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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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
Encounter gave me access to neighborhoods and people which were otherwise off limits. I was able to see and hear things firsthand that I would not have experienced otherwise. 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
Encounter gave me an opportunity that I had long been missing: to listen to the stories, perspectives, and experiences of Palestinians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. As a passionate supporter of Israel who yearns for peace, this experience was critical to a more complete understanding of the complexity of this land… Rabbi Adam Raskin Senior Rabbi, Congregation Har Shalom
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

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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