At a sad and painful time of violence, on Wednesday Nov. 23, 2022, religious leaders from all over Israel came together for a convention addressing violence in general, and violence against women in particular. The convention was held at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, in collaboration with the Michal Sela Forum.
Violence – not in my religion!
This is the message sent forth by the convention's participants - the Forum for Interfaith Leaders, promoted by the Religious Sectors Division of the Ministry of the Interior and Beit Morasha. The Forum's members declared that they would continue to work together and welcome more religious leaders who choose to advance religious leadership and support programs for intervention and prevention of violence.
The convention opened with Sheikh Amin Canaan's moving story about the murder of his daughter (name). This was followed by a lecture and discussion by Adv. Vered Perry, Legal Advisor of the Michal Sela Forum, equipping the religious leaders with tools for intervention and prevention of domestic violence and violence against women. Attorney Shai Nitzan, former State Attorney of Israel and current Rector of the National Library, told the audience how he had addressed issues of domestic violence as State Attorney.
Throughout the day participants talked about the devastating terror attacks in Israel. Prof. Benjamin Ish-Shalom, President of Beit Morasha, and Mr. Lior Shachar, Senior Manager at the Religious Sectors Division of the Ministry of the Interior, spoke about the deadly attack perpetrated that morning in Jerusalem, and said: "We must not allow terror attacks to discourage us. We must not despair. Quite the contrary. I believe with my whole heart that by coming together religious leaders from all faiths form a powerful bond that can ultimately prevent all types of violence."
At the end of the convention the Forum for Interfaith Leaders awarded its very first Appreciation Badge to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, for "devoted care and human brotherhood".
This article was written in cooperation with Beit Morasha