Speakers: Reclaiming Our Voices

Kyle Cristofalo

Kyle holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Messiah College, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Kyle was first introduced to Middle East advocacy work during a semester abroad in Cairo, Egypt. After graduating from college, Kyle spent 10 months serving with the Mennonite Central Committee in Bethlehem, Palestine, where he was seconded to work with Bethlehem Bible College. Most recently, Kyle served as the Program Assistant for Middle East Policy at the Friends Committee on Legislation where he helped coordinate lobbying work on Middle East policy and trained grassroots advocates on how to lobby their Congressional representatives.

Sara Burback

Sara Burback served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan as an English teacher. Her experience there led her to the University of Denver's Korbel School of International Studies, where she earned her MA in International Human Rights and served as an intern in World Vision's Advocacy office, where she focused on addressing advocacy work within the faith-based community regarding Israel and Palestine. She recently worked as a Program Coordinator at the United States Energy Association in Washington, DC, creating workshops and exchanges addressing capacity-building and energy access needs in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. She's served as a volunteer with CMEP for the And Still We Rise Summit, is a regular contributor to the online periodical Shared Justice, and participates annually in Bethlehem's Right to Movement marathon in defense of the basic human right to movement.

Bshara Nassar
Founder and Director, Museum of the Palestinian People

Mr. Nassar earned his undergraduate degree from Bethlehem University (Palestine) in Information Systems and Business Administration in 2010.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA) in 2014.  As the fourth generation of the Nassar family, Mr. Nassar was deeply involved in his family’s educational farm, Tent of Nations, in Palestine, including education, communication and social media.  In 2014, he founded the Nakba Museum Project, where he developed the concept, worked with artists, prepared artwork and exhibits, negotiated exhibit space, coordinated the setup of the exhibits in locations across the country, and raised funds.

He has played an integral role in educating international visitors about Palestinian rights and livelihoods. He has spoken publicly on these topics in diverse forums, including the French Embassy, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a number of churches and universities around the country.  Mr. Nassar developed the concept for the Museum of The Palestinian People while working with artists and other contributors on the Nakba Museum Project. He is deeply passionate about peace building.  Mr. Nassar is “a people person” who enjoys biking in Washington DC and meeting people from all over the world.
Hannah Fajer
J-Street University Southeast Regional Co-Chair

Hannah Fajer is a junior at Johns Hopkins majoring in Political Science and Psychology, and minoring in Jewish Studies.  She has been involved with J Street U since her freshman year, and she currently serves as a regional co-chair for the Southeast region.  Since joining J Street U, Hannah has led organizing trainings at regional and national workshops, and done programs in the Baltimore Jewish community.  While Hannah is originally from Littleton, Colorado, she loves everything about the east coast except for the humidity.

Jessica Hill
Returned Ecumenical Accompanier

Jessica Hill earned her B.A in History and Archaeology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland where she was first introduced to the Holy Land after participating in an archaeological excavation in the region during 2014. After learning the complexities of the conflict, she was motivated to seek justice and peace. Since then, Jessica has interned with CMEP, writes for the Prayers for Peace blog and serves as a regional coordinator for Southern Maryland/Eastern Shore. Following her time with CMEP, she went on to serve as an international observer in Palestine and Israel. Inspired by her faith as an observant Jew, she is passionate about faith-based dialogue, transitional justice and reconciliation. In her free time, she’s learning Hebrew, hiking in the mountains and finding the perfect cup of coffee. 

Micah Hendler
Founder and Director, Jerusalem Youth Chorus

Micah Hendler is a musical changemaker bringing Israeli and Palestinian youth together
in the Jerusalem Youth Chorus (as featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert) to
create a powerful singing community based on equality, respect, mutual understanding,
and love.  Their message has inspired millions from the NY Times to their viral music
video, "Home," with YouTube superstar Sam Tsui, and their influence is growing to help
change the discourse about the kind of place Jerusalem could be.

Micah was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Music in 2017 for his
groundbreaking work in musical conflict transformation. He is a Yale graduate, a
Whiffenpoof, a 2015-2016 Seeds of Peace GATHER Fellow, and 2015-2017 President of
the AMENDS Global Fellows. He has presented his work at a number of conferences,
including sharing the keynote presentation of the East-West Philosophers’ Conference
with prominent Palestinian intellectual Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, as they explored together how
sound can be used as a tool to create shared spaces in Jerusalem.

Teresa Casale
Policy Advocate, International Center for Research on Women
Teresa Casale is a Policy Advocate at the International Center for Research on Women, where she leads the organization’s advocacy portfolio on issues related to women, peace and security and women’s economic empowerment. She serves as the Vice Chair of the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and manages the Coalition for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Equality.

Teresa’s nine years of experience advocating to the U.S government has also focused on international family planning and reproductive health, humanitarian assistance, conflict mitigation and management, resilience, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and refugee resettlement.

Previously, Teresa served as Policy and Congressional Relations Officer for Global Communities, where she created and led the organization’s advocacy function and served as the chair of InterAction's West Bank/Gaza Working Group. She also has program implementation experience and has supported HQ-based field operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kosovo and the Republic of Georgia. Teresa holds a B.A. in Political Science from Vanguard University and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego. She has written for Foreign Policy Magazine, Ms. Magazine, and The Hill. 

Nadia Hararah
Speaker, Hikayatna: Palestinian Narrative Training

Nadia Hararah was born in San Mateo, California to a Palestinian father and a Irish-Polish American mother. She received a dual BA in Political Science and International Studies from Cal State East Bay University. After graduation Nadia found herself working in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology space as an Account Manager. Her passion for justice in Palestine and serving her community remained strong. She became active in Palestinian human rights work and organized the San Francisco Hiakaytna workshop which is designed to teach Palestinians how to collect, organize and share their family stories. She continues to grow Hikayatna which is now considered the leading Palestinians Narrative Training effort in the United States.