Hands of Peace, an international nonprofit organization that empowers American, Israeli and Palestinian youth to become agents of change, will host a benefit Sunday to close “20 Years Planting Peace” week.

The event, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Hilton San Diego/Del Mar, will raise funds for Hands of Peace programs in San Diego that bring together American, Israeli, and Palestinian youth for dialogue and leadership.  

“We are honoring 20 years of lives being changed by Hands of Peace,” said Scott Rasmussen, Hands of Peace executive director. “Thousands of alumni, volunteers, hosts and staff have experienced the transformative power of courageously engaging with people who are different and building a shared vision for justice and peace.”

Attendees will hear from American, Israeli and Palestinian alumni including Elias Hawila and Stav Arnon, both from the 2004 Summer Program. Elias, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, is a doctor specializing in family medicine in Tel Aviv.  Stav is a Jewish Israeli and a globally recognized activist committed to ending domestic violence against women.

Gretchen Grad, Hands of Peace founder, and hundreds of San Diego volunteers who opened their homes to these youth will also be honored at the benefit, according to organizers.

For more information or to register for the event, go to handsofpeacesandiegobenefit.org.