Encounter in North America
Encounter’s newly launched North America program leverages the powerful impact of our Middle East program and empowers our participants to transform their own constituencies. from the Shabbat table to the pulpit to Capitol Hill and the Knesset. Our alumni, including Rabbis, lay leaders, philanthropists, Jewish communal professionals and educators, turn to Encounter for guidance and consultation in their professional work engaging the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Encounter in North America works on three fronts:
- Creating an alumni “home” for networking, training and professional exchange: Our trainings and networking meetings on Israel engagement and activism have made Encounter the communal hub for prominent and up-and-coming Jewish leaders to share challenges, exchange best practices and develop spin-off initiatives with Arab and Palestinian communities as well as between Jews across ideological lines. Our 2010 alumni retreat offered training in facilitation, public speaking and congregational engagement with Israel and drew an inter-generational crowd of more than 85 alumni Jewish leaders from all sectors of Jewish life.
- Reshaping Israel engagement for the 21st century: Encounter’s groundbreaking Israel Education Initiative is driven by star alumni educators in diverse educational institutions across the country. This Community of Practice is tasked with developing high-level, rigorous educational resources and pedagogic models towards the long-term transformation of North American Israel education in high schools, Hillels, and other young adult settings. These new resources present multiple Israeli and Palestinian narratives; touch on Israel’s relationship to the U.S., U.N and Europe; grapple with security and human rights dilemmas; and address contentious turning points in the region from diverse perspectives (’48, ’67 and Camp David). No other existing curricula present these critical and difficult issues in ways that are current, nuanced, and informative of multiple points of view.
- READ MORE about our Israel Education Initiative
- Providing capacity-building for Jewish institutions toward wise, fruitful and nuanced relationships with Israel: Encounter’s Co-Executive Directors and staff are continuously sought out by the range of Jewish institutions and communities for consultation and training, from rabbinical schools to Federations to philanthropic networks, JCRCs, synagogues, Hillels, and JCCs. To date, hundreds of Jewish institutions, communities and leaders across the globe reap the benefits of Encounter’s expertise in fostering a more inclusive, informed and respectful Israel conversation.