John Wallach (SHS 1960)

Founder of the Seeds of Peace organization 

John Wallach was a first-rate journalist.  In 1968, four years after graduating from Middlebury College, he became Foreign Editor of the Hearst Newspapers.  An expert on Arafat and the Middle East, he broke the story of the Iran-Contra scandal, and was frequently a panelist on Meet the Press, Washington Week in Review, Fox News and CNN.

Wallach also authored four books including Arafat in the Eyes of the Beholder and Still Small Voices, the latter co-authored with his wife, Janet.  In 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev awarded him the highest civilian honor in the U.S.S.R., the Medal of Friendship. Wallach received the National Press Club's highest honor, The Edwin Hood Award. He was also made an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters by Middlebury College. 

     In 1993, in the wake of the first bombing of the World Trade Center, Wallach made a life-changing choice.  He gave up journalism, and decided to follow a dream, the creation of a summer camp at which Arab and Israeli children live, play and learn together.  Initially, 50 young people participated in the program, which included daily conflict- resolution sessions run by professional Arab, Israeli and American facilitators. The program, "Seeds of Peace," quickly earned an international reputation. It also expanded to include year-round activities. 

     Now over 400 carefully selected teenagers participate, and the countries they represent have expanded as well.  The Enemy Has a Face, written by Wallach, captures the joys and the challenges of "Seeds of Peace."   

     John Wallach died of cancer in the summer of 2002.  His wife, Janet, carries on his mission.