The Purpose

Listening as a Transformative Methodology
Who We Target
Core Values

© Bruce Shaffer


Encounter is a non-partisan educa­tional orga­ni­za­tion culti­vating informed and construc­tive Jewish lead­er­ship on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

© Shari Diamond

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.

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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.

שמע / Shema / Listening
Encounter culti­vates resilient mutual listening and curiosity, between Jews and Palestinians as well as between Jews and other Jews with diver­gent worldviews.
כבוד / Kavod / Dignity
Encounter affirms the funda­mental dignity of all human beings, and encour­ages deep respect for the phys­ical, emotional, and spir­i­tual well-being of all people.
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 mercy, gracious­ness, and the most expan­sive possible view of each other.
פתיחת לב / Petikhat Lev / Openness
Encounter encour­ages recep­tivity rather than dogma­tism, open­ness to being trans­formed by new encoun­ters and ideas.
בכל נפשך / B’khol naf’shekha / Holism
Encounter programs inte­grate mind, body, and heart-– taking into consid­er­a­tion the complexity of learning needs and the full­ness of the human person.
אלו ואלו / Elu v’elu / Multiple voices
Encounter values the multi­plicity of voices within soci­eties and even within indi­vid­uals, knowing our deepest creativity often emerges from contra­dic­tions and complexity.

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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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