Ten of America’s most influential young African-American Christian leaders will travel to Israel from July 13 to 20 for a weeklong educational seminar hosted by the Washington-based Project Interchange, an institute of the American Jewish Committee.
The participants will be exposed to various elements of Israeli society, including the country’s own minority groups such as Christian Arabs, various Islamic groups and the Sufi sect. They will learn and worship together as they explore possible ties to Israel.
The group, consisting of clergy from Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME), and United Church of Christ congregations, will be escorted by Rabbi Gary Greenebaum from the American Jewish Committee. Rabbi Greenebaum is an authority on interreligious relations and international affairs, who seeks to promote a balanced understanding of Israeli history, culture and politics. He plans to underscore the role of religion in peacemaking and relations between America and Israel.
“We anticipate that guests will return home with a message of faith, hope, and understanding about Israel,” says Sam Witkin, Executive Director of Project Interchange. “The history of Jews and African-Americans was one of close collaboration during the Civil Rights Movement. This seminar provides an opportunity to develop and forge new areas of commonality.”