Encounter seminars bring together diverse secular and religious high school students in a neutral environment, using innovative programming that enables the students to challenge their deep-rooted misconceptions about each other.
The program is designed to break down the barriers that exist between secular and religious youth, sowing the seeds for more effective communication and greater mutual understanding, and helping students define and express their Jewish-Israeli identity. These transformational seminars focus on the critical issues of Jewish and Israeli identity, democracy and pluralism in a Jewish state. 11th-graders from secular and religious high schools spend time together in an informal setting, to learn from each other, to break down the wall that divides them and form a bond that unites them. Evaluations have shown that the program is highly effective in challenging long-held stereotypes and altering participants’ perceptions about each other.