2nd Annual Benefit Cocktail Party: Celebrating 5 Years of Programming

Alaa and Liat

Alaa and Liat

Over 80 members of the OB Peacebuilding community and honored guests, Liat Hadad and Alaa Hamdan, gathered at The New York Times Building for OB Peacebuilding’s 2nd Annual Benefit Cocktail Party. Executive Director Ana Patel and Founder Elizabeth Anglin Knox both delivered remarks about OB Peacebuilding’s programs and methodology. The evening was filled with lively conversation and delicious food and drink.

Liat and Alaa, two alumni of the Palestinian-Israeli Leaders Program, spoke about their background and experiences on the program. “…in the Emerging Leaders Program, we met for the first time met in the wilderness, in the middle of nowhere, away from cities and with no access to digital communication with the outside world… This was a real “Survivor” but with all winners and not just one. It was a powerful and uneasy experience where the interest and survival of the group becomes main priority and you build trust with others regardless of their background. This situation allowed us to “undress” from our national/ ethnic identities and, then, dressed us with the new identity of our joint group,” Alaa told the audience.

A big thanks to all those supported the 2nd Annual Benefit Party Party and to the efforts and hard work of the Host Committee, including Frances Ashley, Daniel Herz, Elizabeth Anglin Knox, Jay Kranis, Chien Lee, Vivian Lee, Luke O’Neill, Julia Pershan, and Pamela Takiff. OB Peacebuilding raised enough money to support 4 women on the year-long Palestinian-Israeli Emerging Leaders Program this year!

Liat Hadad, a Jewish Israeli, is an alum of the 2011 Palestinian – Israeli Emerging Business Leaders cadre. Liat was the Budget and Control Manager at the Strauss Group HQ, Israel’s second-largest food & beverage company. Liat has a first degree in Economic & Management and Master’s degree in Business Administration from Ben Gurion University. Liat had never met a Palestinian before she joined the OBCP program. A year after she participated in the program, an article about Liat was published on the Strauss website in celebration of International Women’s Day, which you can read by clicking here

Aladin Hamdan, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, is an alum of the 2009 Palestinian – Israeli Young Social Entrepreneurs cadre. In his professional capacity, Aladin is the head of the research department at the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel. He received his BA Degree in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology from Haifa University and his Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University in the USA through a Fulbright grant. Aladin lives in his hometown the city of Acre (Akka/Akko).