Andrei Israel, Executive Director

I first connected with Quakerism and Quaker education as a 10-year-old camper at Catoctin Quaker Camp, and then that fall as a 5th grader at Sidwell Friends School.  After 13 years in the Baltimore Yearly Meeting camping program (after I aged out as a camper, I returned for seven summers as a counselor and trip leader), eight years of Quaker schooling, and participation in several Quaker workcamps, I finally became a regular attender in 2000 at the Eugene (OR) Friends Meeting.

A few years later, I was called to Quaker ministry as the director of the Washington Quaker Workcamps program (now William Penn Quaker Workcamps), which was at that time just becoming a program of William Penn House.  My three years developing the workcamp program and being part of the William Penn House community were central to my spiritual formation.   During this time, I became a member of the Friends Meeting of Washington and connected to the wider Friends community, serving on several committees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting and representing BYM at the 2005 World Gathering of Young Friends and the FUM Triennial.

In 2006, I left William Penn House to further my education, studying social justice, environmental sustainability, and experiential education. I earned a master’s degree in Geography from Penn State University and have taught college classes in geography, environmental studies, and women’s studies.

I return to William Penn House with a passion for faith-based and spiritually-grounded responses to the pressing issues of our time: vast economic inequalities, racial injustice, environmental devastation, etc.  I am clear that Friends’ faith and practice is sorely needed in the way we address these issues, and that William Penn House can help Friends and other like-minded folks engage with and respond to these issues.

I am a member of State College (PA) Monthly Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting, and I attend Adelphi Friends Meeting in suburban Maryland.  I live in Takoma Park, MD, with my wife, Jessica Arends, our cat, and four chickens.