Friday – Saturday, November 5-6, 2010
The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
3900 Harewood Road, Washington, DC
Friday, November 5, 2010
5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD
Each year, at the time of the International Conference, HCEF grants awards to people and institutions who have accomplished excellent work in support of the Christians of the Holy Land. The 2010 Awardees are:
2010 Path of Peace Award
The Path of Peace Award has been established to honor an individual who throughout his/her life has vigorously championed the cause of Peace in the Middle East. The award is conferred on an individual who, through tireless personal efforts, has promoted the peaceful reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis, and amongst Muslims, Christians and Jews. The honoree is an eminent statesman, clergyman or citizen of any country who is locally or internationally recognized as a visionary and humanist for this role.
- Mr. George R. Salem, Esq.,
Mr. George R. Salem, Esq., is a prominent attorney, recognized nationally and internationally. For many years he has unstintingly championed the cause of peace in the Middle East. His vast knowledge of the region and extensive network of contacts there led him to be named to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim world. This high level advisory group formed at the request of Congress assists the U.S. State Department’s Public Diplomacy efforts. He has served as an official U.S. observer to the Palestinian elections in 2005 and was President Bush’s representative at the funeral of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.
Mr. Salem serves on the Board of Directors of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). He is co-founder of the Arab American Institute (AAI) and currently serves as its chairman. He is a past president of the National Association of Arab-Americans. Since 1982 he has been the treasurer of United Palestinian Appeal, Inc.
Mr. Salem’s legal career spans three decades. Currently he heads the Law Offices of George R. Salem, PLLC. He is Strategic Advisor with DLA Piper US LLP assisting that firm in the Middle East and with U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) practices. From 1990-2004, Mr. Salem was a partner of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer Feld, LLP, heading the firm’s Middle East and U.S. DOL practices. During the course of his long career, Mr. Salem has negotiated some of the most significant settlements in the field of labor law. From 1985 to 1989, he served as the Solicitor of Labor in the U.S. DOL.
Mr. Salem received a B.A. in 1975 and a J.D. in 1977 from Emory University. He received a LL.M. in labor law in 1984 from the Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the Bars of Georgia, Florida and the District of Columbia. In 1992 Mr. Salem received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award presented annually to Americans of diverse origins for their singular contributions to their own ethnic group and to American society at large.
Living Stones Solidarity Award
This annual award was established to honor an institution that has made a sustained and extraordinary effort to love, support, and stand in solidarity with the Christians in the Holy Land. These institutions, through their acts of love and action, have demonstrated their determination to preserve the Living Stones in the land of Christianity’s birth.
Recipient: Bethlehem University
Open to students of all faith traditions, Bethlehem University is a Catholic co-educational institution in the Lasallian tradition whose mission is to provide quality higher education to the people of Palestine and to serve them in its role as a center for the advancement, sharing and use of knowledge. The University emphasizes excellence in academic programs and the development of students as committed people prepared to assume leading positions in society. Bethlehem University aspires to fostering shared values, moral principles and dedication to serving the common good.
With more that 12,000 graduates serving the people of the Holy Land as staff and volunteers with HCEF, the schools of the Latin Patriarchate, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Terra Santa, Rosary Sisters, and Lutherans, as well as in leadership positions with NGOs, government, and businesses in the region, Bethlehem University stands as beacon of hope by promoting justice, peace, and interreligious dialogue and understanding. The University is an oasis of peace and provider of quality higher education, annually serving more than 3,000 students in its bachelors and masters degree programs as well as another 1,500 persons in its professional diploma and continuing education programs and workshops.
The commitment of Bethlehem University to education and its significant role in promoting change for the betterment of the people of Palestine was exemplified recently by its active solidarity with and work for justice for Berlanty Azzam, a 2010 graduate of Bethlehem University from Gaza. On 28 October 2009, Berlanty was a student at Bethlehem University who needed six weeks of course work to complete her bachelor degree in business administration. The efforts of Bethlehem University on behalf of Berlanty and her right to education continue to have far reaching and significant impact in bringing greater awareness to the international community of the injustices many Palestinians face on a daily basis.
Likewise, the University’s welcoming of HCEF pilgrims who travel to the Holy Land on Living Stone Fact Finding pilgrimages, and in creating mission work for these pilgrims and visiting students, allows them to have first-hand experiences and opportunities to work hand in hand with Palestinians – and experience the hope and joy of the students and faculty of Bethlehem University. The 38 years of Bethlehem University’s work in the Holy Land complement the work of HCEF in supporting the Christians in the Holy Land.
As the first Palestinian university founded in the West Bank, through its leading role in providing quality higher education, Bethlehem University continues to create a positive and thriving environment for the betterment of all people in the Holy Land. HCEF is honored to recognize Bethlehem University with the Living Stones Solidarity Award as it is an institution that has made sustained and extraordinary effort to love, support, and stand in solidarity with the Christians in the Holy Land, demonstrating through its acts of love and action their determination to preserve the Living Stones in the land of Christianity’s birth.
Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation Award
This annual award is given to an individual who has dedicated his or her life to preserving the presence of Christians in the Holy Land. The award recipients have demonstrated courage, determination and action to advance the cause of justice, sustenance, and spiritual support for those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and live in the land where He was born, taught and rose again from the dead.
- Mr. Osama & Mrs. Rula Kishek, Kishek International, HCEF Advisory Board Member
Osama Kishek was born in Jerusalem emigrating to the U.S. in 1979. He is the founder of Kishek International, Inc., a leading wholesaler of fine jewelry. For many years he has been a member of the HCEF Advisory Board bringing his wise counsel and encouragement to the Foundation. He holds degrees in economics and business administration from UC-Irvine and UCLA. Rula was born in Amman, Jordan and was on the faculty of Rosary College in Amman before emigrating to the U.S. in 1993. Using her unique talents, she has produced highly regarded albums of Christmas carols, Easter music, hymns and many other religious songs whose sale has benefited HCEF. She holds degrees in theology and business.
HCEF President’s Award
This award is given annually to honor individuals/volunteers that have demonstrated their solidarity with the Christians of the Holy Land through acts of love and support on their behalf.
- Sister Anne Guinan, MHSH
- Sister Caritas Kennedy, RSM
Sister Anne Guinan, MHSH
Sr. Anne Guinan, MHSH, is Director of Mission Helper Productions, Inc., a full service, digital video production facility dedicated to the vision of a just and peaceful society. Sr. Anne spent about 25 years in Catholic parishes or diocesan offices teaching religion to children and adults as well as teaching religion methods to adults.
When video started to become a new media for education, she studied briefly at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, set up a video production studio for her Congregation, Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, and started producing programs for socially-concerned non-profit groups. As this progressed, she and Sr. Caritas also began to lead tours to the Holy Land, and soon produced a five-session Bible study course taped in Palestine, Israel, and Egypt.
Originally, driving all over the area was easy for an American. However, as time went on, the deterioration of living conditions, especially in the West Bank, became distressing. The Sisters began interviewing clergy of all denominations, people on the street as well as friends they had made. With these, they produced short videos to share with people in America. They discovered that many American Christians had no idea of the situation in the Holy Land. Each year the Sisters also taped speeches at HCEF so these excellent talks could be distributed to a broader audience.
After years of visiting and taping in the Holy Land, the sisters have now finished a documentary called Just to Live in Peace. By getting groups to watch this video, which has many links to socially-concerned groups, including HCEF, the sisters hope to not only educate, but also challenge the viewers to action. This might include visiting the Holy Land, meeting indigenous Christians, supporting schools, hospitals and businesses in the West Bank and Gaza or becoming involved in advocacy in this country.
Sister Caritas Kennedy, RSM
Since 1986, Sister M. Caritas Kennedy, RSM has worked at Mission Helper Productions, Inc., a full service nonprofit video production house dedicated to promoting Gospel values of justice and peace in society. Sister’s interest in the Holy Land began in 1982 when she co-sponsored, with Sr. Anne Guinan, MHSH, their first trip to the Middle East. While there, they decided to return some day to produce a video course on the Bible.
Their religious communities saw the potential for electronic education and supported the endeavor. To prepare, Sr. Anne spent a year of intensive study at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She then returned to the Mission Helper Motherhouse in Baltimore, created a small studio named Mission Helper Productions and began teaching other sisters how to produce and use video in their ministry. Sr. Caritas joined her in 1986 for an internship followed by full time employment as Associate Director of MHP. They did return to the Holy Land. Come Journey with Me, their biblical course shot on location, presents several themes from the First Testament. In 1999, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation invited the sisters to videotape the First International Conference and to exhibit and sell Holy Land video. Srs. Anne and Caritas have continued to travel to the Middle East leading tours and producing a documentary, JUST TO LIIVE IN PEACE: Christians of the Holy Land. Several HCEF conference speakers have also been taped on location and featured in the documentary.