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Jun 4, 2018

Model UN Interfaith Encounter in January

Group photo
Group photo

January 5th

We held another successful meeting with Yoni Eshpar from UNSCO. Obviously the recent statements by President Trump about the US embassy moving were of great interest. After Yoni's presentation, the students were split into 2 groups and spent an hour in intense discussions about Jerusalem and Gaza and the best way to resolve each city's future. 

 

January 12, 25, and February 2

We held a series of workshops to provide public speaking, debate and UN resolution reading and writing. The meetings were held at the US embassy and at a school in Tel Aviv, and were taught by lecturers from the Cohen-Idov Center for Debate and Public Speaking, as well as by Daniel Gindis. Many of the students who came to the workshops were specifically preparing for an upcoming conference in Cyprus. Each meeting had 20-30 students.

 

January 26-20

Students met with Ambassador Shambos at the Embassy of Cyprus. Despite terrible weather and a storm advisory warning, we had a great turnout and discussion, a week and a half before the group delegation to Cyprus.

Audience
Audience
Visit
Visit

Links:

May 31, 2018

Two encounters of IEA's Rabbis and Sheikhs group

7.2.18

We met, around thirty Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, to discuss Jerusalem and Temple Mount/ Al Aqsa.

We learned the verses from the Hebrew Bible about Jerusalem as well as Sura 17 from the Quran that talks about the connection of Islam to Al Aqsa.

 

Khaled mentioned that according to the interpretation that Al Aqsa is the place of the Temple, the story about God taking Muhammad to Al Aqsa is a fulfilment of the prayer of King Solomon that the Temple will relate also to the far-away stranger. We also mentioned the similarity between the sura in the Quran and the story in the book of Ezekiel in which God shows the temple to Ezekiel, who lived far from the Land of Israel.

 

Rebecca told us about the early caliphs who encouraged Jewish worship on the Temple Mount. She showed us a photo of coins with the image of the Menorah and Arabic inscription.

 

We also talked about the relation between Al Aqsa and the prophecy of Isaiah that in the end of days there will be a house of prayer for all nations on the Temple Mount.

 

 

25.4.18

We met around fifteen Jews and Muslims to continue our joint study.

Waji mentioned that Al Aqsa connects all Muslims – who all go up there and meet each other. Reuven said that in Judaism it also says about Jerusalem that it is "as a city that is compact together" which in Hebrew is interpreted that it makes all Israelites friends.

 

Yakov quoted Rabbi Nevenzal who said that a mosque is a holy site and that anyone who harms it is as if he is harming God. He also brought the story of Rabbi Shmuel Salant, who was the Rabbi of Jerusalem, who would make sure not to pass in front of a Muslim praying, just as is the rule for a Jew praying, because the divine presence is there.

 

The rule that before entering the Temple Mount one must dip in a ritual bath led to a vivid conversation about what are the things that cause impurity and how the ritual bath is organized.

Links:

Apr 23, 2018

Science and Spirituality

Some participants
Some participants

We were fortunate to host Dr. Mitchell Abrams, a Canadian radiologist and an associate professor at Michael G DeGroot medical school, who led us through a very special workshop, combining his passion for music and medicine.

After singing a song with his guitar, Dr. Mitch presented academic studies that explain the convergence of the Western hard sciences with the soft science of spirituality, allowing us to reconcile our individuality with our inherent connectedness. By bridging this gap, a new frontier in healthcare, community engagement and our collective evolution is quickly emerging. Dr. Mitch quoted academic papers that present the interconnectedness of all people and the ability to use it to support the emerging global community. 

Following the presentation we turned to an experiential activity of coloring mandalas to the sounds of Mitch's music. We ended with sticking the mandalas on Mitch's guitar.

Several mandalas
Several mandalas
Sticking mandala on the guitar
Sticking mandala on the guitar

Links:

 
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