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Bethlehem Program for Jewish Leaders

December 14, 2017
December 15, 2017
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Encounter is now accepting appli­ca­tions for our upcoming December 14–15 trip to Bethlehem. 

Space is limited. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Monday, December 4.

Over 2,500 Jewish leaders from every denom­i­na­tion and from across the polit­ical spec­tra have trav­eled with Encounter to meet directly with Palestinians. They have had the unique oppor­tu­nity to consider new approaches to the conflict and have learned how to bring construc­tive conver­sa­tion home to their own commu­ni­ties and institutions.

Join a diverse cohort of your peers for this crit­ical expe­ri­ence. Become part of a network of Jewish leaders committed to bringing about both a healthier Jewish communal discourse and a changed reality on the ground for Israelis and Palestinians. 

This program is geared towards Jewish ‘influ­encers’: future rabbis and educa­tors, communal profes­sionals, lay leaders, volun­teers and phil­an­thropists are all encour­aged to apply.


On an Encounter Trip

After one day of your trip, I felt like I had never been to Israel before, and I am consid­ered a profes­sional Israel expert who travels to Israel several times a year.” 

– Senior Federation Executive 

 Questions about the program and eligi­bility to partic­i­pate are welcome and should be directed to trips@​encounterprograms.​org.

Go beyond news­paper head­lines and tele­vi­sion sound bites.
Learn through personal encoun­ters about key chal­lenges facing Palestinians.
Discover the steps grass­roots, non-violent activists are taking to meet them.
Engage mean­ing­fully with fellow Jews in facil­i­tated discussions.
Reshape Jewish engage­ment with the conflict to be more inclu­sive, informed and constructive.

Encounter is inten­tion­ally non-partisan. We do not prescribe nor advo­cate for a partic­ular polit­ical stance or form of conflict reso­lu­tion. Instead, we advo­cate for direct engage­ment with Palestinians as part of respon­sible Jewish lead­er­ship.

The program includes:

  • Presentations by respected local Palestinian civil society leaders and activists.
  • Walking tours of key geographic areas.
  • Optional home stays with Palestinian families.
  • Confidential, facil­i­tated dialogue with Jewish peers.
  • Kosher food and multiple davening options.

The program will take place in Bethlehem and surrounding areas within 15 minutes of Jerusalem. Click here for a sample itin­erary of this trip.

The program has three components:

  1. Opening Session: Sunday, December 10, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Trip dates: Thursday, December 14, 7:30am — Friday, December 15, 3:00pm
  3. Closing Session: Sunday, December 17, 7:00pm-9:00pm.

Cost: The cost is $500 for profes­sionals and $250 for students, all inclusive.

Trip fees must be received one week prior to the trip to secure your space on the program. Cost should not be a barrier to partic­i­pa­tion. Please be in touch about subsi­dies. Wexner Graduate Fellows and Alumni are eligible for full schol­ar­ships. Please inquire at trips@​encounterprograms.​org.

Space is limited. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until Monday, December 4.

Click here to apply online.

*Please note that according to Israeli law, those who possess Israeli citi­zen­ship are prohib­ited by Israeli law from trav­eling to certain Palestinian areas in the West Bank. Therefore, partic­i­pants who have Israeli citi­zen­ship are invited to check our calendar for upcoming trips to Areas B and C, areas of the West Bank where Israelis are permitted.

Questions are welcome. Please email trips@​encounterprograms.​org.

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Our Mission

Encounter is an edu­ca­tional orga­ni­za­tion dedi­cated to strength­ening the capacity of the Jewish people to be construc­tive agents of change in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Moti­vated by the relent­less Jew­ish pur­suit of hokhma (wis­dom) and binah (under­stand­ing), Encounter cul­ti­vates informed Jew­ish lead­er­ship on the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict by bring­ing…

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