Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Palestinian Fair Trade Olive Oil — For Sale at COS

The last three Sundays in October, Jane and Gail will have a bottle of Palestinian Fair Trade Olive Oil available for taste testing at coffee hour. They will take orders and deliver the olive oil at the Harvest Luncheon on November 18th.  They will also have items carved by Palestinians from olive wood.  Money collected from these sales will be sent to the Episcopal Diocese in Jerusalem.  Both of these items would be excellent Christmas gifts or for hostess gifts during the holidays.

Why are they doing this??? In Jane’s words:

When Gail and I went to Palestine, we saw first hand how incredibly important olive groves are to Palestinians on so many different levels.  At the Mount of Olives, we saw olive trees that were hundreds of years old and some may even have been alive when Jesus was there!  Olive groves are passed down from one generation to another and are nurtured and tended by the whole family.  We were there during the harvest, and it was amazing to see how labor intensive it is.  Whole families, even young children, villagers and volunteers from around the world come together to harvest the olives. We saw olives being pressed in a local business owned by the farmers. We even got to taste it before it was put into containers.  Every family that we visited had a 5 gallon jug of olive oil in the kitchen because it is used in everything and is a vital source of nutrition.  And products from the olive groves are one of the very few ways that Palestinians can make money to support their families.

On the dark side, we saw firsthand what the Israeli government is doing to intimidate the Palestinians and to destroy their olive groves.  In the West Bank, the Israeli government has built the Wall in a zigzag pattern miles away from the internationally recognized boundary.  They have cut down olive trees that were more than a mile away from the Wall so they could have an “unobstructed view” of anyone who might try to sneak over the 20 foot high Wall that is topped by razor wire and guarded by soldiers.  In some cases, the Israeli government intentionally built the Wall between the villagers and their groves so that the farmers could not nurture and harvest their own groves.

So . . . come taste the olive oil and see the wood carvings and think about ordering these as gifts for the holidays!


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