Women's Interfaith Encounter Report -- Meetings in June and July
- Dear Interfaith Friends,
The following reports were compiled with the assistance of Neima, Hanan, and
JUNE 23 MEETING:
Our candle was lit by Katya, a new member. Everyone gave a brief
introduction and then Ester reported about her trip to Aushwitz "From Memory
to Peace" which was the initiative of Abuna Shufani, a Christian priest from
Nazareth. The group consisted of 250 people from Israel -- Jews,
Christians, Muslims, and Druze joined by 200 European Chrisitians and
Muslims. Ester's mother died in Aushwitz and she read a poem "The
Connecting Path" describing how she brought earth from Yad Vashem, the
Holocaust Memorial, to spread at Aushwitz to connect her world with her
mother's. She decribed the moving ceremonies that took place there as they
all confronted the history and horrors that happened in that place of
Rabcha read a poem of hers written at Plum Village, the hermitage of
Vietnamese Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh, where a group of Jews, Muslims,
and Christians from Israel had been invited to study and mediate together.
Her poem "The Olive Tree" spoke about their planting an olive tree together
there -- and how an old olive tree represents our country and herself.
Everyone was moved by her poem and her description of her identity.
Mary told about being born and still living in the Muslim Quarter of the Old
City where her family is part of the Coptic Church although she was raised a
Catholic. She spoke of the differences between the two and how she deals
with it. She spoke about studying opthalmic nursing in England and
returning to marry and raise her family here where she works as a nurse in a
infant health clinic.
MEETING JULY 23:
An enthusiastic group brought food to share and gathered on Vered's balcony
for an informal evening under the stars. Everyone enjoyed the delicious
treats -- especially Nadia's stuffed grape leaves. Carolina, who's leaving
for Harvard to finish her Archeology degree, lit a special candle that had
been given to us by a Buddhist Thai nun. Afterwards Vered presented her with
a special candle as a going away present -- and she kindled it from our
candle as a symbol of carrying our love with her.
In the circle of introductions, we shared recent happy feelings and events.
Suhair passed around pictures from her graduation -- receiving a Master's in
Education from Bir Zeit University. Nadia spoke about a documentary being
filmed about her brother who was murdered years ago by Jewish students.
Rabcha told us about the upcoming weddings of her son and daughter. Inbal
spoke of deepening her religious observance of Shabbat and the importance of
learning about our own religions and respecting the difference of other
religions. Mary spoke of being invited as a nurse to speak at a Knesset
meeting about budget considerations for health services to infants. Noemi
began singing Armenian Wedding songs which was followed by others singing
Hebrew and Arabic songs and soon some dancing and much laughter to end a
Women's Interfaith Encounter
Interfaith Encounter Association
The Interfaith Encounter Association
P.O.Box 3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel
Sheikh Muhammad Kiwan, Chair
Sr. Karmela Farrugia, Vice-chair
Mr. Shlomo Alon, Vice-chair
Rabbi Dov Maimon
Fr. Dr. George Khoury
Ms. Ibtisam Mahamid
Sheikh Tawfiq Salama
Yehuda Stolov, Director
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