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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

Encounter invites outstanding emerging Jewish professionals and lay leaders to apply for our Emerging Leaders Intensive Seminar. Members of the Emerging Leaders Intensive Seminar are future professional and/or lay leaders in Jewish communal life and are committed to pursuing high-level leadership and a leadership pathway that is bridge-building and constructive in an era of high political polarization. The Seminar includes a four-day delegation to the region with focused travel in Palestinian communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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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?
Encounter offers a number of custom experiences each year for groups of high-level Jewish lay and profes­sional leaders, dependent on capacity given our scheduled core programs.

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Incredible opportunity to see/hear Israel from another perspective. Anonymous Jewish Communal Executive
It is incumbent upon us, as lovers of Israel, Jews and Judaism, to know all aspects of the issues. We are people of the book, of seeking truth and knowledge and peace. Debbie Cosgrove Chair, Jewish Women’s Foundation NY
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
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
Essential and transformative. Rabbi Angela Buchdahl Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue