Holy Land Update    
February, 2015 

Dear Friends,


        2014 brought more turmoil to our Holy Land. Parts of both Syria and Gaza remain uninhabitable. Refugees flood into Jordan seeking stability and a future. But the pressure on the local economy is substantial. It's hard to know which need to address. Archbishop Suheil Dawani faces impossible choices each day. But you understood the critical need and gave at unprecedented levels. Thank you!


  AFEDJ donors sent over $1.2 million to heal broken children and adults in Gaza, get young adults ready for good jobs in Ramallah and provide scholarships for hundreds of students in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Nablus and Zarka, Jordan. You made a difference, one family and one community at a time. Building peace from the ground up and stabilizing the Christian presence in our Holy Land at a critical time. Thank you, again!


Our spring printed newsletter will include our annual report. Sign up now if you aren't currently on our list. Then read it with pride and hope. While others may anguish over the intractable problems in a volatile place, you did something about it. And it worked. Thank you again and again!   

--  Anne Lynn, President 


Quick Links
        Take Action
Sometimes we need a roof

        Sometimes ministry means just keeping the weather out. A donor asked us what would make a difference in a parish to help stabilize the Christian community in our Holy Land.   The answer turned out to be a new roof for a parish hall.  At Emmanuel Church in Ramleh, Israel, there's one room for the Youth Group, the Confirmation Class, the choir to rehearse and the Vestry to meet. It's the storage space, the parish office and the childcare facility. And it leaks. Rain and snow soak everything and heating the space is impossible.


        A retired Pastor and AFEDJ donor knew that this is the kind of space that builds community in a parish. This is where children grow in faith and families make friends for life. His significant gift made a new roof possible along with asbestos removal. With a water-tight and heat-able space, Emmanuel parishioners and the community could be together in groups large and small. Rector Samuel Fanous commented: "We are really uplifted now and all are happy thanking God. We don't have much money. And here God is, hearing us and of our needs now. Thank you!"


        Do you want to help stabilize the Christian community in the Holy Land? Let AFEDJ help you find a way.



ETVTC Students Compete in Third Annual Cooking Competition in Ramallah
        Each year, the Hotel program at the Vocational Technical School in Ramallah undertakes a cooking competition involving cuisines from around the world. Students research the cuisine, purchase the ingredients and prepare their entries for the judges.

        Six students made it to the semi-finals, and next week the finalists will prepare desserts. Here Areen shows us her Mediterranean fish entry.  Other entries included chicken cordon blue and an Italian main dish. 
        Congratulations to all!





The Princess Basma Center for Disabled Children has a residential program for mothers and their young children who need assessment and treatment. Disabilities include cerebral palsy, deafness, dystonia and autism. For $300, you can support a family for a week in the program.  


Families in northern Jordan have been hard hit by the influx of refugees. Competition for food, housing, jobs and fuel have driven up prices for everyone. Some families are taking their children out of school because they can no long afford tuition. Saviour School in Zarka and Evangelical School in Irbid integrate blind and low vision children with the sighted. They have been hit hard by economic pressures. Scholarship support in any amount would mean education for these children and a chance at a future.  


The situation in Gaza remains dire. 100,000 are still homeless and winter is overwhelming them. Open fires provide heat in their tent homes, but they're a hazard to young children. Al Ahli Hospital is once again seeing a surge in burned babies.  On top of all these families have suffered, this is hard to see.  Please don't forget those suffering through a difficult winter in Gaza.  They need our help.  
Events & Pilgrimages


February 28, 2015

Kairos is holding a one day workshop at St. Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th Avenue East in Seattle WA, 8:30 to 5:00.  Kairos is committed to finding ways to engage in just action in Israel/Palestine.  More on their mission at www.kairosusa.org.  Speakers include Mark Braverman and Diane Dulin.  All are welcome.  More information here.  


February 28 and March 1, 2015

Are you in Connecticut or Massachusetts and considering a pilgrimage?  Iyad Qumri, guide for many pilgrimages, will be at St. Matthew's Bedford, New York for an informal discussion at 10 am on Saturday, Feb. 28.  Everyone is welcome. He'll also meet with pilgrims at St. Mark's, New Canaan CT at 11:15 on Sunday, March 1 and will be at Church of the Epiphany in Winchester MA for an informal supper. Again, all welcome.


March 1, 2015

Are you in the Richmond VA area?  Anne Lynn, President of AFEDJ will speak at St. Stephen's Church, 6000 Grove Avenue, Richmond following the 5:30 Celtic service.  She'll talk about the current situation in our Holy Land with emphasis on Jordan.  All welcome.    


March 19 - 26, 2015

St. George's College in Jerusalem will be offering Shared Vision and Perspective: Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land.  Course include trips to Nazareth and Hebron and includes leadership from both faith traditions.  $2000 plus airfare.  More information at www.sgcjerusalem.org.    


April 24 - May 5, 2015

Join a pilgrimage headed by the Very Rev. Gail Greenwell of Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati.  This Lightline trip includes time in Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus and Nazareth. Cost of $4095 includes airfare to Cincinnati, but can be adjusted for other US destinations.  More info at info@lightline.org.uk. 


April 30 - May 23, 2015

Places, People and Prayers, a Cross Cultural Encounter with the Holy Land is the name of the trip organized by Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Dr. Dorothy Jean Weaver and Rev. Kevin Clark.  Trip will include holy sites, Yad Vashem, a Palestinian refugee camp, a synagogue service, and a Bedouin visit.  Trip leaves from Washington DC and cost includes travel: $5375.   More information here.


May 12 - 25 and other dates

St. George's College in Jerusalem offers its popular Palestine of Jesus course. Check out the full course offerings for 2015 and 2016 at www.sgcjerusalem.org.  Great option if you have a small group or want to travel individually with knowledgeable leaders.   


May 30 - June 13, 2015

Sabeel Colorado's two week fact finding trip will include a visit to the Sabeel Center in Jerusalem, a Bedouin community, Augusta Victoria Hospital, a refugee camp, Bethlehem, Nablus and Nazareth.  You'll stand with the Women in Black and talk with participants in Breaking the Silence.  More information here   


June 8 - June 20, 2015

Join St. Bartholomew's San Diego for a George's International trip which includes 2 nights in Jordan, Petra included, plus 5 nights in Jerusalem and 3 nights in the Galilee.  Renew marriage vows in Cana and baptismal vows in the Jordan River. $3610 includes airfare from LA and can be adjusted for other cities.  Contact Jill Henderson for more information.    


June 20 - July 1, 2015

Young adults are invited to join a trip to Israel/Palestine hosted by Grace Presbyterian in Springfield VA.  If you're 18 to 28, consider walking in the footsteps of Jesus and also meeting local Israelis and Palestinians to find out what life is like in our Holy Land today.  Trip includes working with a children's summer camp in Nablus and a day at Tent of Nations.  $3200 includes airfare from Washington DC.  Contact Susan Wilder for more information.


July 20 - August 3, 2015

Abraham's Children

Join Friends of Sabeel for opportunity to talk with Israelis, Palestinians, Christians, Muslims, Samaritans, Druze and Bahai with to understand their everyday lives in a complex society.  $2400.  More information here.   


September 4 - 16, 2015

Join pilgrims from Washington National Cathedral and the Rev. Canon John Peterson for an immersion in first century culture and 21st century life in the Holy Land.  More information from here.


September 1 - 13, 2015

St. Mark's Capitol Hill in Washington DC has organized several interfaith tours through MEJDI Tours and will lead another this fall.  Further information here.   


October 6 - 17, 2015

Rev. Deborah Dresser and Rev. Tom Verde will lead an Iyad Qumri trip to the Holy Land which will include a range of holy sites plus visits to the Judean desert, Ramallah and Taybeh, one of the few Christian villages in the West Bank.  Cost is $1870 plus airfare and tips.  More info at


November 6 - November 16, 2015
Join a 10 day Iyad Qumri trip which will include Jerusalem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem, the Judean desert and much more.  Cost is $1710 plus airfare and tips.  Group will be leaving from Buffalo NY.  Organized by veteran pilgrim Fr. Earle King here or more details at St. Martin in the Fields website


As a non-political, independent nonprofit, AFEDJ acts as a partner with the Diocese of Jerusalem by helping to increase its capacity to teach and heal. AFEDJ raises funds for, and promotes the humanitarian work of, the Diocese of Jerusalem and its institutions so it may better serve the needs of all people in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Israel. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.