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Jul 10, 2018

Another music group!

Playing together
Playing together

Another music group was formed in February at the Felm Center. We aim to reach the level of performing publically and thus attracting mroe people to the circles of interfaith encounter.

During the first months we held four encounters, on 13.2, 20.2, 6.3, 13.3.

In the first encounter we held a short round of introduction and then started to sing and play together. In this encounter we were: Yuval (percussion), Marwan (Oud) and four singers (Shani, Yael, Muna and Limor).

From among the other singers only Muna came to another encounter, but she also stopped coming, so currently it is only Yuval, Marwan and Shani. We are looking for additional players and a singer to sing in Arabic.


In the encounters we worked on the following songs: Erev Shel Shoshanim, hine Ani, Hali Hali Hal, Nizoz Ha'ahava, Yatir Yatair, Ze Hazman Lisloah. The atmosphere was very good and the encounters very successful.


Our immediate aim is to recruit more players and a singer, while continuing working on additional songs.



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.



May 31, 2018

Two encounters of IEA's Rabbis and Sheikhs group


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.




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.


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