In 1988, at the time of the first Intifada, the Rt. Rev. Peter Lee, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and the Rt. Rev. Samir Kafity, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem saw the need for a safe, secure channel to allow Americans to support schools, hospitals, and centers for children with disabilities in the Holy Land. American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem was born.
In 2005, a merger with Evangelical Homes for Children created a stronger but still volunteer-led organization. In 2008, the AFEDJ board hired its first professional staff which allowed AFEDJ to increase its reach and build awareness of the humanitarian needs faced by Palestinians and other vulnerable and displaced people in East Jerusalem, Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.
Thirty years later our partnership with the Diocese of Jerusalem’s bishop, the Most Rev. Suheil Dawani, members of diocesan staff, and leaders at humanitarian institutions across four countries remains strong as we deepen relationships and reach more committed, generous, compassionate supporters across the United States.