8 Day Essential Israel Tour - Jewish and Christian Dialogue
There are many values we share in common that we can witness here in Israel: Biblical sites and texts, support for the modern State of Israel, excitement about the hand of God in Israel's ancient and modern history, beautiful cities and agricultural lands that have returned to life with the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.
There are also many key points at which Judaism and Christianity differ.
There is a story about two Chasidic Rebbes (Rabbis) who were good friends, but their students, their Chassidim, were bitter enemies. One time, the two Rebbes met, and Rebbe Yitzchak of Varka said, "I hear this year our chassidim are getting along." The Kotzker replied, "Whoa to us. Neither of us has loyal chassidim." What did he mean? He meant that the two Rebbes had definite philosophical differences, and those differences need to be understood and appreciated. Similarly, in Jewish and Christian dialogue, we need to learn to value our differences such as how we see our roles in the world and ways of serving God. They cannot be glossed over.
At Essential Israel, we invite you to organize a group of Jews and Christians for a very special dialogue program. The tour will include sites relevant to Jews and Christians as well as fascinating speakers that create an environment of openness and dialogue. Religious observances of both Jews and Christians will be done in a way that is sensitive to everyone's comfort. Essential Israel can suggest many options in sites, speakers and activities to chose from to create exactly the type of tour that is right for your group.
We also welcome a program of Jews or Christians alone who are interested in learning more about the subject of Jewish/Christian relations.
This photograph was taken during the Goodwill Ambassador's Initiative Tour, a recent tour focused on Jewish and Christian relations. Photo was taken at a session at the Prime Minister's office including several members of the Prime Minister's staff, staff from Rabbi Riskin's Center for Jewish and Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC), staff from Israel Always and members of the group. Pictured in the center of the photo is Rabbi Riskin, PM Advisor Ron Dermer, and Earl Cox. Photo by Eric Axley.