Program 2022

Morning sessions: 9:00 am -1:00 pm (Jerusalem time), exploring and understanding Jerusalem through the eyes of different religious traditions, imbibing the sanctity of the holy city; afternoon sessions (live-streamed): 4:00 – 7:00 pm, the concept of “return”.

Do you yearn to return Jerusalem? Is the Jerusalem of your imaginings one you have visited in person or is it a vision, that you have visited in your dreams and in your prayers? Will you turn the dream into a reality by coming to the Holy City or will you return to it virtually?

What makes Jerusalem a site of pilgrimage to which believers return time after time?

What is “return”?

Is it to be where you have been before or is that impossible? Is “return” reliving previous encounters? Is it restoration or consolation? Is it about recommitment? What is the connection between “return” and repentance, purification and reunification? How do we understand theological concepts of “exile and return” in different religious traditions?

What is the connection between prayer and return to oneself? Is true prayer always a form of return?

What is a genuine prayer experience?

Topics include:

  • Jerusalem in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and in other traditions
  • What is the meaning of “return” in theological and spiritual terms
  • Loss and consolation
  • Exile and return 
  • Return to oneself – return to one’s identity
  • Return to sites of pilgrimage
  • Concepts of time
  • The meaning of real prayer

Summer school activities include

  • Academic lectures
  • Panels of scholars and religious leaders from 6 different faiths
  • Small group textual study
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Workshops
  • Guided group discussion
  • Touring, visiting holy sites
Day 1
24 Jul 2022

Optional tour

Peta Jones Pellach

Optional TOUR: some of jerusalem’s secrets

An introduction to Jerusalem's unique  history and culture. We begin on the seam between the Old and New cities and finish at Shir Hadash for the opening session.
Peta Jones Pellach
Day 2
25 Jul 2022

Jerusalem in Judaism

Jerusalem through Jewish eyes - We begin at Shir Hadash for some learning and then walk both outside and inside the Walls of the Old City to experience Jerusalem as the holiest site in Judaism.
Rabbi Ian Pear
Rabbi Ian Pear

The need for “return”

The concept of "Return" in relationship to "Exile", introduced by Alon Goshen-Gottstein. Representatives of four different religious traditions will present their religion's exile narrative followed a discussion between the presenters and the participants.
swami atmapriyananda
Swami Atmapriyananda
Mustafa Ceric
Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric
RABBI REUVEN KIMELMAN
Rabbi Reuven Kimelman
James Fredericks
Rev. James Fredericks
Day 3
26 Jul 2022

Jerusalem in Christianity

Jerusalem through Christian eyes. We begin at Ecce Homo for some learning and then walk the Stations of the Cross. From there, we go across to Notre Dame for another aspect of Christian Jerusalem, outside the walls.
SR RITA KAMMEYER
Sr Rita Kammeyer – Sister of Sion

The concept of “return”

Live at Shir Hadash, Rechov Yakov Rubin 1 (off Graetz) and on Zoom. Chevruta. Text study of sources from different traditions on the theme of "return" as repentance/ return to self/ identity.
GURINDER SINGH
Gurinder Singh Mann
Bishop William Shomali
RAV DANIEL KOHN
Rav Daniel Kohn
VANESSA REBECCA SASSON
Prof. Vanessa Rebecca Sasson
Day 4
27 Jul 2022

Jerusalem in Islam

Jerusalem through Muslim eyes: First, we meet Professor Mohammed Dajani at the hotel which has been in his family for generations. We hear his story as a Jerusalemite and peace-activist. Then, Qadi Muhammad Abu Obied, a qadi (expert in Islamic law) joins us to share his appreciation of Islam's third holiest city. This will be followed by an optional visit to the al-Aqsa complex.
Qadi Muhammad Abu Obied
PROFESSOR MOHAMAD DAJANI
Prof. Mohamad Dajani

Returning to sacred places – pilgrimage

Pilgrimage as “Return”: testimonies about four sites sacred to four different religions. Moderator: Professor Jackie Feldman. Live at Shir Hadash, Rechov Yakov Rubin 1 (off Graetz) and on Zoom.
BISHOP DOMENICO SORRENTINO
Bishop Domenico Sorrentino
SHRIVATSA GOSWAMI
Shrivatsa Goswami
DR MARCIA HERMANSEN
Prof. Marcia Hermansen
Prof. Jackie Feldman
Prof. Jackie Feldman
Day 5
28 Jul 2022

Jerusalem for Bahais, Hindus and Buddhists

First, we will meet the Jerusalem representative of the Brahma Kumaris at her home and learn from her the significance of Jerusalem to religions outside the Abrahamic tradition. Then we will visit sites in the West and Eastern parts of the City to understand Jerusalem's sanctity to Hindus and Sikhs.
Esther Oded
Esther Oded

Return to self

It is not easy to recognize that we are in a state of self-exile, and it is even harder to return to our true Self. Spiritual religious traditions give us, fortunately, some tips on how to distinguish the illusionary, superficial self from what each of us really is, and they also offer guidance along the path of return Our two presenters are Professor Haviva Pedaya, who will present Jewish (Hassidic) texts, and Professor Vince Cornell, who will present Sufi texts. This session is in conjunction with the Hermes Forum.
DR HAVIVA PEDAYA
Prof. Haviva Pedaya
Prof. Vincent Cornell
Prof. Vincent Cornell
THE HERMES FORUM
The Hermes Forum
Day 6
29 Jul 2022

Returning to historical roots

Different understandings of time/ history and the implications for religious life and for understandings of “return.” Echoes – Does shabbat turn into something universal?
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Day 7
31 Jul 2022

TOURING – Har Herzl

Israel’s civil religion and its sacred site
Peta Jones Pellach
Day 8
01 Aug 2022

BIBLIODRAMA: lessons from the life of elijah the prophet 

Bibliodrama is a unique way of entering a sacred text and seeing it from within. No dramatic skill is required or expected: come with an open mind and an open heart and you will see things in the text that you do not know or expect. 
Peta Jones Pellach

Art of Prayer workshop

Introduction to the field of prayer. Clearing the space from misperceptions about the meaning and process of prayer that are hindrances to the embracing of prayer.
Baruch Brener
Baruch Brenner
Dana Ganihar
Dana Ganihar

Art of Prayer workshop (cont.)

Prayer preparations: how to turn our attention toward the depth.
Baruch Brener
Baruch Brenner
Dana Ganihar
Dana Ganihar
Day 9
02 Aug 2022

BIBLIODRAMA AND SITE VISITS

Peta Jones Pellach

ART OF PRAYER WORKSHOP

My life as part of the infinite.
Baruch Brener
Baruch Brenner
Dana Ganihar
Dana Ganihar

ART OF PRAYER WORKSHOP (CONT.)

Opening to the field of quest/of asking.
Baruch Brener
Baruch Brenner
Dana Ganihar
Dana Ganihar
Day 10
03 Aug 2022

BIBLIODRAMA AND SITE VISITS

Peta Jones Pellach

ART OF PRAYER WORKSHOP

‘Hitbodedut’ (practice in solitude) as a prayer.
Baruch Brener
Baruch Brenner
Dana Ganihar
Dana Ganihar

ART OF PRAYER WORKSHOP (CONT.)

Conclusion, harvesting and steps forward: The significance of praying to the growth of our humanity.
Baruch Brener
Baruch Brenner
Dana Ganihar
Dana Ganihar
Day 11
04 Aug 2022

Touring

(will extend beyond 13:00)
Peta Jones Pellach

Final Gathering

REFLECTIONS FROM PARTICIPANTS – WITH PTIJ
Reflections from participants – with PTIJ