SOAR - Jerusalem Chapter

Jerusalem became part of the SOAR family in April 2015. The first recorded Armenian pilgrimage to the Holy Land was an Armenian delegation of priests in the early 4th century. The visit is alluded to in an Armenian translation of a Greek letter written by Patriarch Makarius of Jerusalem to his contemporary, St. Vertanes. The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem was founded in 638. It is located in the Armenian Quarter, the smallest quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Many Armenians from Kutayka, a city in Turkey, were known for their hand-painted ceramic wares and tiles. In 1919, several master craftsmen were brought to Jerusalem to renovate the tiles covering the facade of the Dome of the Rock. They remained in Jerusalem and developed the art of Armenian ceramics.

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the establishment of the State of Israel, a number of Armenians residing in what had been the British Mandate of Palestine took up Israeli citizenship, while other Armenian residents of Old City of Jerusalem assumed Jordanian nationality. Two groups of Armenians emerged: Armenians with Israeli citizenship living within the borders of the state and Armenians with Jordanian nationality in Jerusalem’s
Armenian Quarter and the West Bank.

A great majority of Armenians in Israel are Armenian Orthodox, but there are also a small number are Armenian Catholics and Armenian Evangelicals. The Armenian Orthodox remain under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the residing Patriarch under the auspices of the Armenian Apostolic Church (See of Holy Echmiadzin), whereas the Armenian Catholics are under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Catholic Church.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Eliana Jacqueline Mhitaryan
President

Eliana is a communications professional with considerable experience in the nonprofit world—particularly connected to human rights, social action, leadership, and empowerment—and is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science in Business as well. She was born in Stockholm and raised between Spain and Russia, later moved back to Sweden, and finally landed in Israel in 2018. Eliana has a devoted passion for effecting positive change in the world and is very honored to serve SOAR as Chapter President and contribute to the relief and development of the Armenian nation, with a focus on the most vulnerable.

Sarin Gejekoushian

Sarin Gejekoushian, born and raised in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, graduated from the Sts.Tarkmanchatz Armenian School of Jerusalem in 2017. Today, Miss Gejekoushian majors in Criminology and International Relations in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Being very active in her community, Sarin has volunteered in the archives of the Armenian Patriarchate, she’s the secretary of the Armenian Young Men’s Society in Jerusalem, an Executive Committee member of the Hoyetchmen Club, a member of Jerusalem’s United Committee of the Armenian Genocide, a member of the Ambitions Forum Committee of the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law, and an active Alumni of the Jerusalem PeaceBuilders Organization. Sarin was also the secretary of Jerusalem’s Armadner Committee, aiming to preserve and develop the Armenian identity, presence and culture in Jerusalem. Miss Gejekoushian feels honored to be part of the SOAR family.