Sheikh Ghassan Manasra (AR International Executive Director) is one of the Abrahamic Reunion’s Co-Coordinators (With Eliyahu McLean) in the Holy Land. He is an ordained Sheikh in the Qadiri Sufi Order in the Holy Land, and son of Sheikh Abdel Salaam Manasra – head of the Qadiri Sufi Order in the Holy Land. He is the founder of Anwar-Il-Salaam, the Lights of Peace Center in Nazareth, and is Director, Islamic Cultural Center in Nazareth. Ghassan is an expert and lectures in Islam, Islamic history, Sufism, and contemporary Muslim issues in the Middle East, Europe, and the USA. Ghassan@abrahamicreunion.org Extended Bio
Dr. Anna Less, PhD (AR International Executive Director), co-founded the Abrahamic Reunion in 2004. She is a peacemaker, speaker, and presenter, and is the International Co Director of the Abrahamic Reunion. As a young woman, Anna realized her life work lay with healing, and bringing harmony and balance to both individuals and communities. She was the first westerner to receive a PhD from the prestigious Zheijiang Medical University in Hangzhou, China, where she lived for four years. She has taught in medical colleges and presented seminars around the world on the principles healing. Anna@abrahamicreunion.org
Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean, (AR Israel Director), a husband and father of three girls, is an Orthodox Jew, originally from the USA now living in Jerusalem. Eliyahu is the coordinator of the Abrahamic Reunion group of religious leaders and director of the Jerusalem Peacemakers. Eliyahu organizes cross-border events that bring Israelis and Palestinians from Hebron, Bethlehem, and Ramallah together to events in Israel and the West Bank. Eliyahu also leads twice weekly dual-narrative tours to Hebron. Eliyahu@abrahamicreunion.org Extended Bio
Sheikh Abed Elsalam G. Manasra is the son of Sheikh Ghassan Manasra. He is an ordained Sheikh in the Tariqat Qadriyya As-Salaam (Qadiri Sufi Order Of Peace). He is a musician and works with young adults and youth to organize interfaith dialogue and gatherings in and around Nazareth. Abed@abrahamicreunion.org
Rev. Daniel Aqleh (AR Palestinian Coordinator) is an Arab Palestinian Christian peacemaker from Bethlehem. Daniel is a leader in Israeli-Palestinian initiatives, active with the Jerusalem Hug and Visit Palestine. Daniel leads worship and preaches at the Salt And Light Agape Ministries (SALAM), an independent church that provides humanitarian support in a community struggling with high unemployment. SALAM runs the House of Peace guest house in Bethlehem. Extended Bio
Ibtisam Mahameed is a religious Muslim woman from the city of Fureidis in northern Israel. She is an activist for peaceful Arab-Jewish co-existence and founder and director of Women Reborn, a social empowerment program for Arab women. Ibtisam has been named by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a 2009 “Unsung Hero of Compassion.”
Deacon Jiries Mansur is a Christian Arab, deacon in the Greek Catholic Church, and principal of St Anthony’s middle school in the town of Rama (Rame) in the Galilee. Under Jiries’ leadership, a new school has been developed in Rama promoting interfaith tolerance. He has also organized numerous youth interfaith projects and events. Jiries is currently finishing his doctorate on the role of Christians in peace in the Middle East.
Sheikh Hussein Abu Rukun is a recognized leader and spokesperson for the Druze faith in the Holy Land. He is the chairman of the Druze Trustees and founder of the Association for the Preservation of the Druze Heritage. He represents his religion at national and international inter-religious meetings. Sheikh Abu Rukun is frequently called upon to help resolve conflicts in his hometown of Issifya, near Haifa and in Northern Israel. Sheikh Abu Rukkun led a delegation of Druze leaders to India to meet with Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist leaders for an encounter with the Eastern religions.
Haj Ibrahim Abu El-Hawa is an Arab Muslim who has been involved in peace and reconciliation efforts for more than 30 years. He is known as is the “ambassador of goodwill” from the Mount of Olives, where he and his wife Naima welcome international peace activists of all faiths throughout the year to their home, “Ibrahim’s Peace House”. He comes from a long line of community elders who have lived on the Mount of Olives since the days of the (7th Century). Extended Bio
Rabbi Dr. Yakov Nagen is a leading rabbinical figure in interfaith encounters in the Holy Land. Rav Nagen studied Torah at a number of Israeli religious academies including Sha’alvim Yeshica, Har Etzion Yeshiva, and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) at Yeshiva University. He obtained his ordination from Yeshiva University alongside a B.A. and M.S. from Yeshiva University and Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Extended Bio
Sanaa Albaz is a leader among Bedouin Muslim women in Israel. Sanaa has won numerous awards for her work in early childhood education among Bedouin youth. The educational center she founded in her town of Tel Sheva has served as a model for dis-advantaged youth throughout the Bedouin sector in Israel. She was awarded the highest honor by the State of Israel for her work, the first Bedouin woman invited to light the national torch at the annual Independence Day celebration at Mount Herzl, Jerusalem.
Imam Khalil Albaz is the Imam of the central mosque and spokesperson for the Bedouin town, and regional council of Tel Sheva. He is a frequent commentator on Bedouin and Islamic affairs in the Israeli and the Arab media. His commitment to peace and justice have led him to participate in regular interfaith meetings throughout the Holy Land. Imam Albaz took part in the annual Bearing Witness retreat in Auschwitz.
Rabbinit Hadassah Froman, is an Orthodox Jewish woman peacemaker, from the West Bank settlement of Tekoa. She is the wife of the late Rabbi Menachem Froman, who was a pioneer in Jewish-Muslim peacemaking in the West Bank settlements. Full Bio
Siham Halabi is a Druze leader and the Director of the Women’s Program and Adult Education at the Daliat Al Carmel Community Center providing courses in women’s economic empowerment, home management, drivers education, Hebrew and Arabic languages, social activism, and interfaith understanding. She is a Coordinator of the TRUST WIN, a member of the Women’s Parliament and various orgaizations for dialogue and understanding between the cultures, and for the advancement of women and social issues affecting women. She is a Druze spokeswoman representing Druze women in national forums.
Elias Jabbour is an Arab Christian and founder of the House of Hope Peace Center in Shefar’Am (Shefer Amer) Israel. He is widely known for his work with ‘Sulha,’ a traditional Palestinian peacemaking process. In 1993 he received the International Courage of Conscience Award and in 1995 he received the Mount Zion Award for promoting interfaith dialogue.
David Less is a global teacher of meditation, conflict resolution and inter-faith dialog of over forty years. For over a decade he has been the Global Dean of the Universal Worship, an organization in over thirty countries,that honors the commonality in all religions and appreciates and respects the differences. He started promoting understanding rather than blame as a path to peace in the Holy Land in 2000 and was one of the founders of the Abrahamic Reunion shortly thereafter.
Rabbi Menachem Froman (in Memoriam) is an Orthodox rabbi from the West Bank settlement of Tekoa. He has been active for years in high level political negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Rabbi Froman was one of the initiators of the Alexandria interfaith peace accords which were supported by Palestinian Authority, Israel and Egypt.
Rabbi Yosef Hadane is the chief rabbi of the Ethiopian Jews in Israel and a leader in interfaith activities. Until recently, Rabbi Hadane was the only rabbi in Israel to be ordained in both Ethiopian and traditional Rabbinical schools, and he serves as a bridge between these communities as well as between Judaism and other faiths.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari (InMemoriam) was a founding member of the Abrahamic Reunion and a pillar of interfaith peace activism in Israel. He died on May 31, 2010. The Uzbeki Cultural Center in Jerusalem, which he founded, is home to a collection of historically significant Islamic documents and artifacts. His wife Hala and his son Izzedin plan to keep the center open and to continue Sheikh Bukari’s legacy of interfaith work.