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
Jun 1, 2010

Activity meets challenges - and overcome them

Due to various reasons, the long years cooperation of the A-Sallam School of Majd el-Krum and Kalanit School of Karmiel stopped in the beginning of the school year.

After intensive efforts we managed to renew this school-based interfaith encounter cooperation with another Jewish school – Gilon – that joined A-Sallam School. Below you can find the description of the first encounters of forming this joint partnership. The joint work is already on its way and further reports will follow soon.

February 4th 2010

1) The two school principles, Najeeba and Yael, meet to open the doors of cooperation for interfaith coexistence between the two schools – teams and students. The meeting took place in A-Sallam School.

February 11th 2010

2) Meeting in Gilon School with the two principles and the coordinators of social education and the coordinators of geographical knowledge of the two schools. We coordinated the cooperation and build the program for the students. While doing so we build another level of the cooperation between the two schools.

February 18th 2010

3) Meeting of management teams and deputies of the two schools in order to propose activities for the consolidation of the teachers' team and building a detailed program. The meeting took place in A-Sallam School in Majd el-Krum.

February 25th 2010

4) Meeting of the educators of the age levels participating – 4th to 6th grades. We studied the proposed program in depth and suggested feedback for improvement, which was implemented into the program.

Links:

Nov 30, 2009

Celebrate together Family Day

The students of A-Sallam and Kalanit, Arabs and Jews, celebrated Family Day by visiting the Home for Senior Citizens in Karmiel. In the beginning – the home's supervisor explained about the place, the people who live in it and their health situation. She asked the student to accept the old people and treat them nicely. The students attended various activities. They prepared frames from different materials and placed in them a photo of the group that took place in the event. They also prepared a device for stickers out of plastic bottles and decorated it. At the end of the day we summarized all the day's activities and all students, Arabs as Jews, expressed how happy and satisfied they are and how wonderful it was to cooperate in such a program. They said they will be happy to return and volunteer with the old people. We have to note that this was one of the activities of the on-going Jewish-Muslim interfaith encounter program, in which both schools continue despite the difficult political situation the country went through in the beginning of 2009. The most important goal of these activities is to manifest that a person can be dealt with as a person, regardless their religion, ethnicity or color. The students noticed an old lady that speaks and writes Arabic well so they asked her and she wrote a letter to the Majd el-Krum students. Finally, the students of the two schools fare welled happy and expressed their hope to meet again in the future.

Nov 30, 2009

"JOSEPH" - 27th Israeli-Palestinian Retreat

Group in conversation 1
Group in conversation 1

One participant wrote after the retreat: "Thank you so much for organizing the interfaith encounter at the Everest Hotel, November5th-7th. It was a stimulating and exciting experience for me, and all the participants clearly felt likewise. It was a unique opportunity to bond with Palestinians across the national and religious "divide", and to learn about one another's respective traditions and culture. Above all, it was a very significant reminder of the plain fact that we are all individuals, with similar hopes, dreams and concerns."

What actually happen at there retreat?

In the afternoon of November 5th we opened the 27th Israeli-Palestinian retreat of interfaith encounter. It was again a joint retreat of the Interfaith Encounter Association and the Hope Flowers School, sponsored by Canada's Networking for Peace program – to whom we are deeply grateful.

We began by briefly introducing the two organizations and their activities, followed by introduction of the agenda for the retreat and its guiding principles. Then participants went into small conversation groups for a session of self-introduction. They first shared their life story and then they each shared with each other elements of the story of Joseph that inspire or move them.

After dinner we enjoyed a social evening with Palestinian flavor of the Oud and singing, followed by relaxed conversations into the night.

The morning of the second day began with the Jewish perspective. Unfortunately, Nachum – who was planned to deliver the Jewish presentation – could not come in the last minute so Yehuda replaced him. He presented the Biblical story from Genesis about Joseph being the son of Jacob's beloved wife, being favored etc.

As usual, after each of the presentations the conversation continued in the small groups.

After the Muslims returned from the Jumaa prayer, Yasser presented the Koranic story, which is nearly identical to the Biblical one. There are, though, a few interesting differences between the stories. According to the Koran Jacob suspected that the brothers plan to harm Joseph and did not agree he will go with them to the field until they swore to him that they will bring him back safely. Later – Joseph refused to go out of prison until it was proven that he was innocent. Joseph revealed himself to Benjamin already when they were together for the first time, but asked hin to keep it secret. The brothers did return without Benjamin but after Jacob became blind out of sorrow – they went back to ask Joseph to release Benjamin. Then Joseph revealed to them, they apologized and he gave them his shirt to put on Jacob's face in order to cure him.

Before sunset we all gathered for a prayers session. The Jewish participants gave a short explanation about the special prayer for the receiving of Shabbat and performed it with a lot of singing, Karlebach style. Then the Muslim participants explained the Muslim prayers and their preparations and performed the evening prayer. The conversations around prayers continued for some time. Then Chana shared a story, coming from the Jews of Afghanistan, about the search for justice, followed by personal reflections of participants.

Dinner was followed by relaxed informal conversations through the evening, which continued on Saturday with some of the Palestinians who returned to visit the Jews who stayed in the Everest Hotel until the end of Shabbat.

Group in conversation 2
Group in conversation 2

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $30
    give
  • $70
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $800
    give
  • $4,800
    give
  • $8,800
    give
  • $30
    each month
    give
  • $70
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $800
    each month
    give
  • $4,800
    each month
    give
  • $8,800
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?