This delegation will explore current realities of life for Israelis and Palestinians, including settlements, the occupation, and the peace process—by learning directly from those living there. We will also explore issues relevant to young people in the region, including efforts to educate and empower future generations working towards a just resolution to the conflict. Our itinerary will feature meetings with leaders of civil society groups, grassroots organizers, Palestinian and Israeli youth, religious leaders and more.
As with all IFPB themed delegations, meetings pertaining to the specific theme amount to an average of about 20 percent of all meetings and the overall emphasis remains with exploring the social and political realities in the region in general. Thus, any addition of a theme will not change the overall delegation itinerary greatly.
Please apply by April 1, 2013 to ensure we’ll have space and be able to arrange your flight. IFPB's last several delegations have filled up several months before departure, so please apply as soon as possible to reserve your space. If you’ve missed the deadline, we might still be able to add you, but please contact us ASAP to see if this is a possibility.
Sydney Levy is the son of Egyptian Jews, born in Venezuela. He studied Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and was a settler without even realizing he was one. In the United States, he has worked for LGBT rights, for media justice, and against the death penalty. Since 2000 he has been active at Jewish Voice for Peace, and has been supporting church divestment efforts since 2008, as well as other BDS initiatives. Sydney is also a member of the Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. This will be his first delegation with IFPB.
Gretchen Merryman-Lotze spent six years living in Palestine. During her time in the West Bank she worked for Birzeit University’s Palestine & Arabic Studies Program coordinating the weekly lecture series and educational tours for international students throughout the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria. During theSecondIntifida she co-founded International Checkpoint Watch, a group of over 50 international volunteers who monitored and documented human rights abuses at Israeli checkpoints throughout the West Bank. Gretchen holds a master’s degree from Wheaton Graduate School in educational ministries. From 2002-2004, she worked for Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Interfaith Peace Builders, organizing delegations to Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. This will be Gretchen’s fifth delegation co-leading for IFPB.
The cost of the delegation will be around $2200. This includes 13 days of the delegation, hotel and home stay accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, local transportation, guides, speaker/event fees, and basic tips and gratuities. Partial scholarships may be available for those with demonstrable need.
The cost does not include domestic and international airfare. Interfaith Peace-Builders works with a local travel agent in Jerusalem to secure the best group rates for the delegation to travel together on the same flight from Washington, D.C. to Israel/Palestine. Therefore, delegates do not need to book their own international airfare.
Delegates will be expected make arrangements to be in Washington, D.C. by 2 pm on Aug. 10.