Group Educational Resources for High Schoolers, Young Adults & Adults

Understanding more about the history and current living conditions of Palestinians and Israelis and the work being done for peace is essential for Christians seeking to engage in acts of justice and mercy that affect people in the region.

Churches for Middle East Peace is pleased to provide this annotated bibliography of group educational resources related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If you have additional resources to suggest for inclusion in this listing please send a bibliography entry similar to the ones below. Any corrections to the listings below would be greatly appreciated and may be sent to info(at)cmep.org.

Budrus (video and print)
Bacha, Julia, dir. Budrus. Writ. Julia Bacha. Just Vision, 2009. DVD. http://www.justvision.org/budrus/. (run time 78 minutes)
Budrus is a 2009 Israeli/Palestinian/American documentary film written and directed by Julia Bacha, and produced by Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha. The film is about non-violent demonstrations conducted by the residents of Budrus (a Palestinian town in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate) during the early 2000s to protest against the building of the Israeli West Bank barrier inside of the village. (Suitable for all age groups.)

Discussion Guides:

Catholic Campaign for Peace in the Holy Land has excellent prayer and study resources. As the site says, "We launch this Catholic Campaign for Peace in the Middle East  for at least three reasons:

  • Our faith demands it.
  • Our Church’s leaders call  us to it.
  • Our Church is well situated to build bridges."

Children of the Nakba (Mennonite Central Committee) (video) Zietsman, Coetzee, dir. Children of the Nakba. Prod. Mark Beach. Mennonite Central Committee, 2005. DVD. https://resources.mcc.org/content/children-nakba-dvd. (total run time 26 minutes)
Today Palestinians represent one-third of the global refugee and internally displaced population. Learn about the Palestinians, who call these events the Nakba, an Arabic word meaning catastrophe. Both Palestinians and Israelis are children of the Nakba, heirs to a story of dispossession. Building a shared future of justice, equality, and reconciliation for both peoples will mean grappling with this story. DVD is in six chapters and comes with a study guide. (Suitable for all age groups.)

The Cradle of Our Faith (Presbyterian Church, USA) (print)
Martin, Sarah, Tim Martin, and Martha Reese. The Cradle of Our Faith: The enduring witness of the Christians of the Middle East. 1st ed. Kentucky: General Assembly Council, 2009. Print. http://store.pcusa.org/Communications?search=cradle+of+our+faith.
Learn about the modern-day Christian communities of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, and Egypt. Understand their distinctive theological roots, liturgical traditions, and relationship to the prevailing Muslim-majority culture. Trace the troubled historical relationship between the Eastern and Western Church. This 267 beautifully illustrated, 20-page full-color keepsake booklet features photography, maps, statistics, and fascinating facts. (Suitable for all age groups.)

The Cradle of Our Faith (Christian Reformed Church) (video)
Christian Reformed Church, 2009. DVD. (run time 27:24 minutes) http://www.crcna.org/pages/osj_cradle.cfm.
This DVD gives a historical and present-day overview of Christianity in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, and Egypt. DVD can be viewed as one video or by country. To request a free copy, contact osjha(at)crcna.org. To preview, watch the introduction online visit http://www.crcna.org/pages/osj_cradledvd.cfm. (Suitable for all age groups.)

Encounter Point (video and print)
Avni, Ronit, dir. Encounter Point. Prod. Ronit Avni, Joline Makhlouf, and Nahanni Rous. Just Vision, 2006. DVD. http://www.justvision.org/encounterpoint/. (run time 85 minutes)
Encounter Point is an award-winning film directed by Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha. It depicts different families that have been affected by the violence in Israel between Israelis and Palestinians. In this film, Just Vision, a non-profit organization, follows these families for 16 months. It begins this journey by documenting the ongoing troubles between the Israelis and Palestinians. (Suitable for all adults.)

Discussion Guide:

Home Front (video and print)
Wingert-Jabi, Rebekah, dir/ed. Prod. Julia BNacha, Ronit Avni, Jessica Devaney. Just Vision 2012. DVD. http://www.justvision.org/homefront (total run time 32 minutes)
Just Vision presents Home Front Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah. Home Front is a new series of four video portraits chronicling the resolve of a neighborhood, and the support it receives from the most unexpected of places. (Suitable for all age groups.)
Home Front: Mohammed El Kurd (run time 8:50 minutes)263
A Palestinian teenager whose family is forced to give up part of their home and live under the same roof as a family of settlers. He comes of age in the face of unrelenting tension with his neighbors and unexpected cooperation with Israeli allies in his backyard. (Good for High Schoolers)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4YQszhJ3acs
Home Front: Terry Benninga (run time 8:09 minutes)
An American-born Israeli mother who to her own surprise becomes involved in the demonstrations after her children are arrested for protesting. (Suitable for all age groups.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yQPqGGsmH0A
Home Front: Amal Qassem (run time 7:55 minutes)
A Palestinian community organizer from Sheikh Jarrah who spearheads the involvement of local women in the movement while facing the risk of losing her own home to the settlers. (Suitable for all age groups.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=l2u5MwVNPHo
Home Front: Gil Gutglick (run time 7:19 minutes)
A former Israeli soldier from a religious background who only several years after his combat service in the West Bank finds himself taking on a leading role in the protests. (Suitable for all age groups.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4K8UB18Tu4o

Discussion questions:

Israel–Palestine: A Mission Study for 2007-2008 (The United Methodist Church) (print)
Goldstein, Stephen, and Sandra Olewine. Israel-Palestine: A Mission Study for 2007-2008. 1st ed. Women's Division, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 2007. Print. http://www.amazon.com/Israel-Palestine-Mission-Study-2007-2008-Guide/dp/1933663138.
Much of the 223-page mission study focuses on the political history of the region, accompanied by a “personal history” commentary by the author, the Rev. Stephen Goldstein, a Board of Global Ministries executive. Included is a study guide with personal stories of Israelis and Palestinians, study questions and worship materials, written by the Rev. Sandra Olewine, a board missionary. The four 2-hour adult education sessions may be done as a series or used independently. (Suitable for all adults.)

Israel/Palestine: Is There a Samaritan on the Road?  (print)
Getman, Karen, Tom Getman, and Peter Hawley. Israel/Palestine: Is There a Samaritan on the Road? St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC, 2012. Print. http://www.stmarks.net/get-involved/mid-east-working-group/israel-palestine-course/
This booklet describes a four-session course offered at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C., November-December, 2010. It has been published as an aid to parishes developing their own courses on the subject. The manual and all its appendices can be found on the St. Mark’s web site. For its encouragement of this project, the authors wish to thank the Companion Diocese Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

“Just Live in Peace…” Christians of the Holy land (Catholic) (video)
Mission Helper Productions Inc., prod. Just to Live in Peace, Christians of the Holy Land. Mission Helper Productions, Inc., 2010. DVD. (run time 41:38 minutes) http://www.missionhelperproductions.com/justtoliveinpeace/justtoliveinpeace.html|
This is the story of today’s indigenous Christian people. They take pride in their Arab identity and Christian heritage. Their forebears, for centuries lived in the land where Jesus was born, lived, died, rose and proclaimed his message. Feel their amazing hope and commitment to God in their daily struggle to live, forgive and be reconciled under the strain of military occupation. Can they preserve, or will the land of Jesus ultimately be without his followers? Peace can achieved if all parties involved are heard and respected. Only then can a resolution be reached. DVD includes instruction on a conducting a two-part study. (Suitable for all age groups.)

My Neighbourhood (video and print)
Bacha, Julia and Rebekah Wingert-Jabi directors and producers. Just Vision, 2011. DVD. http://www.justvision.org/myneighbourhood. (run time 25 minutes)
My Neighbourhood follows Mohammed El Kurd as he comes of age in the midst of unrelenting tension and remarkable cooperation in his backyard. Highlighting Mohammed’s own reactions to the highly volatile situation, reflections from family members and other evicted residents, accounts of Israeli protesters and interviews with Israeli settlers, the film chronicles the resolve of a neighbourhood and the support it receives from the most unexpected of places.
Discussion Guide:
    http://www.justvision.org/homefront/discussion-guide

Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace
(Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.) (print and video)
Bjorkman, Len, Mark Braverman, Pauline Coffman, et al. Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace. 1st ed. Israel/Palestine Mission Network, 2009. Print.
http://www.israelpalestinemissionnetwork.org/main/component/content/article/5/3-steadfast-hope (DVD run time minutes 120 minutes)
This resource, which includes a DVD inside back cover, is a project of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, developed to help Presbyterians understand the "’facts on the ground’ so that as a Church we may embrace our calling as followers of the Prince of Peace in the land of His birth, the land we call holy.” The DVD is in nine segments and a streaming version is available online at: http://www.israelpalestinemissionnetwork.org/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=184.

Steadfast Hope offers an inspiring view of the activities currently being undertaken by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian peacemakers working for justice and reconciliation. It also gives helpful guidance on how your congregation can contribute to the cause of just peace for the people who share the Holy Land. This resource, which includes a DVD inside back cover, is based on the 2011 Presbyterian publication and tailored for use with Episcopal congregations yet is also useful for people of other traditions.

Working for Justice & Peace in Israel and Palestine (PDF)506

The United Methodist General Boards of Church & Society (GBCS) and Global Ministries (GBGM) have updated “Working for a Just & Lasting Peace in Israel and Palestine,” a 36-page resource designed to answer questions about the Middle East conflict and promote actions to seek resolution. This advocacy packet answers questions about the conflict and provides specific actions congregations and individual can take to help bring an end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. “As citizens and taxpayers, we have a role in the cycle of violence and, as such, a responsibility to speak out about injustice.”

This list was compiled by Mataiasi Ahokava and Doris E. Warrell.