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Going to Israel? Add an ENCOUNTER Experience

by Bruce Shaffer
Published on September 21, 2011 in Boulder Jewish News

For those highly engaged in Jewish commu­nity activ­i­ties – from rabbis and teachers to foodies, farmers and fundraisers – trips to Israel are the norm. However, only recently have Jewish orga­ni­za­tions begun to provide oppor­tu­ni­ties for these leaders to directly engage with Palestinian perspec­tives. Encounter Programs is at the fore­front of this move­ment. And now, thanks to a timely grant from the Oreg Foundation, Coloradoans have the oppor­tu­nity to expe­ri­ence an Encounter trip first-hand.

Encounter equips Jewish leaders with tools to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to create more construc­tive Israel discourse and engage­ment in their commu­ni­ties. Their flag­ship program, based in Israel, brings Jewish lead­er­ship on 2-day tours to Palestinian cities in the West Bank to meet with their wide range of Palestinian part­ners and gain expo­sure to Palestinian life. Encounter provides a crucial educa­tional compo­nent that’s been missing: on-site expe­ri­ence and rare, face-to-face access to many lesser-heard voices of cred­ible and main­stream Palestinian leaders.

Founded six years ago, Encounter has already brought over one thou­sand estab­lished and emerging Jewish leaders to the West Bank, drawing from Rabbinical schools, syna­gogues, campus Hillels and other Jewish communal orga­ni­za­tions. Encounter is distin­guished by its successful draw from Jewish leaders across polit­ical affil­i­a­tions, denom­i­na­tions and gener­a­tions. Its goal is no less than to seed a new cadre of American Jewish lead­er­ship equipped to grapple with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, catalyzing change in communal groups, board­rooms, class­rooms and campuses.

As we follow the United Nations proceed­ings and uncer­tain outcomes of the Palestinian proposal, it is impor­tant stay as informed as possible, including Palestinian perspec­tives from repre­sen­ta­tive and influ­en­tial voices. Encounter is encour­aging as many Jewish leaders from Colorado as possible to take advan­tage of this remark­able oppor­tu­nity. If you’re plan­ning to be in Israel, Encounter’s staff will welcome your inquiry about upcoming oppor­tu­ni­ties to partic­i­pate. Visit www​.encoun​ter​pro​grams​.org to learn more.

Click here for the orig­inal article.

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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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