Seminarian Program on Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Program Status: Three cohorts of Christian seminary students and Rabbinic students, totally 45 young religious leaders, participated in this transnformative experiential education program between 2010-2012. Alumni of the program are supported by Auburn, and regularly support each other, in their religious leadership around Israel and the Palestinian Territories. You can read about the experience of two participants in an op/ed entitled "Jesus, Judaism and Seeing the Other."

The Christian-Jewish Seminarian Program on Israel and the Palestinian Territories is a joint project of Auburn Theological Seminary and the American Jewish Committee (New York Region)

Too often, interfaith dialogue and work in America avoids discussion of Israel, largely because the topic of Israel and Palestine causes rifts in delicate group dynamics that are very difficult to bridge.  The Protestant-Jewish Seminarian Program on Israel and the Palestinian Territories, launched in 2008, brings together Jewish seminarians and Christian seminarians to learn about each other's communal, political, and theological perspectives on Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and the regional conflict.  This program gives future Jewish and Christian clergy the skills, knowledge and relationships they need in order to lead their communities toward constructive dialogue and peaceful work in an interfaith setting, even with regard to challenging topics like Israel and Palestine.  The program is designed to foster long-lasting relationships among the participants and provides deep learning through which participants begin to experience the region and its complexities through each others' eyes. Participating student clergy engage each other through a series of learning and dialogue sessions and then travel to Israel and the West Bank on a 10 day travel study program.

Background
In 2005, following the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s activities toward divestment from Israel, a group of 50 Presbyterian and Jewish leaders began a dialogue sponsored by Auburn Theological Seminary and the American Jewish Committee (New York Region).  In addition to regular meetings in New York, the group travelled together to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  Inspired by the relationships that were formed through study and travel, the group decided to launch a program for Christian and Jewish seminarians to have a forum to learn about each others' approaches to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The program is managed in partnership between Auburn Seminary and the American Jewish Committee (New York Region).

For additional information about this program, please see the links in the lefthand navigation menu.