For anyone interested in Israel and/or Palestine, four events are coming up which could really challenge your thinking – especially if you were to go to all of them, because each one is quite unique.
Elie Pritz was born and raised in Israel and she now lives in Jerusalem. In between, however, she attended Trinity Western University. Thus she will be on familiar ground as she speaks about ‘Peace Heroes’ over the next week to groups at First Baptist Church (September 21) and St. Mary’s Kerrisdale.
Here is a what Pritz’s work involves:
Peace Heroes is a dynamic and interactive school program that uses stories of real-life women and men from every continent across the globe to instill in students and teachers alike the values and ethos of peace while giving them the tools to be proactive peacemakers. Ultimately Peace Heroes empowers students to become agents of profound and positive change in their own specific context as well as in the world at large.
Pritz describes how it began:
This Curriculum was born within the walls of the Jerusalem School in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of the students’ day-to-day reality. In both the Arab and Jewish traditions, hospitality is considered one of the highest virtues.
“Ahlan wa Sahlan,” we say in Arabic – come in, feel at home, you are one of the family; “Bruchim Habaim,” we say in Hebrew – blessed are you, as you come. This is the tradition from which our Curriculum draws its strength.
We wanted to create a space of welcome in the minds and hearts of our students, teaching them to extend that age-old “Ahlan wa Sahlan” to the world around them, even (and especially) towards those who are different from them.
Peace Heroes has now broadened its scope:
Sukkot: Feast of Tabernacles
Join with people from around Metro Vancouver to celebrate Sukkot: Feast of Tabernacles next Sunday afternoon (September 23) at Westwood Community Church in Coquitlam.
Sukkot is described on Chabad.org in this way:
Sukkot is a week-long Jewish holiday that comes five days after Yom Kippur. Sukkot celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection G‑d provided for the children of Israel when they left Egypt. We celebrate Sukkot by dwelling in a foliage-covered booth (known as a sukkah) and by taking the “Four Kinds” (arba minim), four special species of vegetation. . . .
Of all the Jewish holidays, Sukkot is the only one whose date does not seem to commemorate a historic event. The Torah refers to it by two names: Chag HaAsif (“the Festival of Ingathering,” or “Harvest Festival”) and Chag HaSukkot (“Festival of Booths”), each expressing a reason for the holiday.
Organizers from Canadians United for Zion say there will be Jewish dance, worship, music, flags – and teaching on the meaning behind the symbols.
The Convergence: An Ishmael & Isaac Reunion
The Convergence: An Ishmael & Isaac Reunion sounds interesting. The three-day gathering takes place at Malick Media Studios in Langley September 27 – 30.
Here is the description:
The Convergence is a family reunion between Muslim and Jew. Arch-enemies, Ishmael and Isaac, are called home to again sit at the same table in Christ. Join in this historic event of reconciliation and experience how God’s grace flows in a way that passes all understanding.
Faisal Malick of the Plumbline Network will host the event. The author and local pastor is a former Sunni Muslim. He will be joined by Kamal Saleem from Lebanon, also formerly a Sunni Muslim; Ron Campbell, a former Mossad agent for the Israeli government originally from South Africa; and Khalida Wukawitz, born in Bethlehem to a Muslim Palestinian family. All have become Christians.
Space is limited for this free event; there is special seating for leaders and pastors.
Jonathan Kuttab, a Palestinian Christian and human right lawyer, will be speaking at three locations in Metro Vancouver first thing in October.
Here is the description of Hope for Change in Palestine / Israel, which will be held at Lakeview Multicultural United Church on the afternoon of October 1.
- past chair of the Bethlehem Bible College
- on the board of the Sabeel Ecumenical Theology Center in Jerusalem and
- a leader in the establishment of Christ at the Checkpoint conference
His legal experience includes:
- co-founding Al Haq, in 1979. It is the first international human rights legal organization in Palestine.
- co-founding the Palestinian Center for the Study of Non-Violence (now Violence International) and also
- founding the Mandela Institute for Prisoners
- being part of the 1994 legal team for the Cairo agreement that resulted in the Oslo II Accord
- being a visiting scholar at Osgoode Law School at York University in Toronto in the Fall of 2017, .
The two other events will take place on the evenings of October 1 (at UBC) and October 2 (at Trinity Western University).
The event with Jonathan Kuttab was made available by Just Peace Advocate tour. This event was not coordinated as a public event, but rather the organizer indicated it was to be a private conversation with clergy.
It is surprising and concerning to see this was advertised as a public event. The Just Peace Advocates tour was made possible through partnerships. In Vancouver these were with MAC-Vancouver, and with SPHR Vancouver.
The tour involved costs and commitment, but it seems that the organizers thought they could just piggy back onto an already planned tour, and with lack of transparency “do their own thing.” This was especially unfair to the group who had taken lead and reached out to Marianna and others to be part of the local planning committee.
I would ask the information on this event be included to say the tour was made possible by Just Peace Advocates, which Jonathan Kuttab is one of the three cofounders.
Also, we would welcome support being provided by churches/denominations involved in this “workaround” to piggy back onto a tour being supported by 30+ groups across the country.