Andere willkommen heissen, reich werden

Von Andrew Luisi & Chagit Lyssy

Andere willkommen heissen ist an und für sich schon eine schwierige Aufgabe, doch Miki Joelson glaubt, dass dies essenziell ist, um Beziehungen zu fördern und starke Bindungen zwischen Palästinensern und Israelis zu erzeugen. Miki arbeitete zwei Jahre lang als Leiterin des Programms “Faith to Faith/Face to Face“ (auf Deutsch: “Glaube gegenüber Glaube/Gesicht gegenüber Gesicht“), ein Partnerprojekt des Auburn Seminars in New York mit dem ICCI, und ist jetzt ein aktives Mitglied des ICCI Ehemaligen-Vereins für jüdische und palästinensische Jugendliche und junge Erwachsene für friedliche Koexistenz. Als jemand, die als Koordinatorin von Programmen und Events zur Förderung inter-religiöser Zusammenarbeit und Bewusstsein gearbeitet hat, vertrat sie den ICCI an der neunten Generalversammlung der Religionen für den Frieden in Wien, wo sie über ihre Arbeit mit ICCI zur Förderung von Einschliesslichkeit und dem Streben nach Koexistenz sprach.

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Welcoming the Other, Becoming Rich

By Andrew Luisi

Personally welcoming the other is a difficult task in and of itself; however, Miki Joelson believes it to be essential in order to foster relationships and create strong bonds amAndrew Head Shot, Staffong Jews and Palestinians. Miki worked for two years as a facilitator with the “Face to Face”/”Faith-to-Faith” —a partnership of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York and ICCI—and she now is an active participant in ICCI’s Alumni Community of Jewish and Palestinian Youth and Young Adults for Peaceful Coexistence.  As someone who has coordinated programs and events to inspire interfreligious collaboration and awareness, she has recently represented ICCI at the 9th World Assembly of Religions for Peace in Vienna, Austria in November 2013, where she spoke about her work with ICCI in promoting inclusivity and striving for coexistence between Palestinians and Jews.

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Israeli Jews and Arabs Demonstrate Together Against Hate Crimes // Times of Israel

by Ron Kronish

as published in the Times of Israel on the 23rd of December 2013

Yesterday, for the first time, tens of Israeli Arabs and Jews demonstrated together opposite the office of Prime Minister Netanyahu in protest against the recent drastic increase of hate crimes against Arabs in the name of Tag Mechir (“Price Tag”). The demonstrators protested against the lack of response by the government to these acts, especially against the fact that none of the perpetrators have  been arrested.

The demonstrators carried signs which represented the names of towns and villages against which Tag Mechir attacks have taken place during the last 4 years. Two weeks ago, a mosque was vandalized in the Arab village of  Baka El Gharbiyah and therefore many from that town and surrounding  towns in their region participated in the demonstration.

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“The Image of the Other – a New Paradigm”

By Ron Kronish

as published in the Huffington Post on 22.11.2013

I flew on Austrian Airlines to Vienna three days ago with Palestinians and Jews from Israel and Palestine who were invited by the new King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) On the airplane we were all talking about how remarkable it is that Jews and Palestinians had the opportunity to meet educators from all over the world, at the invitation of the government of Saudi Arabia. All of this in one of the most important cultural capitals in Europe, which only 70 years ago was under the control of German and Austrian Nazism, which wrought so much destruction and damage in Europe and the world.

So much has changed for the better in recent decades, but all too many people in the world are unfamiliar with these surprising educational and cultural developments, which is why I take the trouble to share these reflections on this blog.

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“If I want to love my neighbor, I need to know my neighbor”

By Rachael Sauceda
(as part of our Stories of Inspiration series)

Yehuda Lapian is a 26 year old student attending Hadassah College in Jerusalem and is halfway through his B.A. degree in Political Science. Unlike most of his colleagues, Yehuda has participated in an ICCI program and has come to have a better understanding of “the other.”  Yehuda, who is Jewish, was born in America, but at the age of one moved to Israel and has lived in Jerusalem ever since. Growing up in a pluralistic household, his parents always taught him to “live and let live,” and that you have to remember there is pain on “the other side.”  It was with this pluralistic view of the conflict that gave Yehuda the courage and curiosity to learn more about his neighbors.

There were many moments in his childhood and adolescent years that could have drastically changed Yehuda’s outlook of his neighbor, especially growing up during a time when suicide bombings and terrorist attacks were frequent occurrences in Jerusalem. Often times, the conflict in the region taught him that Palestinians were the enemy, but his pluralistic views at home kept him grounded. However, as a teen he witnessed the aftermath of a suicide bombing in a local restaurant. Like most people after such a catastrophic event, Yehuda lacked the ability to find meaning in the situation and immediately grappled with the thought that whoever committed this act must really have hated the local community. This moment was both confusing and challenging.

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My Story – In Between

by Elana Lubka

(as part of our Stories of Inspiration series)Abu_Ghosh-2

“Change is to talk,” Bushra, 22, stressed in our conversation. I smiled at this, for one of the first things I noticed about Bushra was how comfortable she was speaking both English and Hebrew. Bushra attributes her fluency in English and Hebrew to having been raised in Abu Ghosh, an Arab village in the Judean Hills outside of Jerusalem. Not a part of the West Bank, Abu Ghosh is known for its amiability with neighboring Jewish villages and often plays hosts to visiting Jewish groups who wish to sample some of their famous hummus. This constant exposure to Israeli and foreign Jews has enabled her to become more familiar with the “other” than other Palestinians living in East Jerusalem or the West Bank.
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From Tivon to “The Other”

by Rachael Sauceda

Tal Michaelis, 29, is a Jewish Israeli who works at Variety, a non-profit organization that supports and assists children with special needs in Israel. Born and raised in in Tivon, Tal did h40482_415499396650_327112936650_5174862_7005097_ner army service just outside of Jerusalem at an absorption center, and has lived in Jerusalem for the past four years.

Growing up, Tal had a generally liberal outlook and felt that Palestinians were being treated unjustly. However, her knowledge of “the other” was limited to what she gathered from the news or learned from her father. However, until participating in an ICCI program for young adults, Tal had never really met or talked with a Palestinian.

Out of curiosity and as a result of one of Tal’s friends past participation, Tal decided to participate in ICCI’s dialogue and action group. Tal merely wanted the opportunity to talk to Palestinians in order to know Palestinian perspectives of the conflict and what their realities are like. The program that she participated in through the ICCI dealt with collective memory in Israel, Palestine and Japan. Called “From Memory to Reconciliation,” this year-long program met every month for intensive workshops and seminars. Jewish, Palestinian and Japanese students came together to learn how the national or collective memory affects conflict, and as a result, how a nation can grow despite the downward pull of the conflict. Continue reading