Jerusalem Peacebuilders Obtains Diocesan Grant for High School Leadership Program
In an effort to develop leadership and peace education programs for Israeli and Palestinian youth, the Episcopal Church in Vermont recently awarded Jerusalem Peacebuilders a $2,000 grant from the diocese’s Alleluia Fund. The funds will cover a portion of the costs associated with administering and implementing a high school program in Jerusalem.
In January 2016, JPB piloted a semester-long leadership course for 11th and 12th graders at the Sts. Tarkmanchatz Armenian School in Jerusalem’s Old City. Based on the initial program’s success, JPB has been invited to facilitate a new iteration of the program this winter. Designed to empower and prepare teens for leadership and peacebuilding in their communities and in the world, the program engages participants through traditional and experiential learning, dialogue, field trips, service-projects and recreation.
Spanning over ten units, the program’s curriculum includes topics such as history, intercultural communication, social justice, conflict resolution, and interfaith understanding, as well as the inclusion of several guest educators and speakers from key people-to-people peacebuilding organizations operating in the region. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates have the opportunity to apply for scholarships to attend JPB’s summer leadership and service-learning programs in the United States next summer.
JPB Assistant Director Jack said, “Not only will this grant help support the success of this pioneering program, but it will also contribute to the success of these young people later in life. By providing an experience that is educational, creative, challenging and fun, the potential for these teens to graduate from the program feeling transformed and empowered to pursue positive social change in their society is significantly increased.”