Trucking tycoon helps fund peace program
Rotarian Al Jubitz pledges US$300,000 to send five Rotary World Peace Fellowships. Photo courtesy of Al Jubitz.
Rotarian Al Jubitz remembers the time when he was 12 years old and another boy punched him in the face. His ego was bruised, but he learned a lesson: Peace is always better than fighting.
Now he hopes to see that lesson applied on a global scale. A member of the Rotary Club of Portland, Oregon, USA, Jubitz has pledged US$300,000 to fund five Rotary World Peace Fellowships, for aspiring peacemakers as they pursue master’s degrees.
“Rotary World Peace Fellows deserve a boost financially to follow their passion,” says the retired trucking tycoon. “You’ve got to trust that if we plant seeds in these young people, good things will happen. That’s why I support the program.”
Jubitz, 63, graduated from Yale University but says he received his “formal education” in peacemaking in the late 1970s, when he was involved with the Creative Initiative Foundation (later called Beyond War). The group organized grassroots meetings in living rooms to educate people about the excesses of the Cold War arms race.
Today, he’s particularly interested in fostering peace in Cyprus, where a United Nations-patrolled buffer zone separates Greek and Turkish Cypriots. “If we can create peace in Cyprus, we probably have all the ingredients for doing it in the Middle East,” he says. Jubitz, who visited Cyprus in 2005, has helped fund Portland State University’s Peace Initiatives Project, which aims to find a solution to the longstanding conflict on the Mediterranean island.
Through the Jubitz Family Foundation, he and his daughters have also awarded grants to Portland State University’s conflict resolution graduate program, the Wholistic Peace Institute, and the Oregon Peace Institute, which Jubitz chaired in the 1970s.