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Immersive Education

Encounter offers a range of immersive experiences in the West Bank for Jewish leaders and influencers. For Emerging Leaders, we offer an introductory trip to Bethlehem and surrounding areas. For senior Jewish Leaders, we offer our executive level Intensive Leadership Seminars, which include pre- and post-travel programming as well as a four-day travel component in Bethlehem and surrounding areas, East Jerusalem, and Ramallah.

Under certain circumstances, Encounter offers customizable one- and two-day experiences for Jewish groups visiting the region and seeking to incorporate and Encounter experience into their trip. Preference is given to organizations and congregations led by Encounter’s past participants. We offer private trips for supporters of $1800+, in order to retain our rigorous focus on our core programs and as a means of subsidizing them.

Photo by Shulamit Seidler-Feller

Emerging Leaders

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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Executive Leaders

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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Custom Programs

Are you directing or partic­i­pating in a mission of Jewish leaders to Israel and inter­ested in offering your group an unpar­al­leled and powerful oppor­tu­nity for connecting to Palestinian life? Are you a current or prospective supporter of Encounter wishing to learn about Encounters’ work in a meaningful experiential way?
Encounter offers a number of custom experiences each year for current and prospective supporters of Encounter and groups of high-level Jewish lay and profes­sional leaders, dependent on capacity given our scheduled core programs.

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Encounter's value is being one of a kind in creating a thoughtful, safe space [and a] responsible and diverse cohort of inspiring colleagues who can support each other in engaging the conflict in our communities. It offers Jewish leaders access to the voices we want to be talking to and with and about from the other side of the messiest, most personal global conflict we are in some way all a part of. It softens our ears and hearts even while dogmatically resisting specific political solutions or pat answers. Rabbi Steven Exler Senior Rabbi, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
I feel much more informed, have (some) first hand understanding and a better grasp on where to go to learn more. This is now an open and discussable topic. Rabbi Tully Harcsztark Head of School, SAR High School
Encounter is an opportunity to engage more deeply and seriously in the most pressing issues facing the Jewish people today. You need this. Not because you will emerge with solutions or talking points, but because you will break through and dive beneath the facile talk about solutions and talking points… Jon A. Levisohn Director, Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, Brandeis University
It is a duty to listen to all the stories if you wish to have a properly functioning moral compass. Rabbi Steve Greenberg Executive Director, Eshel
It's essential for Jewish leaders. Rabbi Sharon Brous Senior/Founding Rabbi, IKAR