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Andover Newton Announces 3rd Named CIRCLE Fellowship

Andover Newton Theological School has secured funding to endow in perpetuity the third of 12 CIRCLE student fellowships, part of a bold new fundraising effort to fully endow the interreligious fellowship program run in partnership with neighboring Hebrew College.

The Rev. Dr. Katherine Kallis, MDiv ’82, has donated $40,000 to endow a fellowship in the name of her “Palestinian daughter,” Dr. Amal Jadou, through the Center for Inter-Religious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE), a joint center operated by Andover Newton and Hebrew College. The CIRCLE fellowship program brings together Christian, Jewish, and Unitarian Universalist seminarians with Muslim community fellows to work in pairs on inter-religious initiatives of their own design while participating as a cohort in a yearlong inter-religious leadership program.

Dr. Jadou was born and raised in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. She now serves as Assistant Minister on European Affairs and is Head of the European Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Previously, she served as the deputy chief of mission for the Palestinian government in Washington, D.C., thus earning the title, “Ambassador Jadou,” and as the Director-General of International Affairs for the Office of the President of Palestine. Her life-work to date has been a living example of the vital importance of dialogue and engagement in a world where failing to do so is quite literally a matter of life and death.

The Amal Jadou Fellowship Endowment seeks to enable students who wish to develop the skills for authentic, successful interfaith engagement as part of their leadership training to become fellows in the CIRCLE program and offer similar moral courage in the face of society’s prejudices. The first distribution of grants is expected to occur in the 2017-18 academic year.

Dr. Jadou received her BA from Bethlehem University and her MA from Birzeit University before coming to the States in 2001. The Rev. Dr. Kallis met Amal while she was pursuing her PhD at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University. Amal followed her work at Tufts by being selected for a graduate fellowship in the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School.

Dr. Kallis had the opportunity to visit the West Bank with Dr. Jadou and saw for herself the dire circumstances of the majority of the Palestinian people and the courage and intelligence of dedicated Palestinian leaders such as Amal. The fact that, as a woman, Amal has been able to achieve so much stature and recognition in a culture that remains highly patriarchal is a further testament to her prodigious talent and diplomatic ability. Kate is herself deeply committed to interreligious engagement as a critical means of peace making in the world and views making and naming this endowment in the name of this impressive young leader to be a statement of her own commitment to peace and justice.

Funding from a Henry R. Luce Foundation grant currently supports 12 CIRCLE fellows each year. Endowing the student fellowships is an important step toward self-sufficiency, said CIRCLE co-founder and co-director Jennifer Howe Peace, assistant professor of interfaith studies at Andover Newton.

"Having seen the success and value of the fellowship program, we wanted to make it sustainable rather than dependent on grant funding," Peace said. The first fully endowed CIRCLE fellowship was announced in fall 2014 and bears the name of Peace’s mother-in-law, late Andover Newton alumna Edie Howe. The second was announced in the winter of 2014 and is named for the late Rev. Edward R. and Ruth E. Sherblom, parents of Andover Newton Board Chair the Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom.

Anyone interested in helping endow other CIRCLE fellowships may contact the following parties:

The CIRCLE leadership hopes to raise funds from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Unitarian Universalist donors so the funding of the fellowships will reflect the diversity of the program, Peace said. And once the 12 fellowships are endowed, CIRCLE would like to explore means for permanently endowing inter-religious faculty as well.

CIRCLE launched in 2008 with support from a Luce grant. The mandate of that grant was to institutionalize an ethos of interfaith understanding at Hebrew College and Andover Newton, Peace said. "This new fundraising initiative to endow all 12 fellowships follows from that mandate.”

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