Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society
Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society works to reduce poverty and unemployment among Palestinian artisans affected by the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank. Your purchase is essential to making raw materials affordable, and developing artisan skills and international markets for their products.
For generations, artisans in the Bethlehem area have crafted items for Christian pilgrims visiting holy sites in the West Bank and Israel, areas once filled with family workshops crafting olive wood and mother-of-pearl carvings. Challenges brought about by about by occupation, political unrest, and the resulting decline in tourism began to take its toll in the 1970s, and both unemployment and limited resources had a dramatic effect on Palestinian artisans. Holy Land Cooperative was founded in 1981 by these artisans to preserve the area's centuries-old craft traditions and vital artisan income. Focusing on opening international markets and skills training to counter the decline of local sales, the cooperative encourages coordination and problem-solving between local producers. Artisans work in the occupied territories on the West Bank of the Jordan River, with cooperatives located in the cities of Beit Sahour, Beit Jala, and Bethlehem.
Shop handmade products by Holy Land Handicraft below.