Post originally published in Christian Media Center website by Marinella Bandini

Its name means “miracle of the peoples” or “sign for the peoples” as we read in the prophet Isaiah (Is 11:10). In Nes Ammim, a village of Christian origin in northern Israel, dialogue and coexistence among people of different peoples, faiths, religions and cultures is the norm.

An ideal location to host the Focolare Movement’s initiative that brought together around 150 people of different faiths and cultures from September 16 to 18 last year to reflect and experience “caring.”

CLAUDIO MAINA Focolare Movement “With the pandemic and after the pandemic, the theme of caring is present in the Focolare Movement. A real awareness campaign on this issue is emerging.”

The guiding theme these days is “Dare to care”. Not just a title:

CLAUDIO MAINA Focolare Movement “We are deeply convinced that it is a way of life to care for others. It takes courage! It takes daring, because it’s about stepping out of one’s box, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, to look beyond.”

Moments of reflection, but also spaces for conviviality and sharing, workshops, games, activities for children, time for a little relaxation, a chance to learn about and participate in different religious traditions. The beginning of Shabbat was experienced with particular intensity.

Sister DELPHINE SEEGOOLAM Chemin Neuf “It is important to get to know each other: what others believe, who they are, what their culture is. That way all our barriers can crumble down and we can live as brothers and sisters.”

Among the most anticipated moments was a panel discussion with three speakers from different religions-Christians, Jews and Muslims-on building authentic relationships, with oneself, with others, but also in the society in which we live and towards the environment.

The need for every human being to be in relationship with the other, the importance of knowing one’s own identity, education for dialogue, starting with religious leaders, the push to get out of one’s own schemes: these are all topics addressed by the speakers and explored in the assembly and in the various workshops.

Prof KHALED FURANI Tel Aviv University “Why am I here? What am I living for? If we keep asking ourselves these questions, perhaps we can challenge what makes us feel comfortable and go out and explore new ways in which we can enrich our lives and the lives of those around us.”

SHIRA LEVINE Rabbi – Kibbutz Hanaton “Many of my friends chose not to be religious at all. It’s ok, everyone believes in whatever they believe – in the mankind and in themselves, ok. But I believe, I believe in God and I believe in people, and I found that I have a lot in common with people who believe. Sometimes we understand each other’s better than people who choose not to believe”.

The various proposals and free moments, were an opportunity to touch upon this possibility of taking an interest in others and being enriched by their presence.

TALAT SHATROUBI Fureidis “The theme of these days gives me energy to be a person who can help and do something good for their community.”

CHIARA PEZZULICH Haifa “It was a good experience, of living together, of friendship, of meeting: meaningful for life!”

Spaces and moments like this Focolare Movement event are a testimony that the desired unity is possible if everyone takes the risk of “daring to care.”

SHIRA LEVINE Rabbi – Kibbutz Hanaton “I am very happy. It’s really a miracle that all these people come together, it’s a miracle that all the ‘ammim’ (peoples) come together.”