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News + Information

September 2015

Alice Rothchild:
On Palestinian Realities

Click here


Please join us in signing

A Petition for a
Just Peace in Israel/Palestine

Click here


Many thanks to our sponsors for the 2014 Tree of Life Conferences

See who they were.


News from a Tree of Life Friend:

Daoud Nassar
Responds to the
Demolition of
His Orchard


Give me a lever...

Fall 2015

Tree of Life Conferences

How Can WE Be Agents of
Change to Secure Human Rights
for Palestinians and Israelis?

In partnership with Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel-North America,
and Kairos USA

Details about locations and programs here

January 2016 Tree of Life Journey

A Three-Fold Cord is Not Easily Broken:

January 9-19, 2016

with an optional Extension to Spain, January 4-9

Learn more

Many thanks to all our friends in the United Church of Christ (UCC)  who with the support of Jewish Voice for Peace helped to pass a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions  (BDS) resolution at the UCC’s General Synod in Cleveland. We were proud to have a number of those in our Tree of Life community involved in this effort. The resolution can be found here:
UCC Israeli-Palestinian Resolution


The UCC Palestine Israel Network (PIN) and Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) teams at the UCC Conference

Another Jew Supporting Divestment

Here’s a summary:
This resolution proposes a fourfold strategy by the United Church of Christ to help end the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The strategy seeks to combine: (1) educational empowerment (study of Kairos Palestine 2009 – ‘A Moment of Truth’: A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering); (2) economic leverage (divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and boycott of products produced in such territories by Israeli companies); (3) political pressure (petition to Congress to ensure that aid to Israel violates neither the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act nor the U.S. Arms Export Control Act); and (4) interreligious dialogue (conversation among the three Abrahamic faiths aimed at reaching religious reconciliation and achieving political resolution).

A Tree of Life Celebration

Mansour Family being greeted by David Good

Mansour Family being greeted by David Good

Over 130  friends, supporters, and guests of the Tree of Life Educational Fund gathered for a celebration banquet at the Old Lyme Congregational Church in Old Lyme on Sunday, June 7th. This banquet was made possible  thanks to the great leadership of Tree of Life Coordinator, Mary Tomassettii and her crew of volunteers. After friends from far and wide shared a delicious Middle Eastern dinner prepared by Jiries Atrash and his kitchen crew, violinist Laythe Al-Rubaye played two pieces for the gathering. The first was his own composition; both were influenced by traditional music from the Middle East. David Good then announced that the TOL Scholarshop Fund will now be the Huda George Alatrash Scholarship Fund in honor of Jiries’ mother. Huda Alatrash insisted on a good education for her own children and was a promotor of education for all Palestinian youth. Read more »

Congratulations to Jiries!

On May 16th the Shepherd’s Field Orthodox School in Beit-Sahour held it is annual graduation. Twenty-one students graduated and will take the Government University entrance exam. The school principle, George Sa’adeh, recognized the support of Tree of Life Educational Fund. He called TOLEF a strong supporter of the school and talked about how it annually gives scholarships to students at the school. In recognition for the work Tree of Life Educational Fund does for the school, Jiries Atrash was given a beautiful olive wood plaque with his name as Tree of Life Coordinator for Palestine and Israel carved on it. Read more »

We invite you to endorse

A Petition for a United Nations Resolution

Click Here

TOLEF Journey News

The 2015 Tree of Life Journey travelers have returned from their journey:
Rejecting Violence and Finding Enclaves of Beauty

Learn about some of their experiences on our Facebook page.

Scroll through the excerpts here then click on the Facebook link to see posts and photos from the trip…

Read more »

Human Rights Award for Elaine Brouillard

Elaine Brouillard, Tree of Life Educational Fund Board Member and Cape Cod TOL coordinator, has been presented with the 2015 Human Rights Award from Church Women United of Cape Cod. Church Women United (CWU) is a racially, culturally, theologically inclusive Christian women’s movement, celebrating unity in diversity and working for a world of peace and justice. Church Women United of Cape Cod is one of 1200 local chapters of CWU in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Read more »

Labor – Community Partnership

Central to TOLEF’s contribution towards a more peaceful and just world is its effort to amplify voices of conscience from faith-based, labor, civil rights, and community organizations.  In 2013, TOLEF in partnership with the Connecticut AFL-CIO, brought Mahmoud Abu Odeh, Secretary of the Legal Department and Executive Board Member of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) from Palestine to Connecticut to address the 400 trade union delegates at the Connecticut AFL-CIO Convention. Below please find Brother Odeh’s remarks to that Convention describing the oppressive conditions Palestinian workers suffer under the Israeli occupation and PGFTU’s hopes for an end to the occupation and for peace and justice for all Muslims, Christians and Jews living in Israel/Palestine.

Speech of Mahmoud Abu Odeh (PDF)

Jiries Atrash, John Olsen (retiring CT AFL-CIO President), Mahmoud Abu Odeh, John Fussell

Jiries Atrash, John Olsen (retiring CT AFL-CIO President), Mahmoud Abu Odeh, John Fussell

Vigil and Concert Series for Gaza Relief

Michael Dabroski

Featuring violinist Michael Dabroski

Performing music by JS Bach, an original Suite for Gaza, and Palestinian melodies, and sharing notes from a concert trip to Gaza City in December 2013

March 29, 2015 4:00pm
First Church of Christ, Congregational
25 Cross Highway
Redding, CT

Proceeds from the concerts will go to Middle East Children’s Alliance, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, and Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City/American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

Michael Dabroski is a Vermont based violinist praised for his “sensitive, charming, beautifully nuanced, and clearly articulated” playing. Mr. Dabroski is past Artistic Director of Music in the Great Hall – a world-class chamber music series serving Baltimore, Maryland. To learn more about him visit