Friends of the Holy Monastey of the Prophet Moses Incorporated in the State of Texas on 23 September 2014 and is a 501c3 Tax-Exempt 509(a)(2) public charity founded with the purpose of providing financial and promotional support for The Holy Monastery of the Prophet Moses in Feiran, Egypt as well as other historic Christian communities and their surrounding communities in need.
Historic faith Communities, both monastic and lay, have recently faced unprecedented challenges from civil unrest and from financial crises in Europe and the Mid-East. The Holy Monastery of the Prophet Moses in Feiran, Egypt has also suffered from a dropping water table that is increasing in salinity.
Many historic religious Communities have existed since scriptural ages and some exist in pre-Christian and even pre-Judaic locations of spiritual significance. The civil unrest of recent years as well as rising intolerance to religious and cultural differences has put considerable stress on historic faith communities.
Increased sensitivity in the west to the plight of religious and cultural minorities have resulted in favorable immigration preferences as well as easy asylum and safe-haven status. Ironically this has resulted in the dissolution of the endangered communities in their original geo-cultural context.
The financial crises resulting from recent civil unrest as well as that resulting from economic crises in southern Europe has adversely affected contributions from those countries, most notably Greece, upon which such communities historically depended.
Fortunately the longevity of these communities means that they have existing support and distribution infrastructure that can be utilized for support without the need to acquire and maintain external resources.
The worldwide banking system and world-wide inter-networks provide an easy means of fund-raising and distribution not dependent upon centralized systems or overly dependent upon wealthy donors.
Often time the communities in need only require publicity and technical capabilities .
The charter members of The Friends Of Rephidim possess financial and technical acumen that make it easy to fund and manage projects for historic faith communities in need.
One director is a finance and accounting professional and another has over 20 years experience in internet technologies and is currently a telecommunications network integration professional. and has served as a director of a 501c3 educational foundation, the third director has served on several 501c3 boards and is experienced in grant proposal writing. All three directors are members of faith communities that support the efforts of the foundation.
In 2007 the founding officer met Father Justin, the librarian of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt. Father Justin invited him to stay at the monastery and observe the work on historic manuscripts and museum objects. In 2013 the visit became possible and during another trip in 2013 a visit to The Holy Monastery of The Prophet Moses in Feiran occurred. It was following that visit that the Mother Superior, Gerontissa in Greek, requested help to raise funds for a new water well as the existing source of water was exhausted.
Within a month the new water well was drilled and with a few more moths, the motor and deep-well pump was installed and operational. Additionally, funds from the drilling project provided funds to pay the salaries of monastery workers, a necessity given that only four sisters live a the monastery and two of them are in less-than optimal physical health. This project was accomplished without tax-exempt status or a corporation. However, the need for an independent, tax-exempt foundation was obvious. Some would-be donors could not participate due to their own trust’s requirement that any donation recipients be an officially recognized 501c3 charity.
On October 16, 2014 the U.S. I.R.S. granted us 501c3 Tax exemption as a 509(a)(2) public charity. The next immediate goal will be to find de-salination and water purification technology that can be implemented at the Monastery of The Holy Prophet Moses. A project planning and financial needs assessment will take place in January at the monastery.
Currently there are three directory on the board of Friends of the Holy Moastery of the Prophet Moses. George Livsey, President, Joesph Ammouri, Treasurer, and Dawn Hipsh, Secretary. Each of these individuals bring unique, talents, abilities and experience to the organization.
George Livsey – President:
George Livsey has over 20 years experience in programming, systems architecture, database administration and is currently employed with a telecommunications carrier as a Network Infrastructure Manager. He currenly manages the website for the foundation. He served on the board of directors of a 501c3 educational foundation in the past.
Joseph Ammouri – Treasurer:
Joseph Ammouri is a consulting CPA living in Dallas Texas with his wife Shaza. They attend Sts Constantine & Helen Orthodox Church where Joseph serves on the parish council. Joseph has served as Treasurer for the Denton County Red Cross and North Texas Orthodox Missions (www.ntom.org).
Dawn Hipsh – Secretary:
Matushka Anna Hipsh comes to the Board with a degree in Technical Communication and experience in grant writing, grant making, and nonprofit public relations. Her husband, Fr. Seraphim Hipsh served rector of St. Sava Orthodox Church in Allen, TX.