Jerusalem, Israel—An interfaith forum with about 40 participants was held during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
For the past five years, we have been hosted by Ambassdor for Peace Rabbi Ya'acov Luft at his Sukkah (a temporary hut constructed for use during the festival of Sukkot) overlooking the Holy City of Jerusalem. Despite the COVID-19 circumstances, Rabbi Luft invited us to keep our yearly tradition on October 7, 2020, but this time online.
The theme of the discussion was “Hope and Meaning in Days of Transience and Uncertainty.” New guests, together with our core senior members, engaged in an interesting and heartwarming interfaith conversation.
The speakers gave greetings on the holiday occasion and discussed the urgent need to give hope to humanity at such times of crisis. Such a call is to be found in all religions; thus we can encourage one another, learn from the wisdom of different traditions, and be enriched by all beliefs.
The speakers were:
Ambassador Dr. Haim Koren – former Israeli ambassador to South Sudan and Egypt, currently a lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya
Professor Eliezer Glaubach – president of the UPF Jerusalem Peace and Security Forum
Sheik (Muslim) Samir A'asi – former imam of the Al Jazar Mosque in Acre, a teacher and educator
Sheik (Druze) Salman Hatib – an elementary school principal and a senior lecturer at Gordon College of Teachers
Father Rafic Nahra – a priest, currently the patriarchal vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel
Dr. Danny Orbach – a military historian and expert on Japan
Rabbi Ya'acov Luft – a rabbi, historian, and guide to historical tours in Europe
Dr. Nurit Hirschfeld – the president of UPF-Israel
Hod Ben Zvi – the chair of UPF-Israel
Professor Hanoch Ben Pazi – head of the Department of Jewish Thought, Bar Ilan University
Dr. Ohr Margalit – head of the Department of Biblical Studies and Jewish Thought at Lewinsky College of Education
Kobi Nehushtan – a religions researcher and an expert on natural medicine in the light of culture and tradition