On Tuesday, May 12, Rumi Forum hosted Dr. Yehuda Stolov, the executive director of the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA), for a discussion about IEA’s outstanding story of building interfaith bridges in Israel and Palestine. He highlighted an inter-communal model where ongoing groups of interfaith encounters prevail the opportunity to meet the ‘other’.

Based in Jerusalem, IEA plants seeds of the desired long-lasting friendships coupled with respect for the unique identity of each. The IEA invites people from different traditional and cultural backgrounds and faiths to join its groups. Within the groups, participants have meaningful encounters which bring them closer to each other. Prejudice, hostility, and suspicion are transformed into a direct acquaintance, mutual respect and friendship. IEA groups are both a model for inter-communal relations of appreciation and care, and vehicles to promote them.

You can find the whole webinar on our Youtube page.

About the Speaker

Yehuda Stolov is the executive director of the Interfaith Encounter Association (www.interfaith-encounter.org), an organization that works since 2001 to build peaceful inter-communal relations in the Holy Land by fostering mutual respect and trust between people and communities through active interfaith dialogue.

Dr. Stolov has lectured on the role of religious dialogue in peace-building throughout the world, including Jordan, India, Indonesia, Turkey, South Korea, North America and Europe. He also published many papers on related issues.

In 2006, he was awarded the Immortal Chaplains Foundation Prize for Humanity, which honors those who “risked all to protect others of a different faith or ethnic origin”; and in 2015 he was awarded the IIE Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East.

Among other activities, Dr. Stolov was a member of the International Council of the International Association for Religious Freedom and a member of the steering committee for the United Nations Decade of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace.

He holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Physics and a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is married and father of three children, living in Jerusalem.

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