Encounter is a non-partisan educational organization cultivating informed and constructive Jewish leadership on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Who We Target: American Jewish Leadership
Our past participants, 2000 American Jews, represent the full gamut of opinions on the conflict—from anti-occupation activists to staunch settlement supporters. On these trips, participants from these diverse backgrounds sleep in the homes of former militants and pore over maps and histories for hours with their hosts—discovering all the while a reality previously unknown to most of them. Past participants include Orthodox and Reform rabbis and educators, settlement funders and anti-occupation activists.
Encounter’s Core Values
Encounter is an educational organization that cultivates informed Jewish leadership on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We do not take specific positions regarding the outcome of the conflict. We do, however, hold a set of values that underlie all of our work, including our organizational programs, alumni activities, and staff and board interactions. Our vision is one of genuine peace: an environment of safety and equity that embraces the full dignity of all.
- אהבת ישראל / Ahavat Yisrael / Love of One’s People
- Encounter’s work is grounded in a sense of belonging and deep commitment to the Jewish people, which exists irrespective of ideology and political persuasion.
- כבוד / Kavod / Dignity
- Encounter affirms the fundamental dignity and interconnectedness (areivut) of all human beings, and encourages deep respect for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of all people.
- שמע / Shema / Listening
- Encounter cultivates resilient mutual listening and curiosity, for Jews towards Palestinians as well as between Jews and other Jews with divergent worldviews.
- חכמה / Hokhma / Wisdom
- Encounter values the persistent seeking of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, particularly of unfamiliar and differing perspectives.
- רחמים / Rakhamim / Compassion
- Encounter encourages all of us to find softness within ourselves, and to extend the most expansive possible view of each other grounded in empathy.
- פתיחת לב / Petikhat Lev / Openness
- Encounter encourages receptivity rather than dogmatism, openness to being transformed by new encounters and ideas.
- אלו ואלו / Elu v’elu (‘These and Those’) / Constructive Conflict
- Encounter values the multiplicity of voices within societies and even within individuals, knowing creativity often emerges from contradictions and complexity.