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RAMALLAH FRIENDS MEETING

Jean Zaru

Jean Zaru was born in Ramallah, Palestine in 1940, eight years before the Palestinian diaspora. Her life has been devoted to dialogue and non-violent social change.

As a Palestinian woman living under military occupation and at the same time finding herself in a traditional culture, her life has been nothing less than an active engagement in the struggle for liberation for Palestinians, for women, and for all peoples. She has done this through work in her own community, as well as regionally and internationally.

Jean is the presiding clerk of the Ramallah Friends Meeting in Palestine. Jean is a memeber of the international steering committee to restore the historic Meetinghouse and establish an International Friends Center with the aim of contributing to the building of a culture of peace and nonviolence in Palestine.

In addition, Jean serves as a consultant and resource person for many faith-based organizations, including church related development agencies. She has been the keynote speaker at numerous conferences around the world and her papers have been published in many books and journals. She continues to struggle for human rights and women's rights and continues her work in interfaith dialogue with other persons of faith.

1973-1986 Teacher, Religion and Ethics at the Ramallah Friends Schools.
1975-1983 Member, Central Committee of the World Council of Churches
1976-1991 Board member, YWCA Jerusalem & YWCA of Jordan
1981-1991 Member, Working Group on Interfaith Dialogue of the World Council of Churches
1982-1991 President, YWCA Jerusalem
1983-1991 Vice President, World YWCA
1984-1992 International Council Member, World Conference for Religion and Peace
1992 Visiting Scholar, Hartford Seminary, Connecticut, USA
1973-1986 Board member, YWCA of Palestine
1993 Dorothy Cadbury Fellow, Selly Oaks College, United Kingdom
1993-present Founding Member & Vice Chairperson, Sabeel Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
1998-2004 Member, Arab Christian Muslim Dialogue Group of the Middle East Council of Churches
2002-present Member, Local Reference Group for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel of the World Council of Churches
2002- present Member, International Quaker Working Party on Israel & Palestine
2003 Participant, Harvard University Pluralism Project on Women, Religion and Social Change
2003-present Member, International Committee for the restoration of the Ramallah Friends Meetinghouse & the creation of the Friends International Center in Ramallah (FICR), dedicated to building a culture of peace and nonviolence
2005-present Lecturer, Swedish Theological Institute of Jerusalem

Awards/Special Recognition

Hartford Seminary Fellowship - Visiting Scholar, 1992
Hartford Seminary, Conneticut, USA

Dorothy Cadbury Fellowship for Peace and Justice, 1993.
Selly Oaks Colleges, Birmingham, England

“For the Healing of the Nations” Reconciliation Award,
July 1997 Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) & The United Church of Christ in the United States and Canada

Zaru-Mikhail Fellowship,
launched March 2001 in Ramallah, Palestine Established by American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, USA

The Non-violence Award, 2005
Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation

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