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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So important to put faces and images to labels we read about. So important to humanize those often pitted as our enemies. So important to do so with Jews in a context of Ahavat Yisrael. Rabbi David Wolkenfeld Senior Rabbi, Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel
The trip forever colors your understanding of the security of Israel… It deepens your knowledge and exposure no matter how much you've read. Angie Atkins Director of Heritage Alumni, Wexner Foundation
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
I feel more engaged [after the Encounter program]. When I read news stories or hear personal narratives about the conflict, I feel like I have the tools to respond. I'm more sensitive to the challenges that Palestinians face, though I retain skepticism for any simplistic solutions to the conflict. Rabbi Joshua Heller Senior Rabbi, B'nai Torah, Sandy Springs, Georgia
Jewish communal leaders simply must recognize the need for us (right now!) to listen and learn, honor and engage, struggle and sit with all of these issues, narratives, experiences...for our sake collectively as a Jewish people, and specifically as American Jews. Lindsey B. Mintz Executive Director, Indianapolis JCRC

Upcoming Programs

East Jerusalem Program for Gap Year Students

East Jerusalem – Gap Year April 26 - April 27

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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Bethlehem Program for Jewish Leaders

Bethlehem – Emerging Leader May 10 - May 11

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 June 25 - June 28

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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