Podcast Hana Part 2: Building Jewish-Christian Relations
Hana Bendcowsky is the Program Director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations at the Rossing Center for Education and Dialogue. Hana’s work is educational, she teaches in varied institutions, colleges, academic programs, Christian seminaries, post- and pre military programs, IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) and governmental offices.
Hana has 27 years of practical experience in interfaith activities. Her expertise is the Christian Communities and the Jewish-Christian relations in the Israeli context. A growing difference between generations is being observed in all Israeli communities and religious groups. Recent surveys showed that younger people have more negative opinions about others and that there is more extremism in general.
… and with all the programs that’s being done, I think there is more interest and curiosity and opening towards the others. But the younger generation is more ignorant, more closed in its own bubble
… it’s more segregated, there is a lot less personal familiarities with the other and therefore stereotypes and prejudice and hatred is growing.Hana Bendcowsky
Hana sees the results of her and others’ educational work. There is a difference but at the same time she notices that there are more desperate people who are tired of the conflict on both sides. They seem not able to develop any sympathy toward the other.
I think what we really are trying to do is to remove this stereotype and say: look at the person but not just look at the person as a human being but look at the person with his identity whatever it includes and examine him.
So not just to like people that are very nice and friendly … but accept them with their criticism and with their agenda and find a way to work together.Hana Bendcowsky
The conflicts and tensions in Israel are rising. It is very challenging for Hana to balance out troubled feelings from others and also her own. She has to deal with setbacks of her work – sometimes one step forward two steps back – but Hana doesn’t lose hope and she will continue to fight for peace.
What really helps me is the staff here in the Rossing Center because we all struggle with the same thing. And we come here and we talk about it and it really helps. I know if I will not do it then I will not be able to look into my sons eyes and say: we have to stay here because there is a future … I am here and I want to change it.Hana Bendcowsky
Hana is a professional tour educator in Jerusalem leading study tours in the Christian Quarter.
Listen to the first episode with Hana.
Get another perspective from an Israeli Palestinian feminist. Maisam talks openly about the struggles and conflicts she and her fellow Palestinians endure but she also sees the difficulties on the Jewish side.
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