The Women Faith and Ecology Project in Jerusalem continues to engage Christian, Muslim, and Jewish women in the Jerusalem area for inspiring seminars on faith and ecology. Originally launched in 2013, the project continued with five meetings in 2014, two seminars in 2015, and four gatherings in early 2016. The participants continue to work together toward the common cause of sustainability, leading by example in peaceful cooperation towards sustainable lifestyles.
The most recent seminars in late 2015 and early 2016 focused on women’s leadership, ecology and faith and involved various lectures, workshops discussions, and an environmental outing to the Jordan River. They are being followed by a local environmental fair, highlighting ecological work and activism taking place throughout the greater Jerusalem area. The meetings were attended by women of the three faiths, with six Christian, Jewish and Muslim speakers. The meetings were attended by Jewish and Arab women from Jerusalem, as well as women native to Turkey, the U.S., Europe, and New Zealand. We had women from the Bedouin sector, East Jerusalem, Arab villages around Jerusalem, Arab Christians, Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox, reform, and secular Jews. The women came from various professional backgrounds- some working as religious leaders, others in ecologically oriented organizations and other great leaders and wonderful people. Sessions included textual study based on texts from Bible and the Koran which focused on ours and God’s responsibility towards the earth. We spoke of our own and nature’s vulnerability, and women’s role in this as a mother, teacher, daughter, wife and activist. We spoke of the challenges that the world and Jerusalem faces in terms of environmental challenges and what our role can be in changing it- as women who are an integral part of their community and as religious people and clergy.
1. To encourage a better understanding of the “other” and support the creation of cross-cultural and inter-religious friendships and partnerships;
2. To educate the group about teachings on sustainability within their own faiths and foster a culture of appreciation of similar teachings from different religions and cultures;
3. To increase the understanding of the human and environmental challenges in Jerusalem and the region among female leaders of multiple faiths;
4. To facilitate a sustained network of Jerusalem-based female leaders in developing and implementing a plan of environmental action and advocacy for their communities.
To read about a previous seminar, click here. Pictures and videos from the December 2013 project are below.
To watch short videos from speakers at the seminar held in December 2013, click on the videos below.