We are a diverse community of Jewish leaders ready to encounter the complex stories, people, and places at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Photo by Shulamit Seidler-Feller

Our Programs

Encounter’s educational programming includes our signature Immersive Education programs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and opportunities for Continuing Education, including resources of what we are reading, watching and listening to.

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Photo by Shulamit Seidler-Feller

Our Community

The Encounter network includes a diverse group of Jewish influencers committed to generative and constructive discussion and engagement with the most critical issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Our Impact

Over the years, hundreds of exceptional Jewish leaders have been profoundly impacted by their Encounter experiences. See and hear their stories, and discover how they’ve incorporated the lessons of Encounter into their leadership.

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The opportunity to build relationships and process this intense experience with colleagues and new friends feels essential and a gift. Rabbi Deborah Waxman President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
I thought I had a solid command on so many facts and figures and data points and narratives. This trip gave me more facts, data points and anecdotes and voices that offer different narratives… Being present for that testimony was a gift. Rabbi David Seth Kirshner Rabbi, Temple Emanu-El, Closter, New Jersey
Encounter reinforced that certainty is not our friend if we are going to be drivers of peace. We need more questions than answers, more curiosity than certainty. Elana Kahn Director, Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation
I appreciated the opportunity to deepen my understanding of the conflict without being told what I should think or what I should do about it. Instead, I was given a diverse community of colleagues with whom I could debrief and figure out for myself how to incorporate what I had encountered into my leadership. Miriam Heller Stern Director, School of Education, Jewish Institute of Religion, Hebrew Union College
I didn't learn any substantial new facts or yet-unknown perspectives about the conflict. But I was pressed to confront the urgency of... and the untenability of my own blind spots. Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky Rabbi, Ansche Chesed

Upcoming Programs

Bethlehem Program for Jewish Leaders

Bethlehem January 18 - January 19

Our Emerging Leader Programs are designed for exceptional early-career Jewish professionals and future rabbis. Each program includes a two-day immersive experience in the West Bank during which participants gain unique, multifaceted insight into Palestinian life. Throughout, participants engage in a rich conversation amongst themselves that crosses political and religious affiliations and perspectives, cultivating relationships that transcend sectarian boundaries.

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Intensive Leadership Seminar

West Bank and East Jerusalem February 5 - February 8

Our Intensive Leadership Seminars are by-invitation-only programs designed for high-level Jewish communal leaders. Each Seminar cohort is comprised of leading Jewish professionals in their various fields and select lay leaders committed to a more nuanced, informed and constructive engagement with Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Seminars include a four-day delegation to the region with focused travel in Palestinian communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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Bethlehem Program for Gap Year Students

Bethlehem February 22 - February 23

Our Emerging Leader Programs targeted to Gap Year students are designed for exceptional young leaders. Each program includes a two-day immersive experience in the West Bank during which participants gain unique, multifaceted insight into Palestinian life. Throughout, participants engage in a rich conversation amongst themselves that crosses political and religious affiliations and perspectives, cultivating relationships that transcend sectarian boundaries.

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