2013: YEAR IN REVIEW

Josh Thomas

A Message from our Executive Director

Fr. Josh Thomas

Twelve years ago, Kids4Peace began as a dream in the heart of parents. They saw their kids growing up in a violent, divided Jerusalem and wanted to give them a better life: full of dignity & hope; free from fear.

From a summer camp for 12 children, Kids4Peace has grown into a six-year, year-round program of interfaith dialogue, leadership development, and social change.

Today, we are an interfaith community of more than 250 youth, 500 family members, 700 alumni and 2,000 volunteers, donors & friends around the world.

In 2013 alone, we hosted over 300 interfaith gatherings: overnight seminars, community service projects, staff training, board meetings, summer camps, programs for pilgrim groups and more.

Nearly every day, somewhere in the world, Kids4Peace is meeting. Our community is a sign that “Together, Peace is Possible.” Although our societies are divided, we are living together. It isn’t easy, but we are committed to this work, and to one another.

None of this would be possible without you, our partners around the world. Your prayers, hard work and generous financial support enable a new generation of youth to create a better future.

Thank you for your faith in peace. | Donate Now

JANUARY

Kids4Peace 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Jerusalem  

On January 17, 2013, over 270 alumni, staff, friends and family gathered together at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem to celebrate Kids4Peace 10 Year Anniversary.  Together, we celebrated that peace is possible.

Emory University Visit: Journeys of Reconciliation

Emory Group Visits Kids4Peace
A delegation from Emory University in Atlanta met with Kids4Peace in Jerusalem as part of their Journeys of Reconciliation program.
Hagop Sivzattian, a Christian Palestinian who also has attended Candler’s Youth Theological Initiative told the group: “When we have families of our own, we’ll have the peace already built inside us, it’s already running through our veins, it will be much easier. We’ll start having young ones and inserting the peace seed in them.”Read more at the Huffington Post and CNN Belief Blog.
Are you visiting Jerusalem?
Kids4Peace welcomes dozens of groups in Jerusalem each year.  Are you planning a pilgrimage?  Come and see us, meet our young leaders & staff, and learn about our community of Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers.  Many groups say we’re the one organization with a hopeful outlook to the future.
Email Jerusalem Co-Directors Rebecca Sullum & Mohammad Joulany for details.

FEBRUARY

 

Program Partnerships

Over the last several years, Kids4Peace has developed Partnerships with organizations across the world.  We are honored to work alongside these organizations, each promoting peace through their own unique services.

MARCH

Jo Berry & Dr. Patrick Magee, of “Building Bridges for Peace” in Northern Ireland, speak with Kids4Peace youth and staff.

 
During Jo and Pat’s visit, they shared from their experiences following the Brighton bombing in 1984, how people deal with conflict when they are directly affected.

K4P youth and staff, as well as guests, were inspired by the story.  To learn more about Jo & Pat, and their journey to peace and reconciliation, visit Building Bridges for Peace.

APRIL

Leap Program Community Weekend

  • During “Community Weekend,” thirty-one youth from our Leap program spent time discussing their ideal communities, engaging in team building activities, and learning together in an interfaith text session on community.
  • Leap is a continuation program for our seventh graders after they attend camp in the US. In the Leap year they are focused on the themes of friendship and community; continuing the relationships that began in year one.

MAY

Kids4Peace at Goucher College

K4P Vice-President and former Jerusalem Director Dr. Yakir Englander gave a campus-wide talk on the theme “Can we believe in peace?”

What students at Goucher had to say:

“It was enlightening to hear the multiple perspectives of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the organization bridging the gap between the two groups through the next generation. I hope to have the chance to volunteer at the Houston Chapter with this wonderful organization.” 

-Janice Byth, Goucher College

“It was great to see a unique account of Israel and Palestine that was both historical and emotional. I was inspiring to see that there are people so passionate about peace.”

– Andrea Sosa, Goucher College

Jordan Seminar Kids4Peace youth meet with President Mahmoud Abbas

Last May, Kids4Peace Palestinian and Israeli youth joined together with a group of 8 Jordanian youth from the American Community School (ACS) in Amman Jordan, in a project called Bab el Salaam (Door of Peace). The youth spent the weekend engaged in dialogue regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and as heated as it became, the youth listened to one another, did not get discouraged, and found some common ground. The highlight of the trip came after dialoguing about the Conflict – Yasser Abbas, son of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, came to speak to the group, and then the group was able to meet the President himself for a photo opportunity and dinner with Aya’s family and Yasser.

 

“Having participated in this amazing and unforgettable experience in Jordan made me realize that their is no better place than Kids4Peace for my daughter Sasha to be with.”

-Sana, K4P Parent

 

JUNE

Leadership Camp 2013

In their fourth year of K4P, young Israeli, Palestinian & American leaders took their next step as peacemakers, through skills training, conversation with expert guest speakers, and honest dialogue that touches the heart of the conflict.  Guest speakers included Rabbi Michael Cohen of the Arava Institute and Imam Bilal Ansari of Williams College.

 

JULY

Ramadan Iftar & Fundraiser

Ramadan is a month of remembering and giving to the poor and hungry.  As part of Kids4Peace’s commitment to learning and understanding our varied spiritual and religious practices, we organized an Iftar dinner for our families. It was a great evening to reconnect and pray together for peace.  The event also helped us raise 2500 NIS for last year’s local camp.

 

Interfaith Tour of Jerusalem

Kids4Peace youth and their families explored three important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. The group met at Jaffa Gate and meandered through the labyrinth of streets leading to the Kotel. Together, the groups explored the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Mosque of Omar.  Members from each faith tradition shared about the significance of these landmarks.  The group visited other historical sites, and also participated in a “Treasure Hunt” as a fun way to learn about and explore more of the Old City.

Benefit Concert in Jaffa

Friends of Kids4Peace gathered atop a Jaffa rooftop to celebrate an afternoon of great music, beautiful weather, and the promise of peace in Israel and Palestine. Almost one hundred people enjoyed performances by Michael Greilsammer, Rotem Bar Or from the Anglecy, Ami Yares and Shmemel. The event helped raise 3,500 NIS which was used to support the local camp.

 

AUGUST

Camps!

This Year, Kids4Peace hosted Local Camps in Ketura for First Year and Roots.  In the USA, Camps were held in New Hampshire, Atlanta, Vermont, Boston, and Houston!  Altogether, 120 Youth were served, and are on the path to becoming peacemakers around the world.

SEPTEMBER

International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace, or World Peace Day, is observed annually on September 21st.  International Day of Peace started in 1981 to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. In that spirit, we offer an original Kids4Peace video, titled “Love and Forgiveness.”  Enjoy!

Love and Forgiveness
Love and Forgiveness

OCTOBER

First Roots4Peace and Leap4Peace meetings

LEAP (age 13)

LEAP Participants participate in monthly meetings, two overnight trips, and camp in Houston, Texas.  The LEAP program is focused on friendship, responsibility, and community service.

ROOTS (age 14)

ROOTS Participants participate in monthly meetings, two overnight trips, and local camp.  The ROOTS program is focused on identity, history, and narratives of families, religions, and national groups.

NOVEMBER

Boston: Fall Overnight Retreat

On a recent weekend, Peace Leaders, the year-round Kids4Peace program, gathered at the Cambridge Friends School for an overnight retreat. It was the first time that all three years of camps-2011, 2012, and 2013-had officially met each other.  The Retreat featured speakers, discussion, and a field trip to the Museum of Science to watch the Omni Theater movie about Jerusalem.  (view Trailer here)

 

DECEMBER

Winter Event

More than 250 peacemakers from across Jerusalem gathered for our annual community event. The event featured blessings by religious leaders, a concert by The Jerusalem Youth Chorus of the YMCA, appreciations to our most senior staff, activity stations, and the launch of a new community service project with Hadassah Hospital.  The event was a blast for all who attended, as community members of all ages rekindled their connections and friendships. Thank you to everyone who participated and we look forward to next year’s winter event already!

What does it cost?

Kid4Peace’s Annual Budget is $750,000
  • $350,000: Kids4Peace Summer Camps (at 4 locations)
  • $250,000: Kids4Peace Jerusalem Staff & Programs
  •     75,000: Kids4Peace USA Programs & Events
  •     75,000: Kids4Peace International Administration
Total Youth Served in 2013: 250
  • 110 at International Summer Camps
  • plus Local Camps, Year-Round Programs & Alumni Events

In the Press

NPR: WBUR – Radio Boston Muslim, Jewish And Christian Kids From Boston And Jerusalem Meet For Peace Last week, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met for the first peace talks in five years. But there was a different kind of peace talk going on right here in Boston – among a group of 12-year-olds
Jerusalem Post
Kids4Peace and countless other organizations … day in, day out build long-term bonds and dependence between Palestinians and Israelis.
Brattleboro Reformer
Watching the teens interact and listen to each other, it is clear that they have developed tremendous respect for one another as individuals.
Huffington Post
When we have families of our own, we’ll have the peace already built inside us, it’s already running through our veins, it will be much easier.
CNN Belief Blog
We meet with a group of young men and women calling themselves Kids for Peace: Palestinians, Christians, Jews, Israelis, Muslims. They get together regularly and share stories; they bring their parents together across the enmity formed by walls and fences. I see my son in them.
US State Department Blog
Kids4Peace, now in its tenth year, has become a cultural movement, an educational tool, and an interfaith strategy for peace that is practiced in the very midst of violence
The Living Church
“We try to help Palestinians and Israelis reclaim attitudes and behaviors about crossing boundaries,” Porter said. “We help them take risks that they can’t take on their own.”

 

The Kids4Peace International Community

  • Branch Office: Jerusalem
  • Local Chapters: Atlanta, Boston, Houston, North Carolina, Vermont
  • New Chapters-in-Formation: New Hampshire, Seattle International Chapters: Toronto Program
  • Partners: Jerusalem Peacebuilders

Kids4Peace International Board of Directors

  • The Rev. Brian Sullivan, President
  • Elizabeth Mulcahy, Vice-President
  • Dr. Yakir Englander, Vice-President
  • H. Gary Pannel, Treasurer
  • The Rev. W. Hunt Priest, Secretary
  • The Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, ex officio
  • Basheer Khumawala
  • Stuart Kensinger
  • Rabbi Meir Feldman
  • The Rev. Nicholas Porter
  • The Rev. Sharon Hiers
  • The Very Rev. Diane Nancekivell
  • Pam Hatley
  • Ibrahim Abu Dalo
  • Dr. Raouf Azar
  • Hilorie Baer

Kids4Peace Jerusalem Steering Committee

  • Ibrahim Abu Dalo, P.E. Graphic Design and Printing
  • Dr. Raouf Azar, Urologist – Private Clinic
  • Rana Khatib, Director – Jerusalem Social Enterprise
  • Dr. Khuloud Dajani, University Presidency G.S: AlQuds University
  • Lilach Shelly, Israeli Parliament Assistant
  • Arie Melamed-Yekel, VP Global Marketing at ECI Telecom
  • Udi Cohen, Educator