Our Community

Encounter’s community includes leading rabbis of every denomination, professionals and lay leaders of every major Jewish institution, and public intellectuals shaping the contours of American Jewish life. All care deeply about the future of Israel and share a commitment to a more informed, inclusive and constructive Jewish communal engagement with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Photo by Shulamit Seidler-Feller

Jon A. Levisohn

Associate Professor and Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Chair in Jewish Educational Thought Brandeis University

Encounter is an opportunity to engage more deeply and seriously in the most pressing issue 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 beneat...

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Michael Simon

Executive Director Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University

Encounter’s work was grounded in clear values... including shema – resilient listening.... Back at Northwestern, the approach of resilient listening opened the door to common ground with left-leaning Jewish students, and my actual experience of e...

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Rabbi Lori Koffman

Director of Community Engagement and Learning Bet Torah

What is so often missing from these conversations are the voices of the people who are actually impacted, because the conflict is not just about security and politics, it’s about people... I believe it is critical for Jewish communal leaders to hea...

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Eric Robbins

President and CEO Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta

[After the Encounter program] I understand so much more. Even the basic history, the dates, the wars, the treaties…...

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Rabbi Steven Exler

Senior Rabbi Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – The Bayit

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 th...

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Rabbi Shira Stutman

Senior Rabbi Sixth & I Synagogue

I have been to Israel more than 50 times, and have led more than two dozen tours. Until Encounter, however, I had never visited a Palestinian village in the West Bank. The program forever changed the way I will talk and teach about Israel....

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Upcoming Programs

Emerging Leaders

December 31, 2018 - January 3, 2019

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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Intensive Leadership Seminar

West Bank and East Jerusalem February 18, 2019 - February 21, 2019

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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Intensive Leadership Seminar

West Bank and East Jerusalem April 8, 2019 - April 11, 2019

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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