Three Day AR Program at Hebrew University

Last August, the Abrahamic Reunion met with a group of international students in a course called “Coexistence in the Middle East” at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Abrahamic Reunion helped plan parts of the summer program “Religion in the Holy Land: Faith’s Role in Peace and Conflict.” The students came from the China, the USA, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Northern Ireland, and Canada. Over 3 days, the group met with Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious peace leaders:

Father Nael Abu Rahmoun and Sheikh Khalid Abu Ras speak to the students

On the first day, August 9, students visited the White Mosque in Nazareth. While there, Sheikh Khaled Abu Ras gave a talk about the history of the mosque and inter-religious relations in Muslim history in the Holy Land. The group witnessed an Islamic prayer, at met the Imam of the mosque. Then, they went to the Anglican Christ Church, where Father Nael Abu Rahmoun gave a presentation about Christian life in Nazareth. Together with Sheikh Khaled, they spoke about the concept of peace in religion and the shared life of Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.

The next day, August 10, the students went to Tsfat. Rabbi Yakov Drori led the group on a tour of Tsfat, and shared Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s teachings on interfaith understanding.

Eliyahu McLean, Haj Ibrahim Abu El Hawa, and Daniel Aqleh present on the Abrahamic Reunion

On the final day, August 16th, representatives from the Abrahamic Reunion visited Hebrew University for an interfaith panel discussion. Eliyahu McLean, Haj Ibrahim Abuelhawa and Rev. Daniel Aqleh spoke about their journey to become religious peacemakers and their work with the Abrahamic Reunion. Students then had the opportunity to ask questions about the role of faith in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The group then saw a peace mural by Javier Gelbwaser, the course organizer. While living in Mexico, he organized 10,000 Jewish-Mexican children to help construct a mural out of 40,000 Mega blocks, for the 40,000 Jews in Mexico. Each child put wishes for peace inside the blocks. The dove is now on display at Hebrew University. The program ended with a group picture in front of the mural.

The group stands with the Lego peace dove


Students at the White Mosque of Nazareth


The students at the Anglican Christ Church in Nazareth


Javier Gelbwaser, the course organizer, shows the dove of peace mural