Jerusalem Fund

Cultural diplomacy

It never crossed my mind during my undergraduate years in Princeton’s art history department that I would have the job that I do now, and frankly, it is a real conversation killer. I dread Sunday nights the most, when during the meet-and-greet time at the church that my husband and I attend in Washington, D.C., I tell people what I do. My explanation does not quite fit with the usual variations on the theme of “I moved up from the South and am working for Representative/Senator So-and-So.” When the question comes up, I take a deep breath and say, “I work for a Palestinian non-profit organization.” This is usually followed by a head snap from the person asking the question and a narrow-eyed “Hmmm, that’s in-ter-est-ing.”