Improve Holy Land situation - end 2011 opportunity
In 2010 the Interfaith Encounter Association managed to make several unique breakthroughs:
Dear IEA Supporter,
Perhaps like me you look at the situation in the Holy Land today and wonder what you can do to help?
The Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA) has been working with communities in Israel, Palestine and the wider Middle East for more than ten years. During that time we have brought together thousands of individuals, most of whom have met ‘the other' for the first time under our auspices. Our approach is always a-political and all-inclusive, bringing together people of all political and religious views, as well as all ages and genders.
Among the 41 on-going groups we have established so far, ten are groups of Israelis and West Bank Palestinians who meet together on a regular basis. Three of these bring together Palestinians with settlers - we are the only organization to achieve such collaboration between these groups.
To continue to expand our work across this region, we need the partnership and support of people who share in our desire for co-operation across communities. In writing to you, I ask and hope that you may extend your generosity to IEA through a financial contribution.
I’d like to tell you about just a few of our many inspiring successes this year:
- In a joint initiative of the IEA and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat, a ground-breaking meeting took place between Sheikh Abu-Khader Ja'abari of Hebron and Pastor John Hagee (Leader of Christians United for Israel). They were joined by Dr. Ashraf Ja'abari and Noam Arnon (Spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron ). The three clergymen spoke for several hours about how to develop greater tolerance between religious communities. It was truly moving to see these major leaders share their commitment to peace and finding meaningful ways to build trust and hope for a better future in the Holy Land .
- The coordinators of the IEA’s group for students from Hebrew University & Bethlehem University initiated Oil4Peace, an Israeli-Palestinian social-business venture to market fair-trade olive oil. Proceeds go towards furthering the IEA’s work of bridging divides between faith communities and creating economic and social bonds based on fairness and mutual respect.
- The second meeting of our major new project, the Euro-Mediterranean Abrahamic Forum, took place in Lublin, Poland. Participants came from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority, as well as Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK. This very special event culminated in a visit to the Majdanek concentration camp and a moving multi-faith ceremony, which included reading names of those who perished as well as prayers for the departed which were recited by Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy and communal leaders.
- We recently added three new ongoing monthly interfaith encounter groups, bringing our total number of such groups to 41. The new groups include two Israeli-Palestinian groups for young-adults and teens, respectively, from the Jerusalem and Bethlehem areas, as well as a group which focuses on the practice and teaching of Bibliodrama as a technique for interfaith encounter.
The IEA now reaches over 4500 people annually, and the number is constantly growing. Your support will enable us to continue with all of the above initiatives as well as to continue creating new ones. Your donation of:
$30 – covers printing and communications costs for one encounter session
$60 – buys food for one encounter session
$100 – pays for transportation for car-load of Palestinian youth to come to Israel for an
$250 – allows us to retain trained coordinators of one encounter session
$500 – covers all the costs for one Palestinian and Israeli Youth Encounter
$1,000 – pays for one conference
$5,000 – can sustain one ongoing dialogue group for one year.
You can now easily contribute online at http://interfaithencounter.wordpress.com/donate/
All contributions are fully tax-deductible in the US (501(c)3).
See http://interfaithencounter.wordpress.com/donate/ for how to make tax-deductible contributions if you are a UK or Swiss citizen.
In the US, contributions by check may be mailed directly to:
Friends of IEA, 832 Lathrop Ave., Forest Park, IL, 60130-2039
All contributions of any size are very warmly appreciated!
Dr. Yehuda Stolov
Enclosed: lists of Board and International Advisory Council members, listserv info
Ms. Yael Gidanian
Rabbi Bob Carroll
Ms. Nadia Tutunji-Nuseibeh
Ms. Saheer Siam
Ms. Seta Hovhanessian
Ms. Randa Zreik-Sabag
International Advisory Council:
Rabbi Saul Berman, Adjunct Professor of Law, Columbia University, and Affiliate Scholar, The Tikvah Center for Jewish Law & Civilization, New York University
Rabbi Dr. Tsvi Blanchard, Director of Organizational Development, Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL), New York
Rabbi Dr. Alan Brill, Cooperman/Ross Distinguished Professor of Jewish/Christian Studies in Honor of Sister Rose Thering, Seton Hall University
Roshei Bernie Glassman, Founder, Zen Peacemaker Order
Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin, Director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, co-founder, Multifaith Peace Walk and Rabbi, Danforth Jewish Circle
Dr. Iftekhar Hai, United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance
Imam Yahya Hendi, Moslem Chaplain, Georgetown University
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Rabbi of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, Chicago, IL
Prof. Katherine Marshall, Senior Fellow and Visiting Professor, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University
Dr. Eboo Patel, Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core
Dr. Charles R. Paul, President, Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy
Father John Pawlikowski, OSM, Professor of Social Ethics at Catholic Theological Union and Director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program
Rev. Dr. Donald Shriver, President & Professor of Ethics Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary
Rev. Dr. Krister Stendahl, Mellon Professor of Divinity Emeritus, Harvard Divinity School (deceased)
Rev. Robert V. Thompson, Minister, Lake Street Church, Chicago, IL, and former Chair of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions
Mr. Jonathan Wolf, former Social Policy Director of the Synagogue Council of America
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