This month we are sharing examples of how you, the Pro/Pro/Pro network, are writing a New Stories for a New Day. A new day in which we stand together for justice, freedom and dignity for all, at home and around the world, including for all Palestinians and Israelis.
This week, we are sharing the stories of Jen Bellini, Lynn Dugan, and Lisa Jernigan.
We need your help to build these New Stories: to grow the Pro/Pro/Pro movement and to amplify the stories already being told. Will you pitch in $100, $1000, or $2500 today? Or commit to $10, $50, or $250 a month? Donate today.
For more on what your donation will support at Telos over the next six months, click here.
Jen Bellini: Cultivated Community
I was fortunate to go on a Telos trip to Israel and the West Bank in early 2018 with a small group of philanthropic and warmhearted women from the Chicago area. The Cultivated Community was born from our visit to the Arous Elbahar women’s center in Jaffa, that captivating and diverse neighborhood in Tel Aviv.
I’m passionate about Arous Elbahar’s programs for the women of Jaffa and wholeheartedly want to support the center. I worked with Jessica Green, a woman of action from my group, to raise money for the center to add a staff position. We hoped our group’s donation could be used as a base for additional grants and donations.
I ultimately decided to create the Cultivated Community to sell products made by Arous Elbahar’s clients as well as other artisans in Israel and the West Bank. It’s a long game designed to help the women earn income by introducing their products to more markets. I’m a former corporate attorney for a company that was ranked in the top 5 of Fortune’s 500 and a believer that business can be a force for good. People want to be paid fairly for their time and products and are justifiably proud when they earn an income from their work.
I currently import dolls and hand-painted tote bags from Arous Elbahar clients, olive oils and spices from Sindyanna, and embroidered products from the Bedouin women of Al Bustan. I also offer a variety of other products from around the world, all ethically sourced.
The Cultivated Community allows me to combine my passions for cultural and religious exchange into a business that strives to benefit everyone involved.
Thank you, Telos, for introducing me to the inspiring women at Arous Elbahar. It was the seed for the Cultivated Community.
Be sure to visit cultivatedcommunity.com and use the code TELOS15% to get a discount off your purchase!
Lynn Dugan: MyPlate2Yours
Lynn is a Chef and Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist who authors a blog on her website www.myplate2yours.com and teaches cooking classes. She just published her first book, Not Your Mama’s Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Get Yours Started.
The experience in the holy land with Telos was rich on every angle: spiritually, culturally, socially, politically, historically. When I returned, I was compelled to share the stories of the people and places, the hope and the conflict. Food is a common denominator for people. I paired the stories I wanted to tell with recipes that reflect them. It was through my website and social media I published a series called “Taste of the Holy Land”. They can be found here:
I returned from the Telos trip this year with a collection of spices from a spice shop in Nazareth and I continue to develop dishes that reflect the tastes of the holy land. Here are some of my featured recipes:
- Sunny Day Fennel and Persimmon Salad
- Spinach Soup with Chickpeas
- Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Dip
And be sure to check out Lynn’s website myplate2yours.com for more recipes!
Lisa is the co-founder of Amplify Peace, a local and global movement.
Creating a Better Story Together . . .
I was stuck. It was a time of personal reflection, transition and rediscovery as I was entering a new chapter in my life. It was during this time that the unexpected happened – an invitation to step into a new narrative and experience a new world that I had no idea existed or that would change my life forever.
I was invited to the National Prayer Breakfast and spent the week primarily listening and learning to amazing people from the Middle East. My world was rocked on many levels as I was discovering that we had more in common than I imagined or was taught. It was compelling and I was challenged to dive deeper into understanding other cultures and other narratives. My work in understanding and living as a peacemaker (which is the heart of Jesus) was just beginning. A couple of years later I was introduced to Telos, Telos trips, Todd and Greg and significant partnerships with our church, Central Christian AZ and Amplify Peace were formed. As a result, we have taken several hundred people to Israel/Palestine and most recently, the southern states in the US with Telos.
“Now that I have seen I am responsible.”
After a few trips to the Middle East, it was clear to me, I had a new responsibility and the option of looking the other way no longer existed. My friend Sami, a peace maker from Bethlehem, spoke profound words into my life when he said, “You can’t come over here and fix this, it is not yours to fix. But, you can help change perceptions and opinions which influence policies back home and have a dramatic effect on us.” Since it’s official launch over two years ago, Amplify Peace, a local and global movement informing and guiding people to live as peacemakers, has traveled the world, and spent numerous hours listening and amplifying voices otherwise marginalized and silenced, especially the voices of women. As we (Danielle Strickland and our team) provide tools and trainings, immersive encounters locally and globally, we are seeing individual and community transformation beginning to happen.
We are tired of the same stories of fear, hatred, division, and injustice being repeated over and over. We are tired of hearing about all that is wrong without telling about the goodness of people, the truth about the injustice and the propelling of fear without the hope. If there was ever a time for peace it is now. We have hope. You can make a difference in the world. One person, one conversation, one story at a time. Together, we can create a better story for generations to come.
Be sure to check out amplifypeace.com to learn more about Lisa’s work and opportunities to engage with Amplify!