Training 80 Youth Encounter Leaders

 
$4,350
$8,400
Raised
Remaining
Time left to give:
Jul 10, 2012

Jericho non-visit of the Interfaith Encounter Visits group

On the entrance to Jericho
On the entrance to Jericho

The Interfaith Encounter Visits group met on Friday April 27th. We were some nine Israelis and six Palestinians who met in Almog junction with the intention to go and visit Jericho.

When we arrived at the checkpoint of the Palestinian police in the entrance to the city, we realized that the Israeli army did not coordinate with them our entry. For about an hour we tried to convince them to let us into the city but nothing helped and they did not let us in. We will need to reschedule the visit to Jericho and this time check how to do the coordination with the Palestinian Authority ourselves.

So we went to "The Last Chance" restaurant and set there and talked on many, many issues. We started with the significance of Jericho in Islam and in Judaism – the people of Lot, Sodom and Gomorra etc. and the conversation streamed to a thousand other themes.

It was a wonderful encounter, even though we were disappointed that we could not enter the city. We do hope we will have better success next time.

Links:

May 21, 2012

ORPHANS - 34th Israeli-Palestinian retreat

In conversation
In conversation

This relatively intimate retreat took place in the Austrian Hospice in the Old City of Jerusalem, on March 22nd and 23rd 2012. It started with introduction of the Interfaith Encounter Association and Palestinian Peace Society, followed by self introduction of the participants.

After dinner we held the Jewish-focused session. Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Executive Director of IEA brought a few texts from the Bible, Midrash and Talmud indicating the vulnerability of the orphan and the widow and therefore the need to make special effort in order for them not to be hurt. This is not only in the case they are poor – even if they are reach financially, they are still with low spirit. Some of the scholars claim that this is extended to all vulnerable people in the society. Hurting an orphan or a widow is treated as the paradigm of ill behavior, such as the behavior that led to the flood or the destruction of Jerusalem, while treating them well is the paradigm of doing good, which is a characteristic of the greatness of God and will lead to the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Adopting an orphan is the example for charity that is ongoing and the one who raises an orphan is like she gave birth to him. The Midrash also mentions that God allowed the wolf to feed the orphans Romus and Romilus even though they were evil to the Nation of Israel when they grew up.

After the reach conversation we went for a walk in the Old City and managed to enjoy a bit the music festival that was going on that evening.

In the morning, the Muslim perspective was presented by Ahmed Makhluf and Dr. Taleb Alharithi. Orphans are referred to in the Quran 23 times. Basically there are two ways to encourage people to treat them well: stressing how good it will be for anyone who takes care of the orphan and how harshly will be punished the one who takes away things from the orphan. Helping an orphan or a widow is like praying the whole night or fasting the whole day. The one who helps an orphan will be together with the Prophet in paradise. Taking care of an orphan is a good enough reason to enter paradise while hurting an orphan is a good enough reason to go to hell. Taking away from orphans is among the seven things most important to refrain from (like murder or idol worshiping) and is equaled to putting fire in one's own mouth, which will also be their punishment in hell. An orphan has to carry his father's name and the guardian of the orphan's property has to take care of it more than of his own property.

In the concluding circle participants shared how important it was for them to add another light in the darkness and make one more step towards peace. One participant quoted the newspaper from the day before which mentioned the crucial role religion played in the success of the civil rights movement in the United States 47 years before.

We ended with coffee and cake that were offered to us by the Austrian Hospice to who we are very deeply grateful for their wonderful hospitality.

Informal exchange
Informal exchange
Small group dialogue
Small group dialogue

Links:

Mar 5, 2012

Ramalla Visit of the Interfaith Visits group

The group in the streets of Ramalla
The group in the streets of Ramalla

On Thursday, December 29th, we held an encounter of the Interfaith Visits group in Ramallah. I must say that this was one of the most successful encounters the group had.

 

From the Israeli side we were four members (since Ahmed, who hosted us, preferred that we have a small group so that we can have a more intimate encounter). In this way we could fit into Ahmed's car and go all together.

On the Palestinian side we also had four members – two boys and two girls. The girls joined us for the visit but could not stay for the following conversation as it became late (one of them lives near Hebron and had to go back home). Being a small group of special people helped us hold a dialogue which was amazing in its sincerity and in the understanding of both sides of each other.

 

We reached the Qalandia check-point at 3:30pm and crossed easily, with no one asking. Ahmed picked us at the Palestinian side of the check-point and we rode to the city center. We walked in the area of Al-Manara Square, saw the chair that was put there after the declaration on the Palestinian state and took many pictures. After an hour of walking around the city we set down in an amazingly beautiful café – Akasha – for the conversation.

 

The Jews chose to speak about Hanukah and Eldad shared about the Holiday in the views of religious Jews and non-religious Jews and what each group prefers to stress in this Holiday. Eldad himself, as a non-religious guy, chose to emphasize the aspect of rebellion against a foreign conqueror who forced Jews to worship idols. The conversation then flowed to the issue of the Temple and its location. The Muslims in the meeting found it hard to accept the version that the Temple was on the Temple Mount and said that as they know it was in Silwan. This was very hard for the Jews to hear and after some discussion we reached the agreement that each side has its own understanding and narrative and that we agree to listen and respect but not necessarily to accept the narrative of the other side.

 

The Muslims chose to speak about the importance of the Dome of the Rock in Islam and from there the conversation went to the differences between Suna and Shia.

 

The dialogue was fruitful as well as challenging and I think this was the encounter with the deepest dialogue I ever had in the Interfaith Encounter Association.

 

At 7pm we left Ramallah for the Qalandia check-point, which we then crossed by foot. We expected to have difficulties with the soldiers and that they will be astonished (as usual) to see Israelis coming out of a Palestinian city with a strange permit. They were indeed shocked but did not hold us, just asked out of curiosity what we were doing there, on which we answered: visited…

We returned to Jerusalem happy and satisfied.

A conversation in the street
A conversation in the street
Fair well
Fair well
Passing the check-point
Passing the check-point

Links:

Dec 19, 2011

Holidays, Jerusalem-Hebron YIE on Nov. 10th

The encounter began at 5:30pm on Thursday. We both, Jews from Jerusalem and the Muslims from Hebron, met at Al-Quds Hotel in Jerusalem.

We set together and dedicated some time to get to know everyone. First we introduced Moatasem the Muslim coordinator to the group and then he introduced to them Itamar, who is the new Jewish coordinator instead of Netta. Then each of the participants told the group a bit about him or her self.

Itamar told us about the Jewish Holiday of Sukkot, why it is celebrated, what the common customs are and what people's duties are in the Holiday of Sukkot – what do they have to do and where they should sit. After he finished Netta added a few points and then the group asked questions and for specific explanations.

Then Moatasem presented the Muslim Holiday of the Sacrifice (Eid el-Adha) – why we celebrate it, why is it called this way and what are the ceremonies performed during and around the Holiday, why do we slaughter sheep in the Holiday, how long does it last and what are its prayers. Then the members asked their questions and got answers.

We exchanged information, corrected mistakes we had about each other and learned each other's thoughts. Then we went together for a short tour and ended the encounter at 10pm.

Links:

Dec 12, 2011

Launch of IEA 41st group - 1st Teens group

First encounter of the Interfaith Encounter Israeli-Palestinian Teens group, Beit Jalla

The encounter was held on November 13th 2011, at 4pm in Beit Jalla.
We were three Jewish Israelis and seven Muslim and Christian Palestinians and we met in the Barbara Restaurant in Beit Jalla.

Since this was our first encounter, at first it was embarrassing and also the two coordinators did not prepare the encounter so we needed to improvise. Finally we found themes for conversation, like Gilad Shalit or the daily resting day in each of the religions: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We began with a round of mentioning our names so we can remember them and we also asked the Palestinians what were the responses of their families and friends to the encounter and they also asked us. The dialogue was managed with Netta, who mentors the group, translating for both sides, as in this way it was easier to express ourselves. Although this took longer – it was better as in this way every one could express themselves in the language in which they feel most comfortable.

Yehuda, the director of our organization, the Interfaith Encounter Association, joined us. He told us about the organization and directed our conversation and made sure we prepare the next encounter next month.
Following the conversation we had we enjoyed and laughed and the ice broke. Finally we fare welled with the desire to meet again soon.

Links:

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

donate now:

An anonymous donor is matching all new monthly recurring donations. 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?
  • $40
    give
  • $80
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $300
    give
  • $450
    give
  • $600
    give
  • $1,000
    give
  • $40
    each month
    give
  • $80
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $300
    each month
    give
  • $450
    each month
    give
  • $600
    each month
    give
  • $1,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Project Leader

Dr. Yehuda Stolov

Executive Director
Jerusalem, Israel

Where is this project located?

Map of Training 80 Youth Encounter Leaders