A unique educational experience with expert teachers and lecturers, sharing ideas, encountering sacred texts, practicing the spiritual life, experiencing bibliodrama, visiting holy sites and more.

"Friendship Across Religions"

Week 1, August 4th - 9th, 2019

What is the understanding of friendship in diverse religions, Abrahamic and Dharmic (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.)? What are different dimensions of friendship and why are they important for the religious life? Is friendship necessary, perhaps indispensable, for the religious life?

Week 2, August 11th - 15th, 2019

Can friendship be applied to members of other faiths? Can friendship teachings that were developed initially in relation to members of one’s faith be extended to members of other faiths? What are models, examples and resources that each of the religions offers for developing a contemporary notion of friendship across religions?

Day 1
04 Aug 2019

Welcome & Intros.

Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Peta Jones Pellach

Text Study

The Tulasidasa on Friendship. Introduction to chevruta method.
Peta Jones Pellach


Characteristics of friendship
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein


Friendship in Hinduism
Neelima Shukla-Bhatt
Day 2
05 Aug 2019

Excursion : Visit to monument for tolerance

Visit to Indian Cemetery in Talpiot.
Peta Jones Pellach

Excursion (cont)

Return to Mt Zion, stopping at war cemetery and grave of Oscar Schindler
Peta Jones Pellach

Case study 1: Bibliodrama

Guru Nanak and Mardana.
Peta Jones Pellach
Day 3
06 Aug 2019

Text study (chevruta):

Friendship in Islam
Peta Jones Pellach

Case study 2: Bibliodrama:

Emir Abdelkader – a Muslim exemplar of friendship
Peta Jones Pellach

Excursion (cont)

educational site  and meeting with founders
Day 4
07 Aug 2019

Site visit – Ecce Homo

The mission of the Sisters of Sion

Lecture and text study

Friendship in Christianity.

Panel of Christian leaders

friendships between us
Day 5
08 Aug 2019

Case study 2: Bibliodrama

Abraham Joshua Heschel
Peta Jones Pellach

Text-study and interview

Friendship in Buddhism
Dr Maria Reis Habito

Panel of interfaith activists

and peace-makers in Jerusalem – testimonials on friendships
Day 6
09 Aug 2019


Sources from five traditions: “God as Friend”
Peta Jones Pellach

Discussion: Summary of Week 1

the qualities of friendship; spiritual versus “common” friendship
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein

Lecture and text-study:

Introduction to Shabbat
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Day 7
11 Aug 2019

Prayers at Dormition

prayers in syngagogues

Excursion all day

Meet at Har Herzl station:  Yad Vashem
Peta Jones Pellach
Day 8
12 Aug 2019

Lecture/ discussion:

Summary of week 1 and introduction to week 2 – how do we extend the principles of friendship to interreligious?
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein

Testimonial I

Friendship in action (Rabbi David Rosen and his Christian friend)

Lecture and discussion:

What does Yad Vashem teach? Can Friendship be a means to overcome hatred?


sources from five traditions – Obstacles to interreligious friendship

Towards a Declaration of Friendship:

Why we need interreligious friendship
Day 9
13 Aug 2019

Case study 3 – Dialogue between scholars

Ghandi and Andrews
Peta Jones Pellach

Text study and Discussion:

Interreligious Friendship: Ideals and obstacles

Testimonials and discussion:

The challenges for Hindus and Sikhs in implementing their principles of Friendship (in India and beyond).

Testimonial II

Friendship in action
Shrivatsa Goswami
Suheyl Umar

Towards a Declaration of Friendship:

Virtues associated with Friendship.
Day 10
14 Aug 2019

Towards a Declaration of Friendship:

Working through the document

Meeting with Rabbi of Kotel

“the Kotel as a prayer site for all”

Lecture: Challenges for Islam

in implementing interreligious friendship in Jerusalem and beyond

Testimonial III

Friendship in action (Panel of Religious Leaders)

Towards a Declaration of Friendship:

continue working through the document.
Day 11
15 Aug 2019

Towards a Declaration of Friendship:

summary, responses and evaluation. Brainstorming: Strategies/ activities towards friendship.