In alignment with The Amersi Foundation’s interests in building interfaith cooperation and collaboration, the LSE Faith Centre’s Interfaith Encounter presented an impactful opportunity to make a difference.
In collaboration with The Pears Foundation, the Amersi Foundation co-funded the student expedition in December 2019. The trip to Israel and Palestine is an annual trip hosted by the LSE Faith Centre, designed with two key objectives;
- To improve participants’ understanding of the complexities of the Israel/Palestine conflict, particularly its religious dimensions which are often neglected in political scientific analysis.
- To encourage the students to consider how their own religious commitments, drawn into dialogue with those of different traditions, may be a resource for peacemaking and conflict resolution.
The student group consisted of 18 students, selected from 74 student applications. The final group consisted of three Jews, six Muslims, six Christians, one Mormon and one non-religious student. The itinerary of the trip is carefully planned to include visits to Christian, Jewish, and Muslim sites with guides selected to represent each faith.
The interfaith initiative is designed to have a lasting impact on the students who participate. Prior to the trip itself, the LSE Faith Centre hosts preparatory sessions to guide students to explore their own preconceptions about Israel and Palestine and to reflect on conflict as an opportunity for learning, growth and change at the individual and community level.