The flagship Summer Program is a powerful, unifying experience that starts our Hands on their journey to becoming agents of change. Each summer, Hands of Peace brings American, Israeli, and Palestinian youth together in Chicago and San Diego for a three-week dialogue-based experience. In dialogue sessions led by professional facilitators from the Middle East, Hands learn about “the other,” they share complicated and sometimes painful stories about the conflict, and explore peaceful solutions to foster equality, freedom and justice.

In light of continuing concerns about coronavirus transmission in Chicago, San Diego, Israel, and Palestine, the Hands of Peace Board has made the prudent decision not to hold an in-person Summer Program in 2021. To ensure the health and safety of young participants, host families, volunteers, and staff, Hands of Peace is planning virtual programming for Hands and XLs (second-year eXtraordinary Leaders) in 2021.


July 4-29, 2021


For four weeks, first-year Hands will meet virtually with other members of their delegation for eight 90-minute virtual sessions, giving them a firm foundation as they begin their journey as an agent of change. They will participate in training and activities to learn about dialogue, listening, telling their personal story, and other essential peacebuilding skills. Summer Program Launchpad will prepare Hands to have an even richer experience when they meet with other delegations in-person in 2022.

We are now taking applications for Summer Program Launchpad:

American Delegation: July 6-29, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:30-10pm EST / 7:30-9pm CT / 5:30-7pm PT
Apply here. 

Jewish-Israeli Delegation: July 4 – 27, Sundays & Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30pm I/P
Apply here.

Palestinian Citizens of Israel Delegation: July 4- 27, Sundays & Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30pm I/P
Apply here.

Palestinian Delegation: July 5- 28, Mondays & Wednesdays 6:00-7:30pm I/P
Apply here.


July 13-29, 2021


Hands of Peace is planning a two-week XL Leadership Program in 2021 for selected second-year participants. XLs will dive into virtual dialogue with XLs from the other delegations and receive training in leadership and peacebuilding skills. This is a valuable opportunity to help Hands make the transition from dialogue to education as they learn how to apply what they learned about themselves and their fellow Hands in their first year. XLs will also have the opportunity to mentor first-year Hands from their delegation, offering leadership opportunities and connectivity between cohorts.