Elijah Interfaith Institute

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The Elijah Interfaith Institute
Logo elijah interfaith.jpg
Motto Sharing Wisdom, Fostering Peace
Formation 1997
Type NGO
Headquarters Israel Jerusalem, Israel
Head Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Affiliations UNESCO
Website elijah-interfaith.org

Elijah Interfaith Institute is a nonprofit, international, interfaith organization which was founded by Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein in 1997. Its mission is to foster peace between the world's diverse faith communities through interfaith dialogue, education, research and dissemination. Its programming brings together world religious leaders and renowned scholars through research projects, public conferences and community-based initiatives.

Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders[edit]

The Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders brings together some of the world's most prominent religious figures from Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and the Religions of India in order to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas that leads to transformation within religions and their teachings. The board represents an opportunity for these religious leaders to collectively address today's problems from within the resources of their own traditions. In 2008 a decision was made to create a Steering Committee[1] for the Board, whereas religious leaders would take fuller ownership of the Board and undertake to plan and to enhance its activities.

Elijah Interfaith Academy[edit]

The Elijah Interfaith Academy[2] provides the institutional structure to enable scholars and teachers of different traditions to share their teaching, engage in common projects, create intellectual resources and provide a powerful symbol of interfaith cooperation. The projects undertaken by the academy deal with religion in contemporary society, providing a theological background for interfaith dialogue by creating a contemporary theology of world religions, and tackling ways in which politics affect inter-religious cooperation such as Jewish-Muslim relations.

Elijah Educational Network[edit]

The Educational Network,[3] brings together local religious leadership with local intellectual and local lay leadership, as well as young adult leadership, in order to share religious wisdom, through the creation of Interreligious Study Circles and through other educational programs. It aims to serve existing interfaith organizations, local interfaith councils and local communities and congregations by providing high quality educational materials, high level facilitation and a focused and coordinated national and international study program aimed at mutual knowledge, deeper understanding and collaborative action for the common good. Its work focuses on training interreligious dialogue leaders, by providing intensive training seminars for local leaders and academics and supporting graduates of these seminars in their ongoing work in their communities. Peta Jones Pellach is Elijah’s Director of Educational Activities and has primary responsibility for supporting the Educational Network.

Elijah School for the Study of Wisdom in World Religions[edit]

Prior to the creation of the Board, Academy and Network arms of the Institute, Elijah was known as the Elijah School for the Study of Wisdom in World Religions.[4] Not only did the school bring together twelve Jewish, Christian, and Muslim institutions within an academic consortium, but it also provided one of the few places in Israel where Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews met without prejudice. The Elijah School consists of academic study, which takes place not in isolation or in abstraction, but within an interfaith community of faculty and students. Interfaith dialogue forms the backbone of the school and allows for the integration of the study of religious traditions with exposure to their lived spirituality. In addition, the school seeks to ground the teaching of religion in a deeper level of experience and engagement with issues of mutual concern.

In order to reach a broad audience, Elijah forges partnership with various seminaries and institutions of religious learning. These consortia run academic programs, conferences, lecture series and more within their specific geographic regions. Creating such consortia engages local academic resources in the various communities and territories into which Elijah's work spreads. These consortia also provide the academic base to support the local work of the Educational Network.

HOPE Center[edit]

The vision of the HOPE Center,[5] acronym for House of Prayer and Education, is inspired by the prophecy of God's house being a house of prayer for all people. The HOPE Center would be Jerusalem's first center for education and spiritual life, owned and shared by all religions. The center aims to provide a powerful symbol of the potential that Jerusalem has to be a city of meeting, rather than only of tension. It would inspire people outside Jerusalem, worldwide, to both support the collaborative spiritual vision of Jerusalem and to seek to emulate it and to extend it to their various localities.

Summer School Programs[edit]

Board of World Religious Leaders Conferences[edit]

  • December 14–17, 2003, Seville, Spain - Religion, Society, and the Other: Hostility, Hospitality, and the Hope of Human Flourishing[6]
  • November 28 - December 2, 2005, Museum of World Religions, Wu-Lai, Taiwan - The Crisis of the Holy[7]
  • November 26–30, 2007, Amritsar, India - Sharing Wisdom: The Case of Love and Forgiveness[8]
  • October 18–22, 2009, Haifa, Israel - The Future of Religious Leadership[9]


Conference Papers[10][edit]

  • Religion, Society and the Other: Hostility, Hospitality and the Hope of Human Flourishing, The Elijah Interfaith Academy, Meeting of Board of World Religious Leaders, 2003
  • First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace: Background Materials, The Elijah Interfaith Academy, 2004
  • Towards a Jewish Theology of World Religions: Paper Summaries, Elijah Interfaith Institute and the University of Scranton, 2005
  • The Crisis of the Holy, The Elijah Interfaith Academy, Second Meeting of Board of World Religious Leaders, 2005
  • Viewing the Other: From Hostility to Hospitality Study Units, The Elijah Interfaith Institute, 2006
  • Sharing Wisdom: The Case of Love and Forgiveness, The Elijah Interfaith Institute, 2007
  • The Future of Religious Leadership, The Elijah Interfaith Institute, 2009

Response Statements[edit]

By The Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders[11][edit]

  • Combating Terrorism Statement, June 2003
  • The Da Vinci Code - Truth and Method, Rights and Responsibilities in Art and Society, June 2006
  • Pope Benedict XVI—Polemics as Sound Bytes, October 2006
  • Reaction to the Current Economic Crisis, October 2008
  • The 12 Step Vision for Combating Hatred and Intolerance with Wisdom, September 2010

By The Scholars of the Jewish Theology Project of the Elijah Interfaith Institute[12][edit]

  • Affirming the Image of God: a Response to Torat HaMelekh, September 2010
  • Affirming the Image of God: a Response to the Ruling Against Renting to Non-Jews, December 2010


External links[edit]