The Interfaith Encounter Association brings together, each year, several thousands of Jews, Muslims and Christians in around 250 encounters held by around 40 groups. They come from all parts of the political and religious spectra, ages, walks of life etc. This naturally requires funding. The average cost of operation is around $10 a month per participant. We ask you to partner with us in realizing and expanding this work through sponsoring one, or more, participants.
People of the Holy Land do not have opportunities to meet and connect. Therefore their attitudes towards each other are negative and prejudiced. As the Holy land is only 60 Miles/ 100 Km wide, this has ongoing negative effect in mistrust, misunderstandings and discriminative behavior. Occasionally it also results in a wave of violence, as we have seen unfortunately in the last year.
IEA brings people together in ongoing groups of interfaith encounter that build relationships of mutual respect and understanding between all members of society and their wider communities. Research show that this is effective approach as it: a. provides depth of discussion, which allows for intimate conversations, b. connects people through the commonalities it reveals, and c. through the acknowledgement of differences educates to accept otherness and not to condition friendship on agreement.
Someone who has met the "other" in a real way is changed forever. Through encounters participants get to know and trust one another and the bonds created in groups are bonds for life. The longevity of repeated contact avoids the problem of regression that occurs in short peacebuilding programs when participants lose touch. Participants bring their experience to their families, friends and neighbors - and often initiate additional new groups.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).