I was honored to have the opportunity to join the Hands of Peace team in June 2016. The majority of my career has been focused on fostering global understanding. In my early career, I worked for The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. During my tenure, I had the opportunity to meet Rotary members from around the world as they focused on funding cross-cultural projects to educate youth, to improve human conditions, and to work toward peace.
After a stint in management consulting, I started a travel company focused on sending U.S. business school students on short-term immersions to learn about business and culture in more than 100 countries. During my 17 years in the field, no trip touched me more than my first visit to Jerusalem. Standing on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City, something stirred inside me as I could see centuries of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim history on display before me. The feelings were both of awe and sadness. The sadness stemmed from knowing that not everyone could experience the awe. It ran contrary to everything I had tried to achieve in my career.
Now, years later, I have an opportunity to work toward building a just and positive peace for all Israelis and Palestinians. Experiencing my first Hands of Peace Summer Program in July, I saw firsthand how amazing our teen participants are. I believe it is our obligation to give them the tools, the techniques, and the support to become peacemakers and leaders of change.
For those interested in Hands of Peace, our tent is big. We welcome people of all faiths, all backgrounds, all ideologies to join us on this important journey. Whether you can help us by volunteering your time and talent, or by donating financially, we are grateful for your support. Thank you.