Norris Battin <nbattin@gmail.


End of the year Update
American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem <> Reply-To: To: Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 3:06 PM

December 2012

25 Old King's Highway North, Suite 13, Darien, Connecticut 06820

Christmas in our Holy Land

Dear Mr. Battin, AFEDJ is based in Connecticut, not far from Newtown.

We're therefore especially touched by the senseless violence which robbed families of their children, just as we're about to remember Mary and Joseph welcoming their child into the world. The senseless violence which continues in the Holy Land needs as urgent a response. Please pray, visit, support, hope. We have many updates to share from both the Diocese of Jerusalem and AFEDJ. AL AHLI HOSPITAL GAZA While the bombs have stopped, the tragedy in Gaza lives on. Shortages of medical supplies, medication, fuel and building materials makes recovery extremely difficult. The UNRWA funding which provides substantial support to Al Ahli Hospital will expire at the end of the month. The Diocese and hospital management are developing a plan to transition Ahli from a full service hospital to a specialty facility delivering high quality healthcare in a medical specialty which is currently unavailable in Gaza. While the transition is taking place, it's critical that the staff of 130 trained personnel who have stoically provided compassionate care under unbearable conditions, be maintained. AFEDJ and the Diocese need your financial commitment to these highly trained professionals over the next 6 months or so. Please consider a generous gift. In addition, Suhaila Tarazi, the Director of the Hospital and gifted motivator, visionary and survivor, has announced that she will retire as soon as a replacement can be found. Her ministry is remarkable for its length and its impact on those we all serve. Al Ahli has truly been a beacon of hope and an island of tranquility in a violent region under her vigilant tenure. Please send us your notes of congratulations with your gifts in her honor. PRINCESS BASMA This regional referral center, respected by every medical

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Quick Links AFEDJ Pilgrimage Diocese of Jerusalem St. George's College Jerusalem

Did you know? When you make a gift in honor of a friend or loved one, they receive a GREETING CARD with a photo of the children your gift will support. See the card options which you can print yourself from our website; or let us send a beautifully professionally printed one with your greeting. The

practitioner in the area, undertook a revised business plan to address reduced government funding as well. The result is a more decentralized facility, bringing more needed services for the physically and mentally challenged directly to their communities. After supervising this planning, Betty Majaj will step down as Director at the end of this month. Betty, as many of you know, is in her middle 80's and will continue as volunteer ambassador to welcome visitors in her special way. The Center has undertaken a search for a Director. We know that Betty is literally irreplaceable. We've been blessed by her steadfast commitment to the disabled and welcome your gifts in her honor. CHRISTMAS VISIT BY THE PRESIDING BISHOP In a few days, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Primate of the Episcopal Church, will arrive in Jerusalem to celebrate the birth of Christ. She will join the Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, Bishop in Jerusalem, for celebrations in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. They hope to travel to Gaza and will share their insight and thoughts for the future upon their return. While change is inevitable and should be celebrated as the sign of a healthy organization, Diocesan institutions are digesting a lot of it right now. They need our support more than ever through your gifts, your prayers and your help in encouraging more to visit them and facilitating broader knowledge of the needs and issues they face. Please consider organizing or taking a pilgrimage, becoming a Missioner, or just sharing with us the names of those who may be interested in learning more. The Board and staff of AFEDJ wishes you a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year!

website cards take a while to load, so be patient. Let us send your Christmas gifts! And thank you for your generous support.

Thank you to all who celebrated St. Nicholas Day in your own particular way! Pictured here is Greg Smith, bringing St. Nicholas to several locations in Philadelphia this year. He, Phoebe Griswold and Sharline Fulton brought information about AFEDJ and the Diocese of Jerusalem to many new prospects. Those we serve in the Holy Land are grateful!

- Anne Lynn, Executive Director

We wish you the peace of a blessed Christmas and the joy of the New Year. Keep the Holy Land in your hearts as you celebrate the birth which took place here. with warm wishes from the Board of Trustees and the staff of AFEDJ.

Saturday, December 22, don't miss the Sixth Annual Bethlehem Prayer Service, the interdenominational simultaneous service from Bethlehem and Washington National Cathedral. If you're in the Washington area, join them at 10:00 am, 5:00 pm Bethlehem time. Or participate through their website from anywhere at Saturday, January 12 Curious about the work of the Diocese of Jerusalem or AFEDJ? Join us for an Inquirers' Workshop at St. Stephen's Church, 6000 Grove Avenue, Richmond, VA. Board and staff from AFEDJ will be there as will Missioners and clergy from the Diocese of Virginia and Southern Virginia. All are welcome to this free event. Workshop is 9 am to 3 pm, lunch included. Bring your questions and your friends. For more information, contact Friday, May 3 Are you near St. Petersburg, Florida? Please join the AFEDJ Board of Trustees for a cocktail reception at St. Peter's Cathedral. Contact for details and an invitation. We'd love to meet you!

Christ School in Nazareth is in great need of scholarship help. Many families can no longer pay the fees and the school now faces substantial debt. Tuition is $1500 a year or $150 a month. Any amount will help. Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza is operating on an extension of its UNRWA funding. This will end January 1. The Diocese is

developing a business plan to continue without UNRWA, but until that plan is in place, it's up to us and other donors to keep the doors open. This is the last Christian institution in Gaza. We have to support Suhaila Tarazi and her amazing staff. Please make this need more widely known. St. Andrew's Clinic in Ramallah was built and equipped with your help. It will treat patients with diabetes and those suffering from the vascular effects of this debilitating disease. Patients will need subsidy however, as most have no insurance and few have the ability to pay. Each visit costs Middle schoolers at Christ School Nazareth between $25 and $100. Could you underwrite a visit or two? The Jofeh Center in the Jordan Valley teaches job skills to disabled adults and sells their products, providing income and great pride for the workers. Three days a week, the Center offers classes for mentally disabled children who cannot attend school. They learn life skills like counting, hygiene and safety. It costs only $300 a day to keep the entire center open.

Trips and Pilgrimages
NOTE: We're aware of a few trips which have been cancelled due to concern about safety in the Middle East. Please know that we've talked to several tour operators and the Dean of St. George's College about this and all concur that pilgrims who have traveled in the last few months have experienced the Holy Land in peace and joy. Dec. 29, 2012 - Jan. 11, 2013 a special study tour at St. George's College, East Jerusalem for those in training for Christian ministry. This is the popular Palestine of Jesus course discounted for seminarians and ordinands: $1500 includes room and board plus land transportation. Airfare not included. Contact Dawn Bates at at Trinity School for Ministry for more information. March 15, 2013 and several other dates, the Siraj Center invites you to literally walk the Nativity Trail. For the physically fit, this is an 11 day hike from Nazareth to Bethlehem, staying in villagers' homes and hostels. A view from the street with lasting impact. Go to for more. March 20 - 27, 2013 St. George's College is offering a course on Islam Today, taught by the Rev. Bill Sachs, Director of the Interfaith Center for Reconciliation in Richmond, VA. The cost is only $1750 which includes room and board, but not airfare. Understand the history of Islam, its sects, the true

teachings of the Qur'an and what today's Muslims believe. An unusual way to enter Holy Week. For more information, contact Check out all the excellent courses at the College including the famous Palestine of Jesus, Children of Abraham, Ways of the Wilderness and Women of the Holy Land, all at April 9 - 20, 2013, join the Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, Diocese of No. California, for a Lightline Pilgrimage which begins in the Galilee and continues to Nazareth, Taybeh, the Dead Sea, Masada, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and more. There is an optional Jordan extension available which includes Petra and Madaba. Cost is $4195 including airfare. If you join the group in NY or Tel Aviv, the cost is reduced. This is a beautiful time of year to experience the Holy Land! Contact for more information. April 11 - 21, 2013, The Order of St. John is an international fraternal organization which supports St. John's Eye Hospital in Jerusalem. They are sponsoring a trip which includes Jordan and Jerusalem, led by the Rev. Nicholas Porter, member of the Order and also the Advisory Council of AFEDJ. This trip will include first class accommodations, Petra, Crusader fortresses and Old and New Testament sites. For more information, contact or 202-510-9691. April 12 - 23, 2013, join Dave and Polly Johnson for a trip that combines pilgrimage sites with visits to settlements, refugee camps, human rights groups and Bishop Elias Chacour. Polly is part of the leadership team of the Israel Palestine Mission Network, a committee of the Presbyterian Church. As the Presbyterians do not maintain facilities in the Holy Land, they partner with the Episcopal Diocese. They work closely with AFEDJ. Cost is $3050 including round trip airfare from Newark. To find out more, contact May 14 - 27, 2013 St. Paul and the Early Church. This St. George's College course takes place entirely in Turkey including Cappadocia, Ephesus, Nicea and Istanbul. It traces the life, letters and theology of St. Paul along with that of the early church. Cost is $5760 plus airfare for an unforgettable 14 days. for more information. May 22 - 30 join Rev. Jodene Hawkins for a pilgrimage particularly designed for Women in the Holy Land. Combines the life of Jesus with the wisdom of the ancient women of scripture. Find out more at There's an optional camel trek to Mt. Sinai. May 31-June 10, 2013 Join Episcopal Church Women for a pilgrimage focusing on Women of the Bible. This trip leaves from New York but you can join them from anywhere. Itinerary begins in Nazareth and includes the

Galilee, the Dead Sea, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The West Bank city of Nablus and worship with a Palestinian congregation are included. All with a focus on the role of women then and now. Contact Lynn Headley for more information at or 714-963-5932. June 2 - 16, 2013 Sabeel of Colorado is offering a fact-finding trip which begins in Jerusalem and includes meeting with a Bedouin community, Israeli women who monitor the checkpoints for human rights abuses, visit a refugee camp and a settlement and stay with a Palestinian family. The approximate cost is $2400 plus airfare. For more information, contact June 11 - 22, 2013 Join Rev. Roy Cole and Rev. Deborah Tammearu, Diocese of NY, for an Iyad Qumri pilgrimage including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Galilee and the Holy Sites plus visits to several contemporary institutions of the Diocese of Jerusalem such as the Penman Clinic in Zababdeh and worship with a Palestinian Episcopal congregation at Shefa Amr. For more information and pricing contact Cost is $1995 plus airfare and single supplement. June 28 - July 9, 2013, join Rev. Matthew Mead and others from the Diocese of NY for an Iyad Qumri pilgrimage which includes Jerusalem, the Galilee, Bethlehem, Jericho, the Dead Sea and much more. Cost is $2095 plus airfare. More information at or check out the brochure. July 1 - 6, 2013, join the Global Youth Adult Festival in Bethlehem, "Moving Mountains, Reshaping the World." Cost is only $500 for accommodate and meals, airfare not included. Contact for more information or July 2 - 9, 2013, St. George's College in East Jerusalem offers its annual Youth Course. Ages are generally about 16 to 18. Students from all over the world encounter the Holy Land through visits to the Galilee, the Dead Sea and time with local teenagers. Emphasis on cultural exchange and perspective. Cost is $1550 which includes room and board but not airfare. Visit for more information. November 19 - 25, 2013, the 9th International Sabeel Conference topic will be "The Bible and the Israel-Palestine Conflict." More information in early 2013 or

AFEDJ is an independent, non-political 501c3 which helps sustain the humanitarian institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem -- 14 schools, 2 hospitals, 4 outpatient clinics, 4 institutes for the disabled plus homes for orphans, the elderly and pilgrims. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Diocesan institutions foster mutual respect and tolerance in a land torn by turmoil and poverty. Learn more about the work of AFEDJ or the Diocese of Jerusalem. Visit the AFEDJ website at to learn about or contribute to any of the important work which sustains the Christian community.
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American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem | 25 Old King's Highway North | Suite 13 | Darien | CT | 06820

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