Wednesday, May 13, 2009

7 PM – 8:30 PMSt.

Camillus Church, Silver Spring, MD

 Ron Young serves as a Consultant to the National Interreligious Initiative for Peace in the Middle East.  He works with leaders of 25 U.S. Jewish, Christian and Muslim national religious organizations to develop united advocacy positions and mobilize public support for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace.  He is widely respected by the leaders of all three faith communities because he brings a holistic and balanced perspective to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.  Ron has worked for many years promoting dialogue and practical solutions that aim at fostering a just peace–two states living side by side with security and human rights for both peoples. 

Ron Young’s presentation will be followed by a response from a local Jewish and Muslim leaders and the time for questions and answers.

  The event is scheduled to take place at St. Camilli Room on the campus of St. Camillus Catholic Church.  1600 Saint Camillus Dr. Silver Spring, MD 20903.  For more information, please contact Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM at 301-434-8400  ex. 14 or   

  Biographical Information 

2003 – Consultant for the National Interreligious Initiative for Peace (NILI).  Ron works with leaders of 25 U.S. Jewish, Christian and Muslim national religious organizations to develop united advocacy positions and mobilize public support for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace.  Building on founding “Principles of Cooperation,” in November 2008 religious leaders of NILI issued a new consensus statement, “A Window of Hope for the Peace of Jerusalem.”  In January 2009 the leaders wrote to President Obama commending his commitment to make Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace a high priority from the start of his presidency and urging specific steps the United States should support to provide urgent leadership for peace.  Building on the work of the U.S. Interreligious Committee for Peace organized by Ron in 1987, the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative was organized in 2003.  In 2004-05 Ron held meetings with local religious leaders in 40 cities.  In June 2004 Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders met Secretary of State Colin Powell and in January 2006 with Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State. In June 2005 the Initiative organized 50 local host sites for a Town Meeting for Peace (via the Internet) sponsored by A Different Future with speakers from Jerusalem and Washington DC. In January 2007 NILI leaders met with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and then met regularly with her Deputy.  The religious leaders believe the Annapolis Peace Conference, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the current emphasis on negotiations among the parties make interreligious efforts for peace important and timely in the coming months.  Looking ahead to a new Administration and Congress, NILI leaders believe the new President must make Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace an urgent priority of U.S. policy.  Ron Young has spoken and written widely on the Middle East and interfaith cooperation; he taught a course on the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict at Haverford College; organized Interfaith Convocations for Peace; and generated statements and other resources endorsed by Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders.  Ron was invited by the White House for the Israel-PLO Oslo Declaration in 1993.  Ron has lectured at the Chautauqua Institution, speaking on peace in the Middle East, and “Religion As a Source of Violence or Peace.”  He was Chautauqua’s Chaplain on the theme “Iraq and Its Neighborhood.”

“Ron Young is a bridge-builder and a teacher.  It takes a special person to keep the flame of hope burning, and that is exactly who Ron is.  His passion, his depth of knowledge, and his understanding of Middle East and American politics, make him a unique and indispensible guide to ever-changing work of bringing peace to the Middle East.”

Rabbi David Saperstein, DirectorReligious Action Center of Reform Judaism “Ron has dedicated his life to promote understanding between the Abrahamic faiths.  He has served as a bridge between people of different faiths and cultures who may not feel comfortable with each other. His personal commitment to work for the resolution of difficult issues in the Middle East has earned him respect and appreciation from those who know him. His vast experience in the field of conflict resolution in the Middle East makes him a good teacher and speaker about those issues.” Dr. Sayyid Syeed, National DirectorIslamic Society of North America  

“Ron Young has an unusual depth of experience in the whole area of understanding the realities of the Middle East. He also has a strong calling to help religious leaders work together for peace. He will contribute realistic hope and vision to those who are looking for understanding and some ways to be involved in reconciliation.”


Reverend Leighton Ford, President

Leighton Ford Ministries