Face to Face / Faith to Faith 2012 media project

The end of 2012 saw the conclusion of the 11th cycle of Face to Face / Faith to Faith (F2F) in Jerusalem, an interreligious and intercultural dialogue and social change program by Auburn Theological Seminary in partnership with ICCI. The first part of the program was dedicated to dialogue and exploration of issues related to identity, history and narratives, and the summer intensive in the second part widened perspectives and provided tools and skills for social activism. Capitalizing on this,the third and final part was focused on social activism and social change. The 2012 group of F2F chose to focus on three areas of action, and successfully planned and implemented several outreach projects, with the help and guidance of their facilitators, Miki Joelson and Sameh Aweadah.

The F2F kids were eager to share the meaningful experience they’ve been through with others, and to demonstrate to their communities that, despite the differences between them and the ever-present context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such an interreligious, bi-national group could work together to make changes for the better. A full day of dialogue for their friends and family members, prepared and facilitated by the participants themselves, proved an excellent opportunity for this.  A second project involved making visits to the Alyn hospital for children, where they entertained Jewish and Arabic patients and family members with bi-lingual joint activities (and an amusing bunny costume…):


The third area the kids wanted to focus on was outreach via social media. Three of them wrote blog posts (in Hebrew, Arabic and English) describing their experiences and the impact of the program on their lives and outlook (click images after the embedded video to read each post), and one of them created a special poster summarizing the year.  The team spearheading the group’s media project, with the help of their facilitators and two external volunteers, also prepared a special video (below), which is now up on our YouTube account. They prepared 3 questions that the F2F kids answer:
1. What did you think of the ‘other side’ before F2F and what do you think about it now?
2. What is it about the F2F program that made this change for you?
3. What did you learn / do you take with you for your future life?

Watch the video to discover the the answers…

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The F2F program, which has been active since 2001, will take a new direction in 2013, expanding and forming new collaborations with organizations doing similar work. Forty Jewish, Christian and Muslim youth from East and West Jerusalem will be recruited from existing leadership programs (e.g., the Jerusalem Youth Council) for a series of workshops in Jerusalem followed by a summer intensive camp in the North of Israel in August 2013. These youth will get to know the “other” through social interaction as well as substantive dialogue about identity, culture, religion and nationality. They will tackle issues related to living in a mixed city like Jerusalem, addressing challenges and difficulties, will learn how to initiate and produce projects, both on the ground and on the internet, and will receive professional mentoring and seed money in order to bring into fruition meaningful more and more social action projects.

New season of Kickstart Peace

Kickstart Peace, a joint program of the ICCI, Abu Ghosh Community Center, and the Kiryat Yearim Youth Village, began its second season with many new participants joining returning members of the team. Made possible by a special grant from FAITH, the Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony, Kickstart Peace is a unique interreligious youth program in which Arab and Jewish teens from the Jerusalem area form a multicultural football team. Through this program, which combines sports training, matches as part of the local “Mayor’s League,” and intercultural and social activities, youth get to know each other through sports as they build social relationships, and develop tolerance and mutual understanding.

The first team of Kickstart Peace, June 2012

The first team of Kickstart Peace, June 2012

Fifteen Jewish and Arab teenage boys (aged 15-18; 11th and 12th graders) from the Arab village Abu Ghosh and the Jewish Kiryat Yearim Youth Village comprise this year’s team. The team is trained under the guidance of a Jewish coach from Kiryat Yearim and an Arab assistant-coach from Abu Ghosh. Additionally, ICCI provides two staff members, one Jewish and one Arab, to administer an educational program of intercultural enrichment and coexistence education activities. These two facilitators, ICCI alumnus Hani Salman and Danna Sharon, lead the team through team building activities, guided discussions, goal-oriented collaboration, and more. They will soon guide the team through a process of jointly designing a team logo for their football uniform.

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شاركت بالبرنامج بهدف الإستماع

עברית | English

شاركت ب face to face  بهدف الإستماع.

حدثتني أم لصديق مقرب لي عن البرنامج، ظانة بأن المشروع قد يثير فضولي.

ترددت في البدايه في تقديم الطلب, تساءلت عن مدى إستفادتي، هل أملك من الوقت ما ستحتاجه المشاركه في البرنامج، لكني قررت المشاركة.

:أرسلت نصا إنشائيا طويلا عن نفسي، تمت دعوتي لمقابله وبعدها للقاء أولي, حدد اللقاء الأولي استمرارية مشاركتي في البرنامج. تواجد في اللقاء الأولي ما يقارب ال 30 مشارك من أبناء جيلي، إسرائيليين وفلسطينيين ومن كل الأديان، لقد كانت تلك المرة الأولى التي أجالس بها فلسطينيين، طرف الصراع الآخر المتواجد خلف الحاجز, بل أنها كانت المرة الأولى التي أحادث بها فلسطينيين أبناء جيلي. أدركت حينذاك مدى نقص المعرفة التي أملك، وعن مدى معرفتي السطحيه بالصراع وبالطرف الآخر.

بعد اللقاء، لم يكن بداخلي أي تردد، قررت بأني سأشارك في الرنامج, وبدأت أفهم مدى أهمية المشاركه بالنسبه لي- هل من المعقول أن يعيش الإنسان هذا الصراع بدون أن يكون على علم بالجانب الآخر؟ كيف لي أن أتخذ القرارات المتعلقة بالجانب الآخر بدون أي معرفه حقيقيه به؟

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מכתב מסאם, משתתף בתכנית פנים אל מול פנים / אמונה אל אמונה

العربية | English

שלום לכולם,

שמי סאם, אני אחד המשתתפים בתוכנית ‘פנים אל מול פנים / אמונה אל אמונה’ 2012.

בהתחלה, החלטתי להשתתף בתכנית כי חשבתי שיהיה כיף. הייתי ממש קרוב לנשירה מהתוכנית אך סאמח ומיקי שיכנעו אותי להישאר בתוכנית ולעבור את החוויה המדהימה הזו. אני אסיר תודה לשניהם כיוון שאם הם לא היו משכנעים אותי להישאר בתוכנית, לא הייתי במקום שאני נמצא בו היום.

כפי שאמרתי, בהתחלה, החלטתי להשתתף בתכנית כי חשבתי שיהיה לי כיף, אך עם חלוף הזמן, התחלתי לחוש את הרצינות של התוכנית, ואת האחריות שלקחתי על עצמי. משם התחיל האתגר האישי שלי ביני לבין עצמי אשר נובע מכמה סיבות. הסיבה הראשונה היתה הצורך שלי להגן על הסוגיה הפלסטינית, שהיא הסוגיה שלי, וזאת במסגרת דיונים אודות הקונפליקט הישראלי- פלסטיני שאני אנהל עם אנשים שונים. הסיבה השנייה היתה הרצון שלי לבחון את זכאותי להיות כאן (בקבוצה), ולדעת האם יש אנשים אחרים שאולי מגיע להם להשתתף בתכנית יותר ממה שמגיע לי. הסיבה האחרונה היתה השאיפה שלי לבנות קשרים וחברויות עם אנשים שונים, ולחוות פרק בחיי שלא יצא לי לחוות עד עכשיו. עכשיו, המשתתפים הם חלק מבני משפחתי, ואני יודע שחוויתי בחיי פרק מדהים וחד פעמי.

‘פנים אל מול פנים’ היא יותר מסתם תכנית, היא עולם אחר שמעניק למשתתפיו הזדמנות ללמוד יותר על הקונפליקטים והדתות, ועל אנשים שונים מרקעים ודתות אחרים. אם לומר את האמת, תכנית ‘פנים אל מול פנים’ שינתה אותי לטובה, והעניקה לי המון. פנים מול פנים הוא המקום לאנשים שמעוניינים בעשיית השלום, לא משנה מאיפה הם, משנה מהם מטרותיהם ורצונותיהם. זה נכון במיוחד לקבוצתי, קבוצת ירושלים.

בצל הקונפליקט שלנו אשר טומן בחובו מציאות קשה לכל אחד מאיתנו, עושי השלום, אני מצפה מכם לא לזרוק את האשמה על צד אחד, אם אתם באמת מבקשים להגיע ליציבות ולשלום.

אני מוסר את אהבתי לכולכם ומקווה שיום אחד יבוא השלום על העולם כולו, כיוון שהעולם בידינו.

samסאם אלאערג הוא משתתף בקבוצת ‘פנים אל מול פנים / אמונה אל אמונה’ 2012 בירושלים, תכנית דיאלוג ומעורבות חברתית בינלאומית של הסמינר התיאולוגי אובורן, ניו יורקICCI היא השותפה המקומית ומפעילת התכנית בירושלים.

رسالة سام، مشارك في برنامج وجه لوجه / إيمان لإيمان

עברית | English

مرحا للجميع،

إسمي سام، أنا أحد مشتركي برنامج وجه لوجه / إيمان لإيمان 2012.

في البدايه، قررت أن أشارك في البرنامج للتسليه والمتعه، كنت على وشك الإنسحاب من البرنامج، ولكن، بفضل سامح وميكي الذين أقنعوني في الإستمرار بخوض هذه التجربه العظيمه. وأنا ممتن لهم، فلولاهم لما كنت هنا.

كما قلت سابقا، في البدايه، شاركت للتسليه فقط، ولكن، ومع مرور الوقت، بدأت أشعر بجدية الموقف والمسؤوليه التي تقع على عاتقي، ومنها بدأ التحدي بيني وبين نفسي لأكثر من سبب، السبب الأول، للدفاع عن قضيتي وقضية الشعب الفلسطيني، ولأناقش مع الآخرين الصراع الفلسطيني الإسرائيلي. أما السبب الثاني، فكان لأرى إن كنت أستحق التواجد هنا، أم أن هناك من هم أحق مني به، وأكثر كفاءه. والسبب الأخير كان لبناء صداقات مع أناس مختلفين، ولأخوض فصل لم أخضه في حياتي. أصبح المشاركين الآن مت أفراد عائلتي، والفصل الذي خضته، أصبح من أروع ما مررت به في حياتي ولن يحدث لي إلا مرة واحده.

وجه لوجه أكثر من مجرد برنامج، بل هو عالم آخر يعطيك الفرصه لتتعلم المزبد عن الصراعات والديانات، وهو خليط ومزيج من أشخاص من خلفيات وديانات مختلفه. لأكون صادقا، برنامج وجه لوجه غيرني للأفضل وأعطاني الكثير، وجه لوجه هو مكان لصانعي السلام، لا يهم من أين هم، المهم أهدافهم وغاياتهم، بالأخص مجموعتي، مجموعة القدس.

في ظل وجود الصراع والأحداث التي تحصل فيما بيننا، صراع وأحداث  تحمل واقع صعب على كل فرد منا صانعي السلام’

أتوقع منكم ألا تلقوا اللوم على طرف واحد، إن كنتم حقا تبحثون عن الإستقرار والسلام.

مع حبي للجميع وأتمنى أن يعم السلام يوما ما على العالم أجمع، لأن العالم بين أيدينا.

samسام الأعرج هو مشارك في مجموعة وجه لوجه / إيمان لإيمان 2012 القدس , برنامج للحوار والاختلاط الاجتماعي-العالمي. يتم هذا البرنامج بالتعاون مع كلية أوبورن اللاهوتية في نيويورك ومجلس التنسيق بين الأديان في إسرائيل هي الشريكة المحلية والمسؤولة عن ادارة المشروع بالقدس.

Letter from Sam, F2F participant

עברית | العربية

Hi all,

My name is Sam, I am a participant in the Face to Face / Faith to Faith 2012 program.

I first decided to enter the program because I thought it would be fun. At a certain point I was about to withdraw, but Sameh and Miki, our facilitators, convinced me to stay in the program and go through this incredible experience. Now I am grateful to them, because without them I would not be in the place I am today.

As I said, in the beginning, I entered the program for fun, but overtime, I started to feel how serious the program is and to realize the responsibility I had taken upon myself. From there, a personal challenge between me and myself developed for a few reasons.

The first reason was my need to defend the Palestinian cause, which is my own, within discussions about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The second reason was my determination to see if I’m entitled to be (part of the group), to see if maybe there are other people who deserve to participate more than I do.

The last reason was my desire to make connections and build new friendships with people who are different from me, and have experiences that I’d never before had a chance to. The other participants are now members of my family, and I know this was a beautiful episode in my life which happens once in a lifetime.

F2F is more than just a program; it is another world which gives you a chance to learn more about conflicts and religions, and about different people from different backgrounds and religions. To be honest, the F2F program gave me a huge amount, and changed me for the better. F2F is a place for peacemakers, no matter where they are from, what matters are their goals and ambitions. That’s especially true of my home group, the Jerusalem group.

In light of the conflict which creates a hard reality for every single one of us, the peacemakers, I expect of you not to put the blame on only one side, if you truly want to achieve stability and peace.

I send my love to all of you, and I hope that one day peace will come to the entire world, because the world is in our hands.

samSam Alaaraj is a participant in the ‘Face to Face / Faith to Faith’ 2012 group in Jerusalem, an inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue and social change program by Auburn Theological Seminary in partnership with ICCI.

A Shared Struggle for Our Distinct Identities

by Nomi Teutsch, Shatil Fellow at ICCI

On December 10th, people of three faiths gathered to discuss the topic “Confronting Hellenization and Secularism: Then and Now” in honor of Hanukkah. Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman led the crowd in the lighting of the candles. He stressed that, just as Jewish people are supposed to make the light of the Chanukah candles public to celebrate an ancient miracle, so too should each person at this event make public the miracle of people of many faiths coming together in these trying times to bring light into the world.

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Throughout the evening’s programming, it became clear that this miracle does not end at simply being in the same room. Rather, the miracle occurred as people of diverse faiths engaged in questions that are dear to all of us, leading everyone in attendance to a new awareness that many struggles we face as communities are shared with all people of faith. The central questions of the evening were: how do we engage modernity without losing our religious traditions and identities? Where is the line between embracing innovation and assimilating?

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