Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does. – Margaret Mead
Imagine meeting progressive Jews, Christians and Muslims in your city or town, creating a small interfaith community of like minded people and working together to support Israel and Palestine. Wouldn’t that be cool?
The Olive Branch Giving Circles is being designed to make this happen. It is for people who want to do something to help bring an end to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, foster connections with people of other faiths who share a passion for human rights and offer a way to promote peaceful relationships.
A team of dedicated professionals and lay leadership are working hard to create a model that can be replicated in cities all over the country. The Olive Branch model will offer local communities a safe model for dialogue and action, to strengthen non-profit social change organizations working on behalf of Israel and Palestine in an environment that acknowledges differences and celebrates shared values. The cornerstone to the success of this project is that all participants acknowledge Israeli and Palestinian respective rights to self-determination. The model will utilize the philanthropic model of Giving Circles, where each participant commits time and personal resources towards a common goal.
Based upon the principal — Love your neighbor as yourself – וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ — we offer Jews, Christians and Muslims the chance to meet, study shared values, and work together through giving circles. The model will provide participants the opportunity to explore several topics, including: (1) creating a safe container for relational dialogue; (2) introduction to the three religions and their approach to community and philanthropy; (3) basic understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict looking forward (not a history lesson in all the things the parties did wrong to each other); (4) an opportunity to share personal narratives; introduction to strategic philanthropy, the role of the nonprofit sector, the grant making process and organizational due diligence; (5) exploration of strategies for promoting a shared mission of supporting the peace process; and (6) experience the process of grant making from beginning to end.
Through this joint action, the Olive Branch giving circles allow community members a tangible avenue to strive towards peace, together.
We are inviting you to become a part of a shared action and to help us create local communities that have a voice for peace in a different way. We still have to a lot to work to do and we need a vote of confidence from community members, in addition to funding. If you have any thoughts about potential funders for this, share this information with them. And if you are inspired by the importance and power of this work, please consider making a tax deductible donation on our Jewcer campaign.