An evening with Professor Ilan Pappé of the University of Exeter (UK) and author of many authoritative texts on the Israel/Palestine situation, including The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of Palestinians in Israel.
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In September 2015 John Fussell, labor attorney, TOL Board member, Reverend David W. Good and Jiries Atrash led a labor delegation to the Palestinian West Bank that included former AFL-CIO President John Olsen, Connecticut Building Trades President David Roche and others.
Presented by the Tree of Life Educational Fund in partnership with Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel–North America and Kairos USA
Tree of Life Conference
How Can WE Be Agents of Change
to Secure Human Rights for
Palestinians and Israelis?
In this conference, we heard from Israeli, Palestinian and American voices of conscience who will helped us understand that in the long struggle toward justice and peace in the Holy Land, the fulcrum of change must involve the international community. This requires that we all operate as agents of change to secure universal human rights for Palestinians and Israelis.
Our conference speakers reminded us there is hope that, in working together, we can reach that critical “tipping point,” the moment at which the tide turns, and positive change gets underway. As Archimedes said, “Give me a lever and I can move the world!”
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
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).
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 »
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 »
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.