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The Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA)

The Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA)

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The Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA) aims to develop the

human infrastructure for peace by building inter-communal relations

characterized by sustainable coexistence. A registered NGO, IEA is

recognized by UNESCO as “an organization that contributes to the

culture of peace”, and has received awards from the Immortal Chaplains

Foundation, the Tanenbaum Center, the Institute for Interreligious

Studies and the World Movement for Global Democracy.

IEA’s main tool is apolitical, open and personal dialogue through the

study of religious texts, for religious and secular people alike. This

ensures meaningful encounters, accentuating shared values while

accepting differences, and successfully reaches out to all parts

of society, including groups such as Islamists and right-wing Jews

who are not commonly accessible. Significant change is effected

through the initiatives of ordinary citizens, as participants themselves

are empowered to create encounter groups that involve neighboring


Each group develops into a model of friendly and respectful relations,

which proves that “what exists is possible” and which transforms

inter-communal relations in its immediate surroundings. Hundreds

more such groups would be a powerful force for building a future of

peaceful coexistence in the Holy Land.

IEA is well on its way to becoming a broad-based popular movement,

having sponsored 550 programs with 5,000 participants (most of

whom met ‘the other’ for the first time), 27 encounter groups from

the Galilee to Eilat (including 2 Israeli-Palestinian, one with settlers

and Palestinians), 21 Israeli-Palestinian retreats with five Palestinian

partners and 5 Middle-East conferences with additional partners from

Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and more.




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Background Policy Papers prepared for the President's Conference

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