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
Nov 2, 2010

The Jerusalem-Bethlehem students group

During the last eight months, we have been planning and working on the development of a new group of the Interfaith Encounter Association. This is a group of students from Bethlehem University and from the Hebrew University.

 We first had a few encounters for a core group of 6-7 people. During the months February-April 2010, this group met five times in different places: at the Everest Hotel located in Beit Jalla, in Talitha Qumi and in Jerusalem, in order to plan the first meetings of the larger group. During those meetings, we developed a close connection between the members of the core group. We became friends and meet regularly. We faced several problems while trying to create the group, but it made us feel more acutely the need for this group.

 Challenges

In March we had a preparation meeting, at the Hebrew university, in order to prevent technical problems during the first group's encounter. Unfortunately, the first meeting of the whole group was canceled, after a few days of fighting and riots in the area. The students of Bethlehem were facing objection to the idea of meeting Israelis and we decided to postpone the first meeting.

 A month later, we called another meeting and set everything for it to succeed. When Nour, the Bethlehem coordinator, went to bring the permits from the Civil Administration, we faced a technical problem: For some reason, we got the permits for the wrong hours of the day. The Palestinians couldn’t make it to the meeting, so the Israelis met for a short time and talked about their expectations from the encounters.

 First Encounter

The coordinators met each other once more, and finally we had the first meeting of the Bethlehem-Jerusalem group on May 23rd, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 After enjoying the refreshments, we introduced each other and had some warm-up games. Later on, the group split into two groups, and we decided about the topics we would like to discuss on the next meetings.

 By the end of the encounter, we had a wonderful tour around Mount Scopus Campus. We saw the beautiful views of Jerusalem and the mounts of Jordan, and also visited the synagogue of the campus.

Second Encounter

On the second time we also met at the HU in Jerusalem, on July 4th. Some of the Palestinian students couldn’t come, because their permissions were washed accidentally after being forgotten in the pants of the person who picked them up from the Civil Administration…

The topic was "our roots". Yif’at and Rahhal introduced a short presentation about the Palestinian history and about the Jewish history.

Afterwards, every person shared his or her family story.

The meeting was very moving and we were excited to share our stories and to listen to others’ stories.

After a few days the coordinators met again and had a nice walk along the road of Ein Lavan Spring (near Walaje)


Our third encounter took place in Bethlehem! This was the first time since the formation of IEA that we were able to obtain permits for Israelis to go into a Palestinian city and we were very excited about it! The report from this encounter will be circulated soon.

This new group was created thank to the work ofYael, Henri, Nour, Noy and Ward from the IEA.

Links:

Jul 27, 2010

Marriage in Judaism, Islam and Christianity

A small group in session
A small group in session

The 30th retreat of Israeli-Palestinian interfaith encounter took place on Thursday and Friday, June 10th and 11th, in the charming guest house of the Austrian Hospice, at the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. We are grateful to them for their wonderful hospitality. The retreat was jointly organized by the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Palestinian Peace Club from Yata (south of Hebron). The theme was: marriage.

The retreat did not start on time. Technical difficulties resulted in late receipt by the Palestinian participants of their entry permits to Jerusalem. So we first met each other during dinner. After dinner we squeezed two sessions into one: we briefly introduced the two organizations and the guidelines for our conversation during the retreat. Then we quickly introduced ourselves and heard a short presentation of the Jewish perspective by Ms. Shirel Guez. All this briefness left us nearly an hour and a half for good conversation in small groups – including more detailed self-introduction, sharing by each of us of a marriage story that moved us and a conversation following on the Jewish presentation. Conversation continued long after the session officially ended.

The morning started with the Muslim presentation by Mr. Raed Abu Eid and the Christian presentation by Ms. Raffaela Corrias. Participants then went back to the small groups to continue the conversation, for about an hour and a half, until they broke for coffee and cake.

After the break we gathered together for the closing circle, in which each of us shared a short sentence about what he or she is taking back home from the retreat. We went down for lunch and then fare welled warmly from our new friends.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Interfaith Encounter Association P.O.Box 3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel Phone: +972-2-6510520 Fax: +972-2-6510557 Website: www.interfaith-encounter.org

Board: Ms. Evelyne Savir (Chair) Dr. Shlomo Alon Ms. Nadia Tutunji-Nuseibeh Ms. Saheer Siam Mr. Rizk Azam Ms. Randa Zreik-Sabag

Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Executive Director E-mail: yehuda@interfaith-encounter.org

Mr. Salah Alladin, Assistant Director

PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE INTERFAITH ENCOUNTER ASSOCIATION. SUPPORT ONE OR MORE OF OUR PROGRAMS AND JOIN US AS A MEMBER IN WORKING FOR INTERFAITH UNDERSTANDING AND PEACE. All contributions are welcome, small and large!

You and others are welcome to join our e-mailing lists by sending a blank message to: • In Israel (gets also invitations): iea-announcements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com • Abroad (gets reports only): iea-reports-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Please note that the reports we send out do not necessarily represent the views of the Interfaith Encounter Association or even of the people who wrote them. The reports represent the views of the people who attended an encounter and their primary purpose is to give you a glimpse of what happened in the encounter.

Another group
Another group's session
Conversations during coffee break
Conversations during coffee break

Links:

Jul 13, 2010

New partnership's activity continues to develop

Students in Shagor Stream
Students in Shagor Stream

March 4th 2010

A joint encounter for two groups of "Environmental Leaders" from the two schools, with 50 students from each school. In the encounter we held information workshops on the area we all live in and started forming connections between the students.

April 15th 2010

6) The encounter was postponed to May 3rd, due to the unfortunate death of the father of the principle of A-Sallam School. We held an excursion to the Shagor area and Shagor Stream with some 150 students from both schools. We learned the plants and rocks of the scenery and how to protect them from environmental pollution. Towards the end – parents served a light meal to the students.

April 22nd 2010

7) An encounter for 5th graders with some 130 students from both schools. Professionals in recycling led workshops on how to re-use things we throw away. For example: students used paper to construct different sculptures, designing their yards and keeping the environment at the same time.

April 29th 2010

8) A joint excursion of six graders to Tiberius and learning about the water sources in Israel as well as soil and history of the place. The excursion included visits to Holy Sites and bi-lingual guidance by the outings coordinators of the two schools.

May 7th 2010

Joint excursions for the teams of the two schools in the area of Snir Stream in order to socially consolidate them into one team. 40 teachers participated from the two schools. In the end we had a joint meal.

Learning the environment - first hand
Learning the environment - first hand

Links:

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