelor degree in Computer Science and Electrical Power. She moved to Amman, Jordan after the war and because of the bad security situation back home. She spent three years working in Amman in IT and engineering field, when she was taking courses at the British Council.
After moving to the United States , and working as interpreter/ translator and paraeducator at BSD, she got involved in Kids4peace organization and became a board member and the Muslim advisor. 2010 was her first camp. She currently lives in South Burlington, Vermont.
Kelly Gage (US Christian Faith Advisor)
This is Kelley’s second year with Kids4Peace, and she is very excited to be a part of this wonderful and life changing program. She is a life long NH resident, and currently lives in Lebanon, NH with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. She is a mother of three, and enjoys spending time out doors and loves photography. Kelley works as a Classroom Clinician at an alternative school for children who have trouble managing in a regular education classroom. When not working or spending time with her family, Kelley enjoys volunteering with her therapy dog at the local children’s hospital.
Nancy Stone loves being K4P Art Teacher for the Vermont/New Hampshire chapter; 2009 was her first year of serving. Her 24-year career as public school art teacher ranged from pre-kindergarten to high school but now she and her husband delight in nurturing the creativity of three young grandchildren. In the 1980’s, Nancy was Art Director for the USA/USSR Children’s Art Exchange, traveling 3 times to Russia to deliver art from American schoolchildren and returning with Soviet artwork for American member schools. As a professional artist, her paintings and hand-made books are exhibited in galleries and juried art shows.
Children, Art & Peace are core to my life; Kids4Peace adds the important elements of Faith and Hope.
Reverend Chelsea MacMillan (Inter-Faith Advisor) is an ordained interfaith minister who lives her ministry through a path of sacred activism. As part of her interest in the intersection of social justice and the spiritual lives of individuals and groups, she works with One Spirit in Action, the service and activism branch of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. In addition, she is a Program Leader for The Reciprocity Foundation, a contemplative organization where she mentors the homeless youth of New York City through meditation, creative expression, workshop facilitation, health and wellness programs, and more. Chelsea is also a singer and spent nearly six years as a performer and teacher of a non-profit music outreach troupe that touched the lives of youth all over the world, from Japan to Nebraska to Siberia and many places in between. She is passionate about connecting people to their true voices and loves the role of music in connecting people everywhere. She is excited to return to the role of Interfaith Advisor at Kids4Peace VT/NH and produce the Abraham Tent Play for the second year in a row!
USA – COUNSELORS
Awss Saied (Counselor)
Awss Saied is an aspiring social activist who has a devotion to youth development. He is a devoted Muslim mentor who has taught English as a secondary language overseas for three summers and tutored English to students in the United States for four years. He has an affinity with giving back to the community and believes education for the youth is a long term investment in achieving that goal. Along with his goals, Awss has a keen interest in sports. Not only by watching and participating, he has taken his time to galvanize a large scale community sports foundation in Canton, MI with annual leagues and tournaments under his leadership.
Omar Hajajreh (Counselor)
My name is Omar Hajajra. I am 19 years old. I was born in Hebron, West Bank, Palestine. I grew up as a Palestinian Muslim and I have not learned a lot about faiths other than mine. When I became 16 years old, I applied to an exchange program to came and study in the United States. I lived in Hanover, NH since the fall of 2012. I attended Hanover High School and I just finished my first year at Colby-Sawyer College. I love soccer, playing piano, and making pottery!”
Selina Petschek (Counselor)
Selina is a recent graduate from Bennington College where she focused her studies on Conflict Resolution and Dance. In her senior year she co-founded a student organization called GANAS, dedicated to building a community of Latino migrant workers, many of whom are undocumented, farmers, local organizations and students. Her work has included medical interpretation, ESL tutoring and mediation between employers and their workers.
Nomadic since starting college, Selina has lived abroad in Argentina where she holds citizenship as well as traveled much of North and South America. A newcomer to Kids4Peace, she could not be more excited for the summer!
She loves knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning. Anything to do with fiber really.
USA – COUNSELORS IN TRAINING
Shoshana (Counselor-In Training)
I am 16 years old and I live in Boston. I’ve been part of Kids4Peace since I was a camper in 2011, and I’ve had many amazing experiences with many amazing people because of Kids4Peace. I love languages; I speak English and I’m learning Spanish, Hebrew, and German, and I’m trying to learn Yiddish and Arabic. I also love reading, writing, drawing, birds, eschatology, dragons, and demonology/angelology/superstitions from various cultures. I’m really excited for this summer, to meet new people, learn more about different cultures, and have another unforgettable experience.
Hobbies that I might share at camp are birdwatching, reading, learning languages, drawing, solving Rubik’s cubes, and making hexaflexagons.
Fiona is 16 years old, and lives on Long Island, in New York. She is Roman Catholic, and faith is a major part of her life, especially her teen years. Fiona loves the Harry Potter books, and listening to Taylor Swift. Much of her amusement also comes from a love of talking, communicating, performing, and public speaking, and she is often told she should learn when to shut up. Fiona is excited to be a part of Kids for Peace, to learn more about the faiths of others, and to help promote peace in the world. Fiona is also an avid runner and looks forward to leading group runs with the campers.
Julia is a 17-year old Roman Catholic from Manhasset, New York. Julia spends time teaching religion to 6th graders, lectoring at Sunday masses, and assisting on an interfaith council. Julia loves to travel, and has spent time in Thailand, Israel, Costa Rica, and England. Being a competitive swimmer and rower, she cannot wait to engage in sports with campers. Her hobbies and interests include sports (swimming/rowing/running), reading, and hiking. Julia fell in love with the Kids4Peace mission while visiting Jerusalem, and is thrilled to become a part of it at camp this summer.
JERUSALEM – STAFF
Noa Mazor (Jewish Faith Advisor)
This is Noa ‘s third year in Kids4Peace. When not working with K4P she studies as a Rabbinical student. She feels supported in her work as most people in her close circle are also working towards co-existence.
“I believe in informal education that works with rather than against religion, this is why I am involved with K4P and why I continue to be involved as the community grows.”
Hagop Sivzattian (Christian Faith Advisor)
I am a Christian Armenian Catholic living in Jerusalem. A senior student at Bethlehem university working on my Bachelors Degree in Business and Marketing. I’ve been with K4P for 10 years. I am a former K4P camper who attended 2004 Atlanta camp. I love meditation and having fun in any way possible.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You’ll almost never get an older person to believe there will be peace. When you work with young kids whose minds are open and who want to learn, they learn from their surroundings and their personalities are built through what they see on TV, what their families think and what their parents say. So when you teach those kids that peace and harmony is possible between conflicting parties, they grow up and teach their children who then teach their children and so on. Just one child taught about peace who gets excited, interested, and serious about the matter can make a real change.
Ahlam Abu Rmaileh (Muslim Faith Advisor)
I’m a Muslim adviser and this is my first year in kids for peace. I Study biology at Bard Honor College in Jerusalem and I’m a volunteer at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, providing first aid, social services and activities for children with special needs. I participated in a conference in turkey about the conflict.
I was a volunteer at the Palestinian Animal league and in a student exchange program last year. So basically my life is all about education and voluntarism.
One of the reasons that makes me want to continue to be part of the Kids4Peace community is because I believe that every person has the ability to make a difference so how if we all work together, and we should not allow the conflict to control our lives. In addition, getting the opportunity to learn about different cultures which is one of my hobbies.
JERUSALEM – COUNSELORS IN TRAINING
My name is Emanuel. I’m 16 years old, I was born and grew up in Jerusalem. My father is Austrian and my mother is Yemenite, they’re both Jewish, and usually I identify as a reform jew.
I have studied in the bilingual school for 12 years, where Arabs and Jews study together. I like reading, writing and discussing various subjects. I’m really interested in science (especially astrophysics) and philosophy.
I’m really excited to the summer, I hope it’s going to be amazing!
I am Waleed and I am a counselor for the NH/VT group. I am 14 and a half years old and I study at the Jerusalem School. I like to play sports and I like to meet new people and learn things about them. Another thing I love to do is to have a lot of fun with people in games or activities.
Hi! My name is Adan. I’m a 16 years old Palestinian and was born and raised in Beit Safafa, Jerusalem. I’ve been part of K4P for 6 years now, and I can’t imagine life without it. I have also taken part in other peace programs. For example, I was in an interfaith youth chorus in Jerusalem and the school that I attend is a bilingual school for Arabs and Jews. I speak English, Arabic, Hebrew, and a few words in Spanish.
I really enjoy reading books, watching tv-shows, interior designing, listening to music, shopping, art, and adventure. I love meeting new people and having the opportunity to uncover and explore their personality. However, something random that I really hate, is the sound of chewing next to my ear..it drives me crazy!
I’m very excited to meet everyone this summer and have yet another amazing and unforgettable experience with Kids4Peace.
My name is Corinne, I’m 16 years old. I was born in Jerusalem, my Dad is french, my Mom is palestinian, I have a Jordanian passport, an Israeli i.d, and I have origins from Italy and Syria. I go to the Lycée Français de Jérusalem and speak four different languages. I love animals, music and photography. I started riding horses when I was seven and haven’t stopped since. I love meeting people but I’m really shy so I need a little push to start talking.