Photo credit: Times of Israel

In a deeply poignant recount, a student shares their transformative experience in Bar-Ilan University’s “Jewish-Arab Interreligious Dialogue” course amidst the tensions following the October 7, 2023, invasion by Hamas. This course, which began in a time of heightened national distress, attracted predominantly Muslim students, reflecting a hesitancy among Jewish students to engage in interreligious discussions.

Throughout the semester, the curriculum, which included historical and cultural explorations of Judaism and Islam, workshops like “Music as a Bridge,” and visits to religious sites, fostered a profound intercultural understanding and respect among the participants. The course exemplified the power of dialogue in overcoming prejudice and fostering empathy, proving especially vital in a period marked by conflict and division.

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