Spring Benefit Celebrates Hands of Peace Changemakers and the Power of Purple

Updated 3/29/2023 9:15 AM

Hands of Peace, an international non-profit that empowers American, Israeli and Palestinian youth to become agents of change, invites the Chicago community to "Power of Purple," an inspirational evening at the Chevy Chase Country Club on May 7, benefitting the organization's flagship Summer Program. Since the program's inception more than 20 years ago, over 750 Hands of Peace alumni have embarked on a transformative journey from dialogue to skill building to action, taking the lessons they learned to their communities, working for peace, justice, freedom and equality.

"In solidarity with our Hands, who wear their purple shirts throughout the Summer Program in Glenview, dress in your purple best for our largest fundraiser of the year," says Debby Fosdick, executive director of Hands of Peace. "We hope to raise $157,000, enough to bring 45 participants to our Summer Program this July."


Featured alumni speakers are changemakers Bashar Alsorri and Stav Friedman. A member of the Palestinian delegation at the 2006 Summer Program, Alsorri is a fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership. Most recently, he provided legal counsel for the Palestinian Authority, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is now finishing his MBA at Augsburg University with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

Friedman was only 13 when she participated in the first Hands of Peace Summer Program in 2003. Today, she is an environmental scientist who is passionate about policy, plastic pollution and climate change. She is currently leading research projects at Imperial College London and is the founder of Plastic Free Israel, considered one of Israel's most active and proactive organizations combating plastic pollution.

Early bird tables and tickets for the Power of Purple Benefit are available now through April 10. Bidding begins April 30 for Silent Auction items to empower young Americans, Israelis and Palestinians to find their voice, share their narratives and develop the compassion and skills they need to resolve conflict and serve their communities.

Purchase tickets, tables or sponsorships, or donate at: https://aesbid.com/ELP/CHI23. Contact Diana Kutlow, dkutlow@handsofpeace.org, with questions or to donate an auction item.

Hands of Peace empowers American, Israeli and Palestinian youth to become agents of change. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) interfaith organization was founded in the shadow of 9/11 by Gretchen Grad in Chicago, in 2002. The first Summer Program was held in Chicago in 2003. Since then, Hands of Peace has expanded in size, strength and scope with Summer Programs in Chicago and San Diego, alumni programs in Israel, Palestine, and the U.S., and multi-narrative tours to the Middle East for American youth and adults. Today, there are more than 750 Hands of Peace alumni leading change around the world. For more information, go to www.handsofpeace.org.

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