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Published on Feb 27, 2011
The Interfaith Encounter Association works to build sustainable coexistence in the Holy Land, through interactive interfaith dialogue. In our work we support the formation and maintenance of on-going groups for interfaith encounter, in which friendly relations are built between the different communities, while acknowledging and respecting their distinct identities. Here is the story of the group that brings together the Jewish community of Karmiel and the Muslim community of Majd el-Krum. This group started as a result of the deterioration of the relations between the two neighboring towns, which followed the October 2000 clashes between Arabs and Jews in Israel. The principals of the two main schools in the two towns decided that they have to act in order to restore the good relations between the two communities and strengthen their foundation so that it will be more sustainable. They started by consolidating a core group of 10 teachers from each of the schools, who believed in the process and were committed to continue it, despite the outside reality. After 15 facilitated meetings they continued to the next step and included the children, starting with joint study of the plants of the land, and moving to mutual visits to each other's homes and places of worships, and large events like a jointly-held market for foods and children's handicrafts. Through the children the parents were drawn too and today the group includes in its activities some 800 children and some 200 adults. To learn more you are welcome to visit our website at: www.interfaith-encounter.org