Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA)

The IEA works to promote real coexistence and human peace in the Holy Land and the Middle East through interactive inter-religious dialogue. We believe that, rather than being the cause of the problem; religion can and should be a source of solution for conflicts in the region and beyond. We do not believe in blending all traditions into one undifferentiated group, but in providing a table where all can come and sit in safety and ease, while being fully who they are in their respective religions
Dec 5, 2011

Educators' teams from Dekel and A-Sallam Schools

The two educators' teams, some 30 teachers from Dekel School in Karmiel and A-Sallam School in Majd el-Krum, met on Tuesday November 15th in order to plan together the joint students' activity around healthy existence.

First the educators had their own conversation about the nature of healthy existence and nutrition and how they are guided by the Jewish and Muslim traditions.

Then they planned the activities of the students: designating groups of students that will research kinds of traditional foods as well as preparing a booklet on medicinal plants and how they were used traditionally and for what purposes. Each group of students will focus on the research of one plant and write an entry in the booklet, which will finally be published for all students and parents.

Each of the teachers will now return to his/her class and explain to the students the whole concept, so that they will have good understanding of the ideas and goals of this project and the way it integrates the Jewish and Arab culture and tradition, shows the common in healthy existence and brings the two communities closer together.

The encounter was very successful!


Nov 6, 2011

Preparatory encounters for the new school year

Preparatory encounters

Four preparatory encounters took place in preparation for the new school year's cooperation:

1. On 15 August 2011 the leading teams of the two schools met. These included the two principals and vice-principals as well as the leading teams of educators from the two schools.
The encounter occurred in the beginning of Ramadan. The History and Islam Teacher Mr. Nader Taha explained the meaning of Ramadan, why do Muslims fast in it and the importance of charity and good deeds.
Then the teachers broke the fast together as they heard the call of the Muezzin.

2. On August 22nd, some 20 educators from the two schools came together in order to plan the joint activities during the coming year.

3&4: On October 13th separate encounters took place in the two schools, with the participation of some 60 students, guided by the schools' counselors.

The students shared what they liked and did not like about the encounters of last year and what they expect from the encounters in the coming year.


Nov 6, 2011

Launch of IEA's 39th group

The group in conversation
The group in conversation

Launch encounter of Interfaith Visits Encounter group – 28 October 2011


We met on Friday, October 28th, at 10am, ten Israelis in the Rahel Crossing. After a forty-minute delay we entered by foot into the city of Bethlehem. After the crossing we took taxis and went to the Nativity Church Plaza. There we met our Palestinian friends – most of them new to IEA activity.


We visited the city center, the Nativity Church and the market area. We experienced the atmosphere of Friday during the Jumaa prayer. Then we set in a nice café and talked about the sanctity of Shabbat in Judaism and of Friday in Islam. We shared knowledge about customs and traditions related to these special days and how they are implemented in our daily lives.


We celebrated the birthday of one of the new Israeli participants – Shoshana. We also celebrated the birth of the daughter of one of the new Palestinian participants – Abd-el-Majid.


The encounter was experiential and enriching both from the perspective of getting to know the city and from the perspective of our interfaith conversation.

Breaking bread together
Breaking bread together


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