Two new members have joined the Pal Craftaid Board.
Jenny Y. Kim of Oakland, CA, brings her experience as a mediator and as an attorney to the board; while the Rev. Madison VanVeelen brings a global perspective and a theological background to the work of Pal Craftaid.
Board President Carol Hylkema said, “The Board of Pal Craftaid is very pleased to welcome Jenny Y. Kim and Madison VanVeelen to the board. They bring an energy and enthusiasm for interpreting the stories of the artisans and artisan groups with whom we work, as well as the partner organizations to whom we send funds from our sales and special fund-raising efforts.
“Pal Craftaid has a very special mission in selling fairly traded Palestinian needlework and olive wood sculptures while interpreting the realities of life in Israel-Palestine. I look forward to working with them both.”
A lifetime Presbyterian, Jenny practices in the area of federal Indian and tribal law and also mediates regularly in several court-approved programs in the Alameda County Superior Court.
For the past four years, she has served on the Partnership Working Group of San Francisco Presbytery, working to help churches carry out their mission work and providing small grants to the peacemaking and hunger work of local congregations. She is a member of Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Oakland.
“I am interested in serving with Pal Craftaid because it is a non-profit organization which has successfully partnered with Palestinian artisans to help them earn a meaningful livelihood,” said Jenny. “And, in the process, the organization supports community-based economic development and self-determination.”
A graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, Jenny lived in Jerusalem for a semester abroad to study the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. After graduating law school in 1997, and before going into private practice, she worked as a public interest lawyer for a California non-profit serving California Indians and tribes.
Jenny was a delegate to the 2001 United Nations Conference on Racism in South Africa, representing the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. In 2004, she was recognized by the Coalition of the Minority Bar Associations and the Korean American Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area for outstanding service to the legal community.
The Rev. Madison VanVeelen is a graduate of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Madison said that she has “a deep and enduring interest in beauty, brokenness and the diversity of God’s world.”
Madison serves a church in Indianapolis, IN, where she lives with her husband, Eric, and their dog, Kiba. She grew up in Ocala, FL, and obtained her undergraduate degree from The Florida State University. She studied abroad in both Panama and China.
She described the most formative experiences in her life as those involving travel, service, or, a combination of the two. Madison was a Young Adult Volunteer – a service program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – in Kerala, India.
Madison also traveled to Palestine to help in the fall olive harvest. Having witnessed the injustice of the occupation firsthand, she believes that Pal Craftaid’s work is “vitally important as it contributes to the livelihood of Palestinian artisans and their families, as well as supporting the good work of schools and organizations caring for and equipping some of the most vulnerable in Palestinian society.”
Pal Craftaid currently has a nine-member board and has contributed more than $1 million dollars to Palestinian artisans and church organizations since its inception through product sales, the acquisition of grants and through the contributions of donors.