Pastor Khader El-Yateem is a highly respected, award winning Arab-American faith leader, community organizer, and father of four. He is most revered as a bridge-builder and a passionate advocate for justice who has called Southern Brooklyn his home since 1995. As an immigrant who established himself and his family in Dyker Heights while working daily in Bay Ridge, Pastor El-Yateem fights for the rights and well-being of immigrants, and working & middle class families.
As the husband of a public school nurse and the father of 4 public school children, he is deeply committed to supporting and strengthening our public education system, one that he has trusted to educate his own children. As a longtime resident of Southern Brooklyn, he is most concerned with keeping our neighborhoods and homes safe and affordable, and helping to ensure that residents of Southern Brooklyn, especially our seniors, can stay put and thrive. And finally, as a man of faith, he is a relentless advocate for the most vulnerable and the disenfranchised communities amongst us.
Pastor El-Yateem is the founder of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church - a congregation which primarily serves recent Arab immigrant families. In this role, he goes above and beyond his pastoral duties -- he works to connect congregants and community members to vital services and resources, and helps families establish themselves in their new home. His 6 years working in the Patient Relations department of Maimonides Medical Center has also made him the liaison to hundreds of area families, helping them navigate the often complicated healthcare system and connecting them to culturally sensitive and quality health services.
No one can deny that Khader is a tireless community leader who has invested all of his energy and talents in Southern Brooklyn. He serves on Community Board 10, as well as the boards of St Nicholas Home, Lutheran Augustana Home, and the Arab American Association of New York. He is also the Clergy Liaison for the New York Police Department - helping to ensure a collaborative and productive relationship between community members and the local precinct.
Pastor El-Yateem’s primary focus has been to promote open dialogue and unity, especially among Christians, Jews and Muslims. To that end, after the tragic events of 9/11, he co-founded the Bay Ridge Unity Task Force in 2001 to promote unity and cooperation in his own neighborhood. He is a skilled mediator who is willing to champion difficult issues, including combating drug use among neighborhood youth, building police community relations, and serving newly arrived immigrants into the district.
Pastor El-Yateem was born in Bethlehem in 1968, and emigrated to the United States in 1992. He holds a Masters of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt. He is married to his wonderful wife Grace, and they have 4 children: Rowan, Janette, Naim and Isabelle.