Youth Interfaith Encounter
Several basic understandings are at the background of the project:
a. True and sustainable peace in the small Holy Land (some 60 Miles/ 100 Km between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea) strongly depends of good, even harmonious, inter-communal relations among its civil society communities;
b. Existing inter-communal relations are not great because the mutual images are based on negative stereotypes and prejudices that are deeply rooted but have little to do with reality;
c. Uprooting these images requires a strong experience of encounter with the humanity of the 'other', which is achieved by the Interfaith Encounter Approach (which takes the conversation to a deeper level of existential significance, reveals similarities and trains in accommodation of differences);
d. This should be done on a large scale, engaging people from all parts of the political and religious spectra (including 'radicals') as well as ages, genders, walks of life etc. and empowering 'ordinary' citizens to take the lead in changing their immediate part of society;
e. Special emphasis should be put on children and young adults – both as people who will live longer in their relations with the 'other' and as people who are energetic and can lead encounter groups.
Consequently the project will aim to create and sustain 10 on-going groups of children and young adults, meeting regularly and developing their groups into circles of friendship which exemplify the possibility of harmonious inter-communal relations.
Among the 10 groups we aim to include: connecting two primary schools in the upper-Galilee, bringing together young Palestinians and Yeshiva (=Religious Jewish academy) students, providing joint soccer trainings and dialogue, dialogue of Ultra-Orthodox Jews and very religious Muslims and other groups of young adults - in and outside campuses.
Following are some videos fo your viewing:
- Group of two primary schools in the Upper-Galilee
- Group of Mothers and Daughters
- Group of Young Adults from Jerusalem and Hebron in joint visit to Hebron
Most participating children and young adults will need support for their travel expenses from their homes to the venue of the encounter. Transportation will be organized to minimize costs.
What To Bring
Refreshments of any kind are always welcome but you should not feel obliged to bring anything - we will enjoy your sharing of your own views.
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