US civil rights leaders visit Israel
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US civil rights leaders visit Israel

Delegation meets with influential Israeli, Palestinian, and Israeli-Arab figures

Civil rights leader Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President, Interfaith Alliance, at an immigration absorption center in Safed during a Project Interchange/AJC seminar in Israel (photo credit: Courtesy AJC)
Civil rights leader Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President, Interfaith Alliance, at an immigration absorption center in Safed during a Project Interchange/AJC seminar in Israel (photo credit: Courtesy AJC)

Leaders of notable American religious, ethnic, and public-interest civil rights organizations are currently spending a week visiting and learning about Israel with a focus on civil and human rights, civil liberties issues, and sharing best practices, through Project Interchange, an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee.

Seminar topics include combating prejudice and racial stereotyping, protecting religious liberty, promoting LGBT equality, promoting fair treatment of immigrants, and supporting civil rights and civil liberties for all people including people with disabilities, as well as international human rights. The trip includes meetings with influential Israeli, Palestinian, and Israeli-Arab figures.

The delegation has also met with key civil rights and civil liberties experts across the social and political spectrum, including the Abraham Fund and B’Tselem, discussed Israel as a Start Up Nation, and visited historic and religious sites across the country.

Sam Witkin, executive director of Project Interchange, stated, “This important and diverse delegation of prominent civil rights leaders… represent the cornerstone of American civil rights, human rights, and civil liberties.”

Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President, Interfaith Alliance, said, “The trip has confronted me with one paradox after another — sacred and secular, joy and sadness, technology and mystery, past and future, information and questions. The meaning of the land and the dialogue with my colleagues encourages making peace with the paradoxes rather than distorting reality by trying to tear them apart to achieve simplicity. Great experience!”

Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum, stated, “PI developed an itinerary that not only allowed me to learn bought Israel, but also challenged my assumptions. There were multiple opportunities to engage a range of perspectives. I come away understanding the challenges and opportunities of Israel’s past, present and future.”

 

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