Peter and Beth Ornstein have been named Boulder Rotary’s 2023 recipients of the Jim Swaeby Peace Award for their work with the nonprofit organization Sustainable Israeli-Palestinian Projects (SIPP).
The award recognizes outstanding achievement for “the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.” It is awarded annually to a person or persons living or working in Boulder County or to an organization based in Boulder who exemplify the ideals of Rotary.
Peter and Beth Ornstein are founding members of SIPP. Through partnership, expertise and small grants, SIPP supports Israeli and Palestinian communities working on multicultural environmental and civil society projects that benefit people in the region.
SIPP’s work focuses on environmental projects to bolster food, energy and environmental security and on civil society projects that develop leadership and economic empowerment skills. Examples of SIPP’s projects include training women about rooftop gardening techniques; providing health and safety training relating to electronic waste; supporting an environmental education center near Hebron; Arab college students teaching Arabic to Jewish kids in Tel Aviv; teaching Hebrew to Bedouin women; promoting permaculture and composting as economic resources; and assessing water pollution at the Mar Saba Monastery.
Peter and Beth are both long-time residents of Boulder, Colorado. Peter is the retired Deputy Regional Counsel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Denver Office. Beth, the founder and manager of Colorado Mediation Center, LLC, provides mediation and other dispute resolution services to help individuals and organizations resolve conflict.
Peter and Beth have traveled to Israel several times since 2015 to assist Israelis and Palestinians working together constructively on projects to meet common goals. Their work with SIPP is helping build bridges to peace in a troubled land.
Peter and Beth Ornstein will have their names inscribed on a plaque and monument to be publicly placed at the Penfield Tate Municipal Building in Boulder.
The Peace Award commemorates the contribution of Boulder Rotarian Jim Swaeby, who gave his time, talent, humor and passion to build a better world. He carried out a life mission to “do an unexpected act of kindness or generosity for someone less privileged.”
SIPP Statement on Current Situation
We are heartbroken by the tragic and horrific events of the past several days. Nevertheless, we are determined to carry on SIPP’s work.
SIPP works to build and support sustainable projects between Israelis and Palestinians. These projects help the communities address critical environmental and social challenges and foster relationships between and among Israelis and Palestinians.
We are in the process of checking in on our partners to determine how they are faring. We have connected with some, but not all. Once the situation settles, we plan to continue existing projects and move forward with our 2024 mini-grants. Looking ahead, we believe our vision of bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to address common interests is essential to ending the cycle of violence.