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REORT: Womens Interfaith Encounter Meeting August 14

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  • Yehuda Stolov
    Dear Interfaith Friends, This report was prepared with assistance from Neima, Hanan, Aida, Shira, and Anastasia. Sixteen Muslim, Christian, and Jewish women
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2003
      Dear Interfaith Friends,

      This report was prepared with assistance from Neima, Hanan, Aida, Shira, and

      Sixteen Muslim, Christian, and Jewish women gathered together on a hot
      Jerusalem evening to focus on planning together for future activities. We
      were graciously hosted by the YMCA. Nadia was the facilitator for the
      evening and our candle was lit by Rose who had just returned from a visit to
      her children in California. She lit a Peace Candle that had been kindled
      from a World Peace Candle and given to our us in England. Inbal offered a
      lovely prayer. In our circle of introductions, we welcomed Inbal's mother
      Nili, and welcomed back Aida, Carmen and Rose from their travels. Aida
      shared a little about her workshop in Switzerland with Palestinians,
      Israelis, and Europeans, and her workshop at a camp in Tamera, Portugal with
      Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, and Europeans. We welcomed Anastasia
      back after her operation and were happy to see that she is healing well.
      Joyce mentioned that all her other activities often prevent her from
      attending our meetings -- but being back with us made her realize how
      wonderful and important it is for her to connect with our energy and
      experience the love we have together. Mary made a telling comment -- saying
      that "before I used to be afraid about coming to our meetings -- wondering
      should I or shouldn't I go -- but since our Retreat together in Givat Haviva
      when we really had a chance to mix together and get to know each other --
      now I wait impatiently for the next meeting" She expressed so personally
      and clearly the tremendous benefit we all received from being able to travel
      out of Jerusalem and have extended time to work and relax together.

      Nadia gave us a wonderful brief lesson in Arabic -- and we all practiced
      saying "Good Morning", "How are you?" and many words for common foods and
      parts of the body in Arabic. Everyone was so happy and busy catching up
      with each other both before the meeting and during the break that it was
      hard to get down to business.

      We took the list of activities we had formulated at our Retreat and broke
      down into four groups to plan for the future. When we reconvened at the
      end, we had the following results:

      Social Activities: Shira, Evelyne, Nadia: This group planned a group film
      outing which Shira will arrange, a picnic for families which Nadia will
      arrange through the Nature Society, and a visit to Evelyne's home one
      evening soon.

      Social Action: Neima, Inbal, Anastasia, Hanan: This group planned joint
      Hebrew/Arabic lessons to begin each meeting, studying religious texts
      together in the original languages, series of open lectures/discussions with
      other women's group on subjects like women's rights.

      Collaboration with other Groups: Aida, Carmela, Vered, Rabeha: This group
      decided to work on our Vision Statement as way to communicate to others what
      we're doing, contact other groups so that we do not feel so isolated and get
      information about them, create a Calendar of events that other groups are
      holding so that we can attend -- however everyone is still encouraged to
      send out information to everyone by email.

      Education: Rose, Mary, Suhair, and Elana: This group decided to create a
      Cultural Club for Muslim, Christian, and Jewish children, 10 - 12 years old,
      that would meet monthly with interfaith counselors and learn about each
      other's cultures through enjoyable activities like music, art, language, and
      videos. The parents would be involved from the beginning. They're
      currently exploring the reactions and feedback of the children in their own
      communities to plan effectively. Wendy later agreed to help with this

      At our next meeting we will report back on the developments for each
      committee. Also, we will have an intra - faith dialogue by breaking down
      into the three faith groups -- Muslim, Christian, and Jewish, for
      discussions among ourselves to better understand and participate in the
      inter- faith dialogue we are always holding.

      Especially in these difficult times, we can take inspiration from Mother
      Teresa who said, "You don't have to do great things, you can do small things
      with great love".


      Elana Rozenman
      National Coordinator
      Women's Interfaith Encounter
      Interfaith Encounter Association

      The Interfaith Encounter Association
      P.O.Box 3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel
      Phone: +972-2-6510520
      Fax: +972-2-6510557
      Website: www.interfaith-encounter.org

      Sheikh Muhammad Kiwan, Chair
      Sr. Karmela Farrugia, Vice-chair
      Mr. Shlomo Alon, Vice-chair
      Sheikh Ali Birani
      Rabbi Dov Maimon
      Ms. Ibtisam Mahamid
      Sheikh Tawfiq Salama

      Yehuda Stolov, Director
      E-mail: msyuda@...

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