Church, IOCC Leaders Discuss Needs in Holy Land

Englewood, N.J. (November 21, 2002) — The spiritual leader of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese expressed his continuing support for the humanitarian response by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to the human suffering in the Holy Land.

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip welcomed Nora Kort, head of IOCC’s office in Jerusalem, to the Archdiocesan headquarters on Sunday, Nov. 17, the last day of her seven-day speaking tour across the United States.

“Nora brings with her the suffering of the Palestinian people, and we share in their suffering,” Metropolitan Philip said. “When we see innocent children being killed, our hearts are shattered. When olive trees are uprooted, we are uprooted.”

Ms. Kort, a native of Jerusalem, directs IOCC’s humanitarian initiatives in the Holy Land, including a $2.6 million rural development project in the West Bank. From Nov. 10-17, she visited Orthodox parishes in the United States to raise awareness and support for IOCC’s work in the Holy Land.

Her audience with Metropolitan Philip capped a series of stops in Los Angeles, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Westfield, N.J.

Ms. Kort spoke with Metropolitan Philip about IOCC’s efforts since 1997 to alleviate suffering and create opportunity for Palestinians living in rural, isolated areas in the West Bank. She was accompanied by IOCC Board Member Anne Glynn Mackoul and former IOCC Board Chairman Charles R. Ajalat, as well as IOCC Executive Director Constantine M. Triantafilou.

“I am pleased to hear of the impact that we are having in Jerusalem,” His Eminence said. “I would like to see IOCC doing more and being more visible.” Metropolitan Philip called on all Orthodox Christians to get behind IOCC and its work in the Holy Land. And he said the Archdiocese’s Children’s Relief Fund, a program to help children in Lebanon, should expand its reach into the West Bank.

“The needs here are not ordinary because the situation is man-made,” Ms. Kort said. “As Orthodox Christians, we are called to serve the vulnerable, the needy, and show them our solidarity – spiritually, financially, and humanitarian.”

Metropolitan Philip also praised Ms. Kort and other IOCC staff members who “put their lives on the line” every day to serve others. He likened the work of IOCC to the actions of the Good Samaritan, an outsider who offered life-saving assistance to someone in need.

Before returning to Jerusalem, Ms. Kort thanked the parishes and communities that hosted her talks, including St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Van Nuys, Calif.; St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Livonia, Mich.; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, N.J.; Sts. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Potomac, Md.; and the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore, Md.

For more information about IOCC’s humanitarian work in the Holy Land and elsewhere, please visit or call toll-free 1-877-803-IOCC (4622).