A visit to Efrat offers peace activists, religious leaders, journalists, educators, academicians and those who are just curious an opportunity to gain insight into why over a quarter of a million Israelis continue to make their lives in an area whose status is at the center of international controversy. Are the “settlements” truly illegal under international law? Upon whose land were they built? Which water resources do they utilize? Are they surrounded by walls? Are they open or closed to Palestinian Arabs?
“Ardie stirred up the conversation among us in a way that few speakers were able to…”
Allen S., New York
Therefore, it is especially worthwhile for those spending any length of time visiting the Palestinian Authority, especially in the Jerusalem area, to come to the town of Efrat and the neighboring Gush Etzion Region. Here you will undoubtedly be presented with a narrative different than that made by Palestinian Arabs. But you will also most likely be amazed by the diversity of political opinions expressed by the Jewish residents of the area. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to witness authentic examples of Jewish-Palestinian cooperation and co-existence that receive insufficient media attention and may, in fact, constitute the future foundation for peace between the two peoples.
“Ardie does an amazing job of presenting how complex this conflict really is behind the headlines. “
Lynn R., Houston
Given the intractable nature of this conflict, its multi-faceted issues and its many complexities, it behooves anyone who sincerely hopes to see this conflict finally come to a peaceful and stable resolution to try and understand the case made by each side.
One to Two Hours – Participate in a short but intensive dialogue that is likely to challenge your current perspective. All questions that are relevant and presented in a non-argumentative manner are invited.
Half-Day Seminar – A four-hour visit includes a bus tour of the area, a visit to a local school, and a dialogue session with local Jewish residents.
Full-Day Seminar – A full-day, eight-hour visit includes an extended bus tour of Efrat and Gush Etzion communities, visits to local community institutions, meetings with community leaders, regular residents and neighboring Palestinian Arabs.
Two Day and One Night Seminar – The two day visit is an extension of the full-day program, including meetings with additional personalities, more local institutions, a “Biblical hike,” and home-hospitality sleepover.
Shabbat Week-End Seminar (3 nights/3 full days) – This unique program runs from Thursday afternoon through late Sunday morning. In addition to the aforesaid sessions and tours, the week-end offers an opportunity for home hospitality sleepover with Efrat residents that includes participating in a full traditional Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath). View sample itinerary
*All seminar programs are flexible and, depending upon weather conditions and the availability of speakers, may be designed with input from the visiting group. Cost varies according to the particulars of the seminar.
”We may agree to disagree, but Ardie is a dynamic, credible and impassioned spokesman for his views.”
Ian H, London