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Bethlehem Program for Gap Year Students

February 22, 2018
February 23, 2018
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Encounter is now accept­ing appli­ca­tions for our upcom­ing February 22–23 program to Bethlehem.

Space is limited. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Monday, February 5.

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 specif­i­cally towards gap year students in Israel.


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, February 18, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Trip dates: Thursday, February 22, 7:30am — Friday, February 23, 2:00pm
  3. Closing Session: Sunday, February 25, 7:00pm-9:00pm.

Cost: The cost is $250 for students, all inclu­sive. The cost is $400 for those who will be partic­i­pating in both this program and the April 26th trip.

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 inquire about schol­ar­ships at trips@​encounterprograms.​org.

Space is limited. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until Monday, February 5.

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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