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 through Interreligious Dialogue, Education and Action

By Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

November 21, 2013
Presented at the Peace Education Commission of Religions for Peace, at the World Assembly in Vienna

Read related article in the Huffington Post

Introduction

I am very pleased to be part of this distinguished panel on this important topic, which has been the essence of my professional life for the past 22 years. I founded the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel in 1991, and in all the years that I have served as Director, we have been an active member of Religions for Peace. I like the name and the mission of this organization. It says very clearly who we are and what we are for. By itself, it is an educational statement.

Unfortunately, in my part of the world, this idea is not too well understood. Too often, some religions have supported ongoing war and violence, rather than standing for peace. In contrast, I believe that the values and teachings of the great religions of the world must be harnessed to help their leaders and followers become active practitioners of peacebuilding and reconciliation.

One of the most central ways that we can welcome the other—each in our own country and region as well as internationally –is through Interreligious Dialogue, Education and Action.

Since we have done this successfully in Israel for a long time, I will share with you some of the insights and best practices of our work in the 10 minutes that have been allotted to me. To learn more, click “here” to get to our website, or go on Facebook and twitter to “like” us, and to “share” with others our insights from our blog posts—including our “stories of inspiration” series — and our best practices! (www.icci.org.il)

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Christians from New York experience the complexities of Israel and Palestine with ICCI

by Andrew Luisi

Andrew Head Shot, StaffChrist Church, located in New York, is a congregation in the United Methodist denomination of Protestant Christianity that strives to experience God, connect with  others, and serve the world. Their mission is clear and forthright: they seek to love God before all things and their neighbors as themselves.
A group of congregants from the church came to Israel and Palestine for an intensive two-week study tour hosted by ICCI’s Center for Interreligious Encounter with Isreal, that analyzed relations between the monotheistic religions and viewed Christianity from a multicultural context.  On the last day of their program, they arrived at the ICCI for a lecture and discussion on “The Other Peace Process–Interreligious Dialogue, Education and Action in Israel-Palestine as a Form of Peace-building” by Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish, director of ICCI.
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“Justice, Justice You Shall Pursue “

By Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish

as published in the Huffington Post on 21/7/13safe_image

“One of the most central tenets of Judaism is to pursue justice . We are reminded of this over and over again in the Bible, especially in the book of Deuteronomy, which we Jews began reading in our synagogues in Israel and around the world in recent weeks, and in the prophetic readings from Isaiah, which we read as supplementary to our Torah text for the next seven weeks, and on the morning of Yom Kippur. Indeed, ours is a religion which emphasizes social justice, both in our foundational texts and in our liturgy.

It is for this reason that I was honored to participate in a unique seminar on “Justice and Society” with 25 judges, law professors, lawyers and educators, at the world-renowned Aspen Institute in scenic Aspen, Colorado this past week. It was an amazing experience, one of the intellectual and spiritual highlights of my adult life.

At the closing evening of the seminar, one of the participants referred to our group as a “beloved community.” Indeed, we bonded as a group — not only through our carefully and thoughtfully facilitated discussions, but also in our coffee breaks, our meals, our hiking together, and our strolls around the awe-inspiring grounds of the Aspen Meadows campus in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. This was an extraordinary group of caring and committed intellectuals and practitioners who genuinely and actively listened deeply to each other, but also spoke personally, professionally and passionately about fundamental issues involved with creating a just society which were clearly of central importance to all of us.

What is justice? Is the law always just? Is the law always moral? What happens when our morality dictates to our conscience to be civilly disobedient to an unjust law, as in the famous examples of Rev. Martin Luther King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, or Mahatma Gandhi — some of the great reigious leaders of the twentieth century, who were motivated by deeply held religious views of justice, based on their sacred texts and moral world-view.

And, what about economic justice? About the cruel inequalities between rich and poor in so many Western liberal democracies? Why should the top one percent of American or Israeli society live in such affluence and abundance when there are so many disenfranchised poor people in these societies? What should be done to tax the rich more fairly so that distributive justice becomes a reality and not just a philosophical idea?”

 

Continue Reading in the Huffington Post Blog

Tikun Olam

“How do you say Tikun Olam in Hebrew?” is the circulating joke about this meaningful concept in Judaism. But it’s no joke at all. How Tikun Olam manifests in the three monotheistic religions was the subject of a panel lead by ICCI Director Ron Kronish and representatives of the three religions on the 1st of May. Evidence brought out at the panel showed that the act of grace and kindness towards the needy is an “international interreligious commandment” as the representative of Islam concluded. However, in a complex reality where interreligious interaction and tolerance is scarce,  the values of our  scriptures sometimes remain unfulfilled.

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“Resisting Racism and Keeping the Light of Hope Alive”

By Rabbi Ron Kronish

“Earlier this week, I was invited to attend a meeting of the Committee on Education of the Knesset (parliament) by leaders of a coalition which I am part of

Dr. Ron Kronish

Dr. Ron Kronish

called Tag Meir, Hebrew for “Light Tag,” or perhaps better translated as “A Sign of Light.” The group combats hate crimes that have become endemic in certain quarters in Israel during the last year and a half. We began at Hanukkah to react to each violent act of Jewish ultra-nationalists who desecrate churches and mosques and attack innocent peace activists, who go under the name Tag Mechir, Hebrew for “Price Tag.” Our idea was to light a beacon of peace and reconciliation to show the sane face of the moderate mainstream of Judaism in Israel.

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From Socializing to Social Media

by Nomi Teutsch

Members of the group at the protest tent in Beit Safafa February

Members of the group at the protest tent in Beit Safafa Februar

Also in: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/from-socializing-to-social-media/

Some time ago, a group of Palestinian and Jewish alumnae of ICCI’s women’s dialogue groups from past years came together to take the leap from words to deeds. This can be an incredibly tricky step to take, as united action requires agreement on both a message and a strategy.

I began working with the group this October (2012), examining topics that were meaningful to the group in order to find the right project for us to take on. As we were in the midst of discussing and exploring, something shocking happened…

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