Community Building for 1000 Jews & Muslims 2012-14

Oct 2, 2014

Karmiel-Majd el-Krum School Twinning on 25 May

Bingo game
Bingo game

The encounter on May 25th was divided into three parts:

First we held a Bingo game with names: each student wrote his or her name on the board and then each one of them chose nine names for their personal board. Then we played the Bingo game.

In the second part, the schools choir sang, in Hebrew and in Arabic, the song of Eric Eninstein: "I and you will change the world". We all joined the choir and sang along.

The third part of the encounter was dedicated to Jerusalem. The jids were divided into working groups, each focussing on a different activity. One was working on a crossword puzzles about sites in Jerusalem. Another was answering quizzes on what we know about Jerusalem. A third group was trying to create as many words as possible from the letters of the word Jerusalem. And another group was composing a jigsaw puzzle with a photo of Jerusalem.

Singing together
Singing together
About Jerusalem
About Jerusalem


Aug 7, 2014

Jerusalem - encounter on 25 May 2014

Bingo game 1
Bingo game 1

The encounter was divided into three parts:

First we held a bingo game of names: each student wrote his/her name on the board and each one chose nine names for their personal board. Then we played the bingo game.

In the second part the school choir sang, in Hebrew and Arabic, the song of Aric Einstein "I and you will change the world", and we all joined singing.

The last part of the encounter was dedicated to Jerusalem. The kids were divided into working groups working on crossword puzzles about sites in Jerusalem, quizzes about what we know about Jerusalem and how many words can we make of the word Jerusalem and a jigsaw puzzle with a picture of Jerusalem.

Bingo game 2
Bingo game 2
Working in groups
Working in groups


May 19, 2014

Two encounters in February 2014

February 20th, 2014


On Thursday, February 20th, we met again – pupils from the two schools, A-Salam in Majd el-Krum and Dekel in Karmiel.


The theme of the encounter was encounter between religions, focusing on getting to know the 'other' from the religious perspective, after watching a film that describes children from both societies who study together in the same school.


The film shows how the students are mixed together and study about each other. Arab pupils joint the Hanukah activities and learned about its meaning for the Jews and similarly Jewish students learned about Islam and how the prayer is performed in one of the school's rooms.


We held a joint summary with feedback questions to the pupils, such as:

  1. What did you learn from what you saw?
  2. Who of you will be willing to study in a mixed school?
  3. Did you hear that Arab and Jewish pupils study together?And we started a conversation about the advantages and disadvantages when Arab and Jewish kids study in a mixed school.


A summary of some of the children's arguments:           

              Disadvantages                                    Advantages

  1.  Losing our tradition                           Learning about the tradition of the 'other'
  2. Mixing languages                               Acquiring a second language.
  3. Missing from our culture.                  Learning another culture. 



February 25th, 2014

Place: Dekel School in Karmiel

Theme: forming a joint choir of pupils from the two schools

Participating: the two school principals, the two school vice-principals and the music teachers of both schools.

Dr. Yehuda Stolov suggested the preparation of a joint song for the choir, with support from a famous conductor and having the song recorded and published. 

Then the two vice-principals presented the stages we went through so far in our joint program.

It was agreed that the music teachers will start working on preparing the task.




Mar 11, 2014

Learning about Hanukah

The encounter took place on Thursday, December 19th 2013, between school children from A-Salam School in Majd el-Krum and Dekel School in Karmiel.


The encounter included:

  • Helping the children to get acquainted with one another through acquaintance workshop and games, such as memory game in which every child repeated the names of the other children and where they sit;
  • We talked about similar words in Hebrew and Arabic, in sound and in meaning;
  • We talked about the Jewish Holiday of Hanukah that just passed: - When it is celebrated, its duration of eight days; - reason for celebrating it – victory of the Jews over the Greeks and purification of the Temple; - Symbols of the Holiday – Hanukah lamp and candles, light, doughnuts… - Its connection to Purim that is also a Holiday determined by the Sages


The children from Dekel described how they celebrate the Holiday with their families and the children from A-Salam learned some things they never heard of before.


We ended with creating Hanukah symbols with the art teachers and each child took home the symbol they created.


Dec 23, 2013

International Day of Human Rights - December 10th

Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Jacobovits
Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Jacobovits

Dear Donor,


Please find below an update and photos from an especially successful evening we held nearly two weeks ago on the occasion of the international day of human rights.


This is another encounter that was made possible thanks to you to your caring and helpful donation.


We take the opportunity and wish to all our Catholic and Protestant Christian friends:


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Finally we wish to kindly remind you our request to include the Interfaith Encounter Association in your end-of-the-year giving. You can find information on tax-deductibility and ways to do that on:


Yours, Yehuda



Some 130(!!) Hebrew University students came on a winter evening for a special evening marking the International Day of Human Rights. The event was organized by IEA's local students group on campus: "Interfaith Encounter", in cooperation with the Department of Comparative Religion, under the title: Human Rights in Religion.


The evening was moderated by Ms. Yael Gidanyan, Chair of IEA Board, and Mr. Salah Aladdin, IEA's Assistant Director.


The first speaker was Dr. Yehuda Stolov who presented the Interfaith Encounter Association and its works to promote genuine coexistence and sustainable peace, through joint community building on the grassroots level, using interactive interfaith dialogue as its vehicle. The apolitical and all-inclusive approach of the organization and its activities enable it to successfully recruit a very wide range of participants and thus to continuously build a true grassroots movement which constitutes the human infrastructure for peace in the Holy Land. He also stressed that in the spirit of IEA the focus of this evening will be different. Many times such evenings focus on what's wrong with someone and what THEY need to do in order to improve. Tonight we will focus on understanding the imperative to respect human rights and hopefully go out with higher commitment on what WE should do to improve.


Then spoke Mr. Bill Van Esveld, senior researcher in the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch. He stressed the fact that their work mostly focus on the secular realm, reporting on and to governments who committed to respect human rights on issues where they fail to do so. He gave a few examples of the interface between his work and religion or religious communities. One example was the law in Saudi Arabia which is based on Sharia (=religious Islamic law) but did not develop clear criteria so two people who committed the same violation can be punished differently. Another example was the challenge to recruit support for a universal condemnation for suicide terrorists by all religious leaders in Iraq.


After the two openings we started the panel. The speakers were introduced by Yehuda Stolov and spoke according to the 'historical' order.


Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Jacobovits, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who is the son of Rabbi Lord Dr. Immanuel Jacobovits and Dean of the Torah Institute of Contemporary Studies. Rabbi Jacobovits said that there is no doubt that there are many sources in the Torah for the imperative to respect the "other": every human is valuable since s/he was created in the image of God, why was the first human created alone – in order for no one to be able to say to another 'my father is better than your father' and so on. However, it is important to note that besides the values of freedom and equality there are other values, such as faith, worshiping God etc. and that the challenge to balance all of them. Those who choose to give highest priority to the values of freedom and equality have to respect others, who organize their values differently, in order to prevent the danger of clashes.


Fr. Dr. Peter Madros from the Latin Patriarchate, a Scholar on Christian Theology and New Testament Science who speaks 11 current languages as well as 5 ancient ones. Fr. Madros agreed with the rabbi that religion put more emphasis on duties than on rights, although they are two sides of the same coin as your rights are my duties. For example: in the religious law it is allowed to stone some sinners and it stronger than their right to life. However, the right for life is important as it gives the possibility of repentance. In Christianity there is no capital punishment for religious violations but Jesus puts the responsibility on the emperor to deal with the crimes in society. In Christianity there is the right to freedom and self defense but the Apostles say that freedom should not be an opening for the lasts of the flesh and not shelter for injustice.


Sheikh Dr. Raed Fathi, was the Head of the Islamic Council for Fatwas (=religious ruling) and is lecturer in the Dawa and Islamic Studies College in Um el-Fahim. Sheikh Fathi said that after the death of Prophet Muhammad we have no prophets and every conversation between people is a conversation between equals. An important value in Islam is humanity: every person is born without sanctity or original seen. They can do great things as well as make mistakes. And they can repent for mistakes and haste. The basic approach is that the human is totally free to do what they wish, unless there is an explicit text that limits them and there are only some 1200 texts of "do" and "don't do" – much less than in the civil law. There are three principles of equality: all human were created in an equal way, we were all created to worship the one God, and we will all die and stand in front of God. An important principle in Isla is justice – not only among Muslims but among all people, even enemies.


After the three presentations, a very lively conversation took place between the audience and the speakers. Even after we officially concluded the evening, some two and a half hours after it started, many stayed and continued discussing. Many of the people attending signed up to join IEA groups and we hope that in the coming weeks we will find suitable groups for each of them.



The Interfaith Encounter Association

P.O.Box  3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel

Phone: +972-2-6510520

Fax:     +972-2-6510557




  Ms. Yael Gidanyan (Chair)

  Mr. Morad Muna

  Mr. Moshe Jacobs

  Mr. Imad Abu Hassan



Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Executive Director



Mr. Salah Alladin, Assistant Director



All contributions are welcome, small and large!


NEW: Donate securely on-line (tax deductible in the US) at:


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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.



Groups listed from north to south: 


  • Ma'alot
  • Acre
  • Karmiel-Majd el-Krum
  • Restaurant
  • Sakhnin College
  • M'ghar – Sawa Rabina
  • M'ghar – Shibolot
  • M'ghar – Bridging
  • M'ghar – Lana
  • M'ghar – Green Light
  • Galilee Women's Interfaith Encounter (WIE)
  • Jordan Valley College (YIE)
  • Haifa WIE
  • Haifa University Youth Interfaith Encounter (YIE)
  • Gordon College I YIE
  • Gordon College II YIE
  • Gordon College III YIE
  • Gordon College IV YIE
  • Gordon College V YIE
  • Carmel City
  • Wadi Ara WIE
  • Living Together in Wadi Ara
  • Netania-Qalansawa
  • Non-Violent Communication
  • Tel Aviv University YIE
  • Petach Tikva – Kfar Kasem
  • Tel Aviv-Jaffa
  • A/Nahnu – Mt. Scopus YIE
  • Language Exchange I
  • Language Exchange II
  • Haredi-Muslim
  • East of Jerusalem
  • Abu Dis And Maaleh Adumim
  • Interfaith Encounter Tours
  • Prayer focused
  • IEA Reut-Sadaqa
  • Study and Dialogue
  • Jerusalem WIE
  • Jerusalem YIE
  • Jewish-Christian study of the Gospel of Mathew
  • Ein Karem – Health Equality for all People in Israel
  • Jerusalem Arabic Speaking group
  • Bibliodrama
  • The Future – Mothers and Daughters
  • Interfaith Visits
  • Hebrew U.-Bethlehem U. YIE
  • Teens YIE
  • Women's Empowerment
  • East of Jerusalem
  • Gush Etzion
  • Siach Yeshiva – Hebron Students YIE
  • Circle of Light and Hope
  • Midwives
  • Jerusalem-Hebron Religious Leaders
  • Jerusalem-Hebron YIE
  • Jerusalem-Yata YIE
  • South of Hebron YIE
  • Eilat
Fr. Dr. Peter Madros
Fr. Dr. Peter Madros
Sheikh Dr. Raed Fathi
Sheikh Dr. Raed Fathi
Audience listening 1
Audience listening 1
Audience listening 2
Audience listening 2
Discussion continues after formal closure
Discussion continues after formal closure


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Project Leader

Dr. Yehuda Stolov

Executive Director
Jerusalem, Israel

Where is this project located?

Map of Community Building for 1000 Jews & Muslims 2012-14