Kids4Peace: making a life of peace and making change

July 26, 2016

(Alliance for Middle East)

In the Beit Safafa Middle School, more than two hundred families-Muslims, Christians, and Jews-met and shared Iftar together.  Orchestrated by Kids4Peace, the meal embodies the hopes of the members. USAID’s Dave Harden summed the event up perfectly with his words, “you are living a life of peace. I want you to have big, big visions.” As described by Jill Levenfeld, these children are making noise and making change throughout a broad community.

Jerusalem co-director Rebecca Sullum poignantly describes her experiences with Kids4Peace, which now spans more than a decade. She began as an individual who could not name a Muslim holiday, and now witnesses interfaith meals as hopeful symbols of peace.

Beginning in late July, over two hundred Israeli, Palestinian, and American students student will meet for summer camps in cities ranging from Boston to Washington, DC, to Galilee.

Lastly, congratulations must be extended to Jesse Raben, Rokas Beresniovas, and Kevin Rachlin for their recent selections as members of Kids4Peace’s International Board of Directors. Read more.

Meet Israeli, Palestinian & American Youth Peacemakers on August 2nd

July 24, 2016

Kids4Peace International Invites You To


An inspiring evening honoring 30 Israeli, Palestinian & American youth peacemakers as they complete a week-long leadership program in advocacy and social action.

Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:30pm
Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
900 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC

6:30pm – Reception
Meet & Greet with Kids4Peace’s young leaders
Kosher & halal food provided

7:00pm – Movie
Private screening of Jerusalem Voices a new short film by Dandan Liu

7:30pm – Youth Speakers
Israeli, Palestinian & American youth from Kids4Peace share their stories and visions for the future

8:00pm – Musical Celebration
with Ami Yares & friends

Voices of Hope

American Bazaar to host free startup workshop at George Mason University

July 22, 2016

Speakers will include business stalwarts, CEOs and executives from small, mid-sized, and large companies.

AB Wire

The American Bazaar will kick off its multicity startup workshop series Startup Bazaar 2016 at George Mason University on Saturday, July 23.

The admission is free for the event, which will be hosted in partnership with George Mason University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

To register for the event, visit

The mission of the Startup Bazaar is to provide a platform for startup founders, early-stage and potential entrepreneurs to listen, interact and network with men and women who have created enormous wealth through entrepreneurship.

Speakers include business stalwarts, CEOs, and executives from small, mid-sized, and large companies.

Anita Gupta, Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Kiwitech, a Washington-based technology company that also invests in startups, will deliver the keynote address. She will talk about “Launching your startup with low capital.”

The Startup Bazaar will feature three workshops on various aspects of running a startup.

Dr. Mahesh Joshi, the Director of Research & Practice at George Mason University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will conduct a workshop on elements of a business model. The other two are:

  • a legal workshop for startup owners by Suzanne L. Rotbert, a Principal at Miles & Stockbridge; and
  • a workshop on accounting by Balagan Arumugaswamy, the founder of Balagan Business & Taxe Services.

Geeta Anand, a Vice President of Business Banking at Capital One Bank, and Rokas Beresniovas, a Vice President at State Bank of India – California, will make presentations on raising capital.

Neal Gupta, Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Kiwitech, and Dr. Pradeep Ganguly, Executive Vice President at Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, will speak about “Finding the right kind of incubators and accelerators for your startup.”

The event will also recognize two outstanding startups from the Washington area: TextBehind, Inc. and Syndeste.

TextBehind, founded by Pakistani American Zia Rana, enables one to communicate with incarcerated loved ones using detailed text messages and greeting cards.

Syndeste, founded by IITean Mohan Rajasekar provides actionable insights on flood risk, including steps to improve their resilience to flooding and climate.

Moderators include Kirit Udeshi, founder of Forte, and Sanjeev Joshipura, Director of Special Projects at Indiaspora.

Besides Washington, DC, area, the multi-city startup workshops will be held in Dallas, Atlanta and New York. Read more.

DNC Heritage Council GOP Convention Watch Party

July 10, 2016

July 21st Heritage Council Watch Party_Page_1

PDF Invitation: July 21st Heritage Council Watch Party


Open Bar
Business Casual Attire

Welcome New Board Members

June 22, 2016

The Kids4Peace International Board of Directors elected three new members this week. Welcome to the Kids4Peace Team – Rokas Beresniovas, Jesse Raben & Kevin Rachlin. Read more.

Foreign Policy Professionals for Hillary Event on Europe and Alliances

June 20, 2016

Please join me for DC’s first HFA reception on Europe and the transatlantic relationship. The event will include an off-the-record conversation on America’s continued investment in NATO, key European allies and partners, and the EU with Julie Smith, former advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, Robert Kagan, former Reagan Administration State Department official, and Amanda Sloat, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe.

The reception and discussion will be immediately followed by a private watch party of the final day of the GOP convention.


7.21.16 Invite

My American Journey

June 19, 2016

June is Immigrant Heritage Month, and columnist Rokas Beresniovas, a Lithuanian American, reflects on his American Odyssey.

By Rokas Beresniovas

Rokas BeresniovasMy world was totally upended when I was 10 and communism fell. I was born in what was then the Lithuanian Socialist Republic of the USSR, and my familiar world ended with tanks and bloodshed during a cold winter in 1991.

My parents didn’t know what to expect, and it was the first time I remember realizing that the world was a big, uncertain place. From that point on, I watched as black marketeers and mafia took advantage of the economic uncertainty and social instability in my country. I pledged that when I was old enough I would travel somewhere where real opportunity was possible for anyone.

Armed only with legends about America and $200 in my pocket, I landed in New York in the late 1990s. I worked three jobs doing menial labor hauling, cleaning, and doing construction just to feed myself. Many people dismissed me because of my accent, my poor English, and my cultural differences, but a rare few saw themselves in me and made it a point to help me.

Some actually went out of their way to train me on jobs, provide me a place to stay, and help me learn how to navigate the system so I could earn a little piece of the opportunity they had been born with. I will never forgot those first lessons about kindness and compassion; they taught me the most important lessons about what it means to be American.

When I met my wife, an American, I remember that she was so passionate about the value of democracy. Growing up in the Soviet Union, I used to challenge her optimism and belief in the political system, but I watched as she wrote letters to her representatives, voted, kept up with politics, and even worked in jobs that taught youth about civic activism.

Over time, I came to understand the responsibility I had as an American citizen with an immigrant background. I realized that I had something to say and an accountability to the system I lived in to say it. Read more.

Featured Mentor: Rokas Beresniovas

June 17, 2016


Rokas Beresniovas is a leader in the D.C. business community. Presently, he works as a Vice President and head of expansion at the State Bank of India USA in Washington, DC. Currently, he is a founding board member of Pebbles of Hope and the Perisphere Theater, an active board member for Joy of Motion, and an honorary board member for The Embassy Series. He is also the founder of the Lithuanian nonprofit organization Global Lithuanian Leaders (GLL) and was recognized by the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2015 for outstanding leadership in youth mentoring. Read more.

My name is Rokas and this is my story.

June 16, 2016

DNC’s Immigrant Heritage Month Celebration on June 14

June 7, 2016

AB Wire

DNC Heritage Council

CEO Amy K. Dacey and Obama aide David Simas to headline the event.

On June 14 the Democratic National Committee Heritage Council will host an Immigrant Heritage Month Celebration in order to laud diversity in the United States and raise funds for the Democratic National Committee.

Hosted on the rooftop of multinational law firm Hogan Lovells in the heart of Washington, D.C., the event is slated to feature special guests David Simas, who serves as Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, and Amy K. Dacey, the Chief Executive Officer of the DNC.

The month of June marks the first ever Immigrant Heritage Month, which is being implemented by,  a new non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by immigrants from around the world.

“The goal of the month – which will bring together a dynamic coalition of individuals and organizations from Congressmen to celebrities – is to encourage every American to tell the story of how they first felt welcomed to the American experience,” according to media outreach.

Along with the DNC Heritage Council, the event  is co-hosted by Rokas Beresniovas (Vice President at the State Bank of India U.S.A.), Robert Blancato (President of Matz, Blancato, & Associates), Alexandra Chalupa (Political & Communications Consultant at ‎Chalupa & Associates), Ali Cinar (Executive Vice President of the Turkish Heritage Organization and Partner-Chief Marketing Officer at Team of America Consulting Group), Murat Guzel (CEO of Nimeks organic/Natural Food Source Inc.), Stella Kokolis (President of the Federation of Greek American Educators), Terry Lierman (Founder of Summit Global Ventures, President of Energy On, Executive Officer at Health Ventures, LLC), John McCarthy (Executive Member of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council), Sylvester Okere (Director of the Continental African Leadership Council), Danica Oparnica (Vice Chair of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council), Maureen Pikarski (Co-Chair of the Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council), James Rosapepe (Maryland State Senator), Harpreet Sandhu (former President of the Sikh Center of San Francisco Bay Area), and James Zogby (President of the Arab American Institute). Read more.

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