Our founder, Reverend David Good, sadly passed away during the morning of April 2nd, 2024, after a long struggle with complications from leukemia. 

David’s legacy is immeasurable, and his loss will be felt deeply in corners all around the world. He was a wonderful friend, mentor, minister, visionary, peacemaker, and so much more. His ministry for decades at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme touched the lives of countless congregants. His work for social and political justice spanned many countries, decades, partnerships, religions, and causes. 

A celebration of David Good’s life was held on Sunday, April 21 at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. The service may be viewed on the church You Tube channel, here.

Rev. David W. Good Obituary 

The David W. Good Memorial Scholarship 

One of David’s greatest contributions emerged in the days and months following the 9/11 attacks. Almost immediately, he reached out to the Muslim community and the Jewish Federation of Southeastern Connecticut, doing whatever he could to counter the fear and paranoia generated by that event, while also helping everyone within his orbit to both appreciate and celebrate the vast wisdom of the three Abrahamic faith traditions. An interfaith journey to the Holy Land with Christian, Muslim and Jewish participants soon followed. 

That first trip led to the formation of the Tree of Life ministry, dedicated to the pursuit of human rights in Palestine and in Israel. 

For more than twenty years, groups of travelers have journeyed together with the Tree of Life to the Middle East to learn about the profound human rights challenges facing the Palestinian people. David always ensured that the cost of the journey was not a barrier for young people to participate by offering scholarships. The Tree of Life has also historically raised funds to provide scholarships for young Palestinian students so they are able to attend university in Palestine, shaping the next generation of Palestinian leaders.

The David W. Good Memorial Scholarship will carry on David’s prioritization of young people, by ensuring that they’re able to afford the journey to the Holy Land, and so that young Palestinians are able to afford university in Palestine. Each contribution you make will keep his legacy alive, and cultivate his vision for peace and justice amongst the next generation. 

Click Here to Make a Contribution

Rev. David W. Good

David W. Good in South Africa 2002

Message from Tree of Life Board member and Senior Minister of The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Steve Jungkeit

 

For more than two decades, The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme has sent delegations to Israel and Palestine. During that same time, we have received visitors from that scarred and haunted land. Each in their different ways, whether Palestinian or Israeli, have sought a just and peaceful future for the land they share. Each and every voice of conscience we have learned from – whether Israeli or Palestinian – has impressed upon us the importance of examining the roots of this long and terrible conflict, stemming from a history not only of the Holocaust, but of settler colonial violence and a decades long military occupation of Palestinian land. Any credible peace, we have learned, must be a just peace, one that implements human and civil rights for all Palestinians (alongside their Israeli neighbors).

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#CeasefireNOW: Open Call for an Immediate Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and Israel to Prevent a Humanitarian Catastrophe and Further Loss of Innocent Lives.

Sign this Petition

Why this petition matters >>

Alrowwad Logo

Tree of Life supports Alrowwad with an annual donation for university scholarships to students in the West Bank. Please see their appeal for humanitarian aid.

Donate Here

News & Commentary

News from Lama in Gaza

January 2024
I invite you to watch this video from Lama Abed, a young Palestinian woman from Gaza. Lama visited the United States as a 14 year old in 2019. She appeared in Congress and went on a speaking tour of the Mid Atlantic states and New England about the crisis in Gaza and her vision for peace. We met at her Palestinian Museum US appearance. Tree of Life hoped to have Lama participate in the TOLEF 2019 Speaker Series, but she was prevented from leaving Gaza by Israeli authorities. We have stayed in touch; she recently sent me this video of her life now in Gaza.

Ghoufran Alababidi

Background & Current Situation in Gaza and the West Bank

November 2, 2023
Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh is a member of Tree of Life Educational Fund’s Board of Advisors

A response to Rev. William Barber on Palestinian resistance

By Rev. Graylan Hagler | Mondoweiss | October 24, 2023
Reverand Hagler is a member of Tree of Life Educational Fund’s Board of Advisors

The Bishop William Barber, II, of the Poor People’s Campaign wrote an Op-Ed that appeared in The Guardian on October 13, 2023, entitled, “We must say an emphatic ‘no’ to Hamas a thousand times“. I feel compelled to respond to that Op-Ed. I am hesitant to challenge a friend and a colleague, but on this issue, I must.

Read the response here

A lecture by Professor Ilan Pappé

October 19, 2023 | UC Berkeley
Ilan Pappé LectureClick above to watch

My Israeli Friends: This is Why I Support Palestinians

By Ilan Pappé | The Palestine Chronicle | October 10, 2023
Ilan Pappé is a member of Tree of Life Educational Fund’s Board of Advisors

It is not always easy to stick to your moral compass, but if it does point north – towards decolonization and liberation – then it will most likely guide you through the fog of poisonous propaganda.

It is challenging to maintain one’s moral compass when the society you belong to – leaders and media alike – takes the moral high ground and expects you to share with them the same righteous fury with which they reacted to the events of last Saturday, October 7.  

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To discover how to be human now is the reason we follow the star!

2024 Tree of Life Journey

January 2 – 13, 2024 with optional extension to Bosnia, January 13 – 19

POSTPONED

Tragically, a lack of humanity is currently on dramatic display in Gaza and the West Bank.  Due to the violence we feel it necessary to postpone our January journey.  We are currently considering rescheduling to late May/early June. Please keep checking back for more information on new dates.

Click here for a description of the journey

 

2023 Journey Updates

A Night Journey in Pursuit of Prophetic Wisdom

Following are three updates from our recent Tree of Life Journey. Our group is now back home, and they are eager to share their experiences with their friends and neighbors, schools, faith communities and elected officials.

Learn More

 

Palestinian Olive Oil
Online ordering now available!

Last year we sold 1.5 tons of organic fair trade Palestinian olive oil. After our expenses, all the proceeds are used to support our academic scholarships, and so we like to refer to the sale of olive oil as our Education in a Bottle program. The olives that produce this oil come from farms in Palestine. Families continue to work their land despite water shortages and being encroached upon by illegal settlements.

We have been asked by members of our community who would like to support Tree of Life through olive oil product purchases but live outside our current distribution area of Southern Connecticut, Cape Cod, and Boston if it is possible to buy the Al’ard olive oil. It is not feasible for us to ship to other regions, but we have reached an agreement with Al’ard whereby people can order from the Al’ard website, receive a 5% discount, AND 5% of the sale before shipping costs will be donated to Tree of Life.

Learn more about ordering online and locally

Staying in Touch

Keep informed about actions,TOLEF upcoming events, and our news.