On July 11, Glenview-based nonprofit Hands of Peace welcomed 41 Israeli, Palestinian and American participants to their annual Summer Program.
HOP, which started in 2002 as the dream of Glenview resident Gretchen Grad, is an organization dedicated to developing peace-building and leadership skills in Palestinian, Israeli and American teens. HOP brings together Israeli, Palestinian and American teens for an intense coexistence experience here in the Chicago suburbs, and works to help support the teens in their peace-building efforts back at home.
The Israeli and Palestinian teens stay with North Shore host families. Most HOP supporters and volunteers come from the North Shore as well. The teens and families who participate in HOP come through the program with their beliefs challenged, their minds opened, and their hearts touched.
The HOP Summer Program runs every July for two-and-a-half weeks and, in that time, the teens get a chance to know each other through a variety of different activities. After the Summer Program has ended, teens continue to meet regularly through our Alumni Club in order to maintain and continue the progress made over the summer.
For more on how to participate by applying to the program, volunteering, or donating to Hands of Peace, go to: www.hands-of-peace.org.