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The olive tree is a source of livelihood and nutrition as well as a symbol of peace, prosperity, and wisdom. In the past eight years the Israeli army has cut down and uprooted over 500,000 olive trees on Palestinian land. In response, the YMCA of East Jerusalem and the YWCA of Palestine have created the Joint Advocacy Initiative to help Palestinian farmers plant new olive trees and harvest their olives in peace and without harassment.
The Keep Hope Alive Olive Tree Campaign in the Bay Area was initiated by the Church and Society Committee of the First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo in 2007. Now the Peacemaking Committees of the Presbyteries of Redwoods, San Francisco and San Jose and the Peace and Justice Committee of United Methodist Church of Northern California/ Nevada are co-sponsoring this project for Bay Area Christians and others so that we may join with the YMCA and the YWCA—our historic mission partners in the Middle East— to Keep Hope Alive. To keep alive the hope for an end to the occupation and a just and peaceful settlement to the conflict.
Each year we send two peacemaking delegations to Palestine-Israel, one in February to plant olive trees and one in October to harvest olives.
If you are interested in participating in one of these trips please contact the church office, 456-3713. To learn more or to make a donation to the Keep Hope Alive campaign, visit http://www.jai-pal.org.