“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Conference Program



October 23-24, 2009

“Building Peace through Faith & Dialogue”
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” Matthew 5:9

The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
3900 Harewood Road, NE, Washington, DC
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Awards Banquet
Bethesda Marriott,
5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD
Friday, October 23, 2009

The HCEF conference will address faith and dialogue for peace and justice from a Christian perspective, as well as from the perspectives of Muslims and Jews. It will also continue to focus on the HCEF mission in support of the Christians of the Holy Land by strengthening bonds of solidarity between them and Christians elsewhere and by developing programs that provide spiritual, moral, and financial support to replace despair with hope, fear with security, and humiliation with human dignity.


8:00-8:30am Registration, Refreshments, Exhibits Open
8:30-9:10am Opening Prayer: Father George Rados, Pastor, Sts. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church
  Welcoming Remarks: Dr. Hugh Dempsey, COO,The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
  Introduction to the 11th International Conference
  Dr. Saliba Sarsar, Secretary, HCEF Board of Directors, HCEF Conference Co-chair
Professor of Political Science & Associate Vice President
Monmouth University, NJ
Hanna Hanania, D.D.S., HCEF Board of Director
  Opening Remarks:
Sir Rateb Y. Rabie, KCHS,
HCEF President/CEO
9:10 -10:20am Panel: “Is there Hope for the Two-State Solution?” Jewish and Arab Perspectives on Peace in the Holy Land – Hope is a foundational impulse in human affairs. It is a prerequisite for confronting and solving conflicts among peoples and nations. Without hope, the alternatives are bleak. In this spirit the panel will discuss current developments in Israel and Palestine.


Hussein Ibish, Ph.D. Senior Fellow, American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP)


James Zogby, Ph.D., President, Arab American Institute, (AAI) Washington, DC.

Paul L. Scham, J.D. , Visiting Assistant Professor , University of Maryland & Executive Director, Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies

10: 20 – 10:50am

The Mother Church Needs Us: The Importance of Supporting the Mother Church to Promote Christians’ Well-being and Peace in the Holy Land


Carolyn Gochenour, Co-chair, NPC Middle East Mission Network/Committee

  Speaker: Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes—Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA
10:50 – 11:00am Break  
11:00 – 12:15pm

Panel: “Religious Faith as a Path to Peace” – A basic tenet of all three Abrahamic faiths is that human life is sacred and that God is proactive, blessing the peacemakers. The panelists will focus on how faith in God can be more effective in resolving conflicts, healing divisions and banishing hate.



Father Dennis McManus, Assistant Director, JPIICC Intercultural Forum, Senior Consultant, USCCB, Washington, DC


Bishop Richard Graham, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Metropolitan Washington Synod

Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim Chaplain, Georgetown University

Mark Braverman, Ph.D., Executive Director, Holy Land Education and Peace Building Project

12:15 -1:00pm Lunch  
1:00 – 1:50pm

Keynote Speaker: His Eminence John Cardinal Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, (Vatican) will share with conference participants the challenging situation in which the Christians find themselves as they struggle to remain in the Holy Land, and how, like HCEF, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre is committed to maintaining a vibrant Christian presence in the Holy Land.

1:50 – 2:10pm

Visual Presentation: HCEF Preserving the Christian Presence and Building Human Security and Hope in the Holy Land

2:10 – 3:40pm

Concurrent Workshops on the Holy Land Issues

1. Human Security in the Holy Land: Health, Education, and Economic Well-being – This workshop will examine aspects of human security with a special focus on: (1) The Interfaith Health Initiative for the Holy Land as an important way to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of resources needed for ensuring a viable heath care system, (2) education and training for lifelong learning and capacity building, and (3) tourism for generating employment and income, in addition to promoting the rich cultural and religious heritage of the Holy Land.




Patty Parma, M.A., L.P.C., Member, HCEF Board of Directors Counselor / Associate Professor of Student Development
Palo Alto College


Robert A. Destro, Director, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion and Co-Chair of the Interfaith Cooperation Health Initiative for the Holy Land (IFHI).

Additional speakers will join us!


2. Media for Dialogue and Peace

Knowledge can be an instrument for either wholeness or exclusion. What we do to promote accuracy in reporting and empathy will bring us closer to “the other” and enable us to work together in support of a just vision, dialogue, and peace. This workshop will examine the role that the media plays in advancing accurate coverage and analysis of events in Palestine/Israel and shed light on our individual and collective responsibility in sharing information and knowledge about the Holy Land.


Saliba Sarsar, Secretary, Ph.D.,HCEF Board of Directors


Fr. Drew Christiansen, S.J., Ph.D., HCEF Co-Founder,

Advisory Board; Editor in Chief, America Magazine

Ronit Avni, Executive Director/Founder, Just Vision &

Director/Producer/Executive Producer, Encounter Point

Mohamed Elshinnawi, Voice of America, Washington, DC

3:40 – 4:00pm Break  
4:00 – 5:00pm

Three Women from Jerusalem – Christian, Muslim, Jewish- in Dialogue and Peace – Sponsored by Partners for Peace – Three women will share their personal and very poignant experiences. The panelists will shed light on the terrible continuing human toll of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Their perspective, as mothers, wives and daughters who have personally endured much tragedy and loss, is deeply moving.


Judith Mendelsohn Rood, Ph.D. Professor of History & Middle Eastern Studies, BIOLA University, La Mirada, CA.


Hekmat Besisso-Naji, A Muslim Palestinian, originally from Gaza, Palestine

Jala Basil Andoni, A Christian Palestinian, living in Beit Sahour, Palestine

Ruth El-Raz, A Jewish Woman, from Israel

5:00 pm Closing Remarks & Prayer:

Pastor Roy J. Enquist, Ph.D., Lutheran Theological.
Seminary at Gettysburg, HCEF Advisory Board Member; Chairman, HCEF Lutheran
Outreach Committee

*** Speakers and viewpoints expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, but are intended solely for the purpose of providing a forum for balanced dialogue.

2016-10-24T07:25:31+00:00 August 11th, 2009|Categories: Conference|