Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB) vision is a Jerusalem and a world where Jews, Christians, and Muslims live together as sisters and brothers in dignity, equality, and peace.
Jerusalem Peacebuilders (JPB) is an interfaith, non-profit organization with a mission to create a better future for humanity across religions, cultures, and nationalities. Integral to that mission is the belief that the future of Jerusalem is the future of the world. To that end, JPB promotes transformational, person-to-person encounters among the peoples of Jerusalem, the United States, and the Holy Land.
JPB’s interfaith programs focus on uniting Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans and providing them with the opportunities, relationships, and skills they need to become future leaders for peace in the global community. A passion for peace drives our mission and partnerships power our program.
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The idea for JPB took root on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Having served at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem, founders Reverend Nicholas and Dorothy Porter felt these attacks brought new urgency to the timeless call for peacemaking in the Holy Land. Rather than duplicate efforts, the Porters and approached Kids4Peace (K4P), an international organization with a shared vision, and partnered to provide a specialized youth leadership camp for teens engaged in the K4P program. They held the first Leadership Program in Brattleboro, VT in July 2011.
Following the success of the first program at Acer Farm in 2011, JPB co-founder Stuart Kensinger was inspired by the idea to create a multi-year peace education program for Israeli, Palestinian, and American teens. In the fall 2012, JPB successfully integrated a Houston-based beginner peace education program with teens entering the program at age 13. This was soon followed with a 2nd year intermediate camp; with the Brattleboro Leadership Institute for participants in the 3rd year of the program. Through the JPB Junior Counselor program, JPB graduates become counselors in the programs to further strengthen and develop their leadership and peace-building knowledge and skills.
Jerusalem Peacebuilders now oversees three youth leadership programs of successive levels in New Haven, CT, Houston, TX, and Brattleboro, VT. Each camp runs over the course of two weeks and provides the individual campers with leadership skills, personal dialogues, guest speakers, and a faith-based component. We take frequent field trips and provide outdoor recreational activities including horseback riding, swimming, and canoeing. We enjoy delicious home cooked meals prepared by our camp volunteers. The success of our program relies on the family atmosphere, the carefully selected small group, and the emphasis on religion and faith. Participants become immersed in the themes of the program and begin to embark upon a journey of transformation they will never forget.
Participants in the JPB program are an extraordinary group of young, carefully selected people. Their commitment to bringing peace to their communities is so strong that they have been actively engaged in the program for at least one year before attending one of JPB's summer programs. This dedication is evident in their avid desire to acquire the tools that will allow them to shine as leaders in forging a peaceful society in Jerusalem and across the Middle East.