Friends of Interfaith Encounter Association Inc

IEAencounters

Forest Park, IL   |  https://interfaith-encounter.org/en/

Mission

The Interfaith Encounter Association is dedicated to promoting real coexistence and human peace in the Holy Land and the Middle East through cross-cultural study and inter-religious dialogue. We believe that, rather than being the cause of the problem; religion can and should be a source of solution for conflicts that exist in the region and beyond. We do not believe in the blending of all traditions into one undifferentiated group, but in providing a table where all can come and sit in safety and ease, while being fully who they are in their respective religions.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Yehuda A. Stolov Ph.D.

Main address

832 Lathrop Ave

Forest Park, IL 60130 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-4018144

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2008.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA) works to promote genuine coexistence and sustainable peace, through joint community building on the grassroots level, using interactive interfaith dialogue as its vehicle. The apolitical and all-inclusive approach of the organization and its activities enable the successful participation of a very wide range of participants and thus to continuously build a true grassroots movement which constitutes the human infrastructure for peace in the Holy Land. For 2022 we aim for operating 40 groups of interfaith encounter that build inter-communal bridges between neighbors, meeting for 400 times with some 4,000 participants.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Groups of Interfaith Encounter

We run dozens of Interfaith Encounter group across the Holy Land and a few in other countries.

Interfaith encounter is a meaningful conversation: participants exchange ideas on existentially significant issues, and get to know one another in an intimate way. It reveals similarities and helps build bridges between people. It also enables to share differences in a constructive, respectful way, and encourages participants to develop friendships with those they disagree with.

Through its transformative power, people abandon prejudices and stereotypes they hold of each other, replacing them with direct and real understanding that leads to respect, trust and friendship.

Even one encounter creates important transformation. But when groups meet regularly, this provides a regular opportunity for encounter, exemplifies possibility of inter-communal relations based on friendship and respect for each unique identity, and constantly generates change as new members of the larger communities join

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Religious groups
Social and economic status

Where we work

Accreditations

UNESCO has recognized the IEA as "an organization that is contributing to the culture of peace" 2003

Awards

The Prize for Humanity 2006

The Immortal Chaplains Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of conferences held

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Ethnic and racial groups, Religious groups, Social and economic status

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of free participants in conferences

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Ethnic and racial groups, Religious groups, Social and economic status

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of groups brought together in a coalition/alliance/partnership

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Ethnic and racial groups, Religious groups, Social and economic status

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We live relatively near to one another, and perhaps even shop or work in the same places, but we know so little about one another, which leads to image of each other that is composed mostly of prejudices and negative stereotypes. Recent history has taught us that when different communities live close by and physical interaction between them is easy, the quality of their intercommunal relations depends more on their being good neighbors than on agreements between their respective leaderships. Therefore, the process of building peace in the Holy Land (and often elsewhere) must include a strong emphasis on grassroots inter-communal relations if it is to be successful and sustainable.
When we analyze the disapproving attitudes that many in our communities have for each other we realize that these are not the result of an educated decision that it is impossible to live together. On the contrary: negative attitudes result from the generalization of individual cases of negativity, which creates prejudices and off-putting stereotypes that result in a negative image of the 'other'.
The problem with such images is that they are psychologically rooted and it is not enough to explain the actual reality to counteract them. In order to uproot them we need an experience that will be psychologically significant. The interfaith encounter in which participants truly and deeply meet the 'other' face-to-face, provides such an experience and can be profoundly transformative.
Consequently, interfaith encounter is not only relevant for those who enjoy interfaith dialogue or learning for their own sake. Interfaith encounters are important for any person who lives in a split society, as it gives ordinary people an avenue to make an actual contribution towards real peace – directly, without being dependent on their leaders. Knowing and understanding the 'other' directly, in turn, alleviates the fear from all members of their community and thus improves the quality of life for participants.

Interfaith encounter is fundamentally educational and social - meeting neighbors and friends, learning about different religions and lifestyles, and through that education breaking stereotypes, prejudices and misperceptions. In this way, interfaith encounter makes a real contribution to the improvement of the life quality of its participants and to the building of peaceful relations between their communities.
Interfaith encounter focuses on themes that relate to the foundation of the respective cultures and touches on issues that have deep existential meaning for the participants, even for the most secular among them. Discussing together how one relates to religion/culture and religious/cultural texts and ideas allows us to address core issues of identity and meaning and to find shared values. The discussion becomes much more intimate than just an exchange of opinions and gives room for the exposure of the humanity of the 'other', which happens when people really look into each other's eyes. Moreover, this focus reveals large degrees of similarities between participants' traditions. This idea of discovering shared values may sound pedestrian but can be a tremendous revelation for participants. Finally, this angle allows for a constructive way to discuss differences. In this way participants train themselves to develop friendships with people they disagree with, which is the real challenge we face.
Even one encounter creates an important transformation among its participants. But when groups from neighboring communities meet regularly, this provides a regular opportunity for encounter, exemplifies the possibility of inter-communal relations based on friendship and respect for the unique identity of each, and constantly generates change as additional members of the larger communities join. In this way, the transformation becomes much more solid and effective.

The Interfaith Encounter Association works since 2001 to promote genuine coexistence and sustainable peace, through joint community building on the grassroots level, using interactive interfaith dialogue as its vehicle.
In its twenty years of existence, the IEA has held more than 4,000 programs, with many thousands of participants. A most significant fact is that the participants in IEA programs include people of all political and religious views, as well as all ages, genders, walks of life etc.; and that the vast majority of them have met the 'other' for the first time through IEA. As of this date the IEA has founded 116 ongoing community-groups of interfaith encounter – from the Upper Galilee to Eilat, including 38 groups that bring together on a regular basis Israelis and West Bank Palestinians.

Our theory of change fits the extended contact theory that Thomas Pettigrew introduced in the 1990s, as an improvement of the theory Gordon Allport suggested in the 1950s. Our approach meets the conditions Pettigrew portrayed for successful contact process, namely: an ongoing encounter that develops close relations, equality within the group, building cooperation towards the common goal of peaceful inter-communal relations, and active learning about each other.

Our approach differs from most peacebuilding approaches in its strong emphasis on the grassroots inter-communal relations and in its true inclusiveness. It refrains from supporting a specific political model and instead invites supporters of all models to work together on the human infrastructure that is required for their success. This inevitably has a huge impact on their political beliefs as well, because while participants usually retain their existing political views, they seek ways to apply them in ways that care for, and honor the humanity of, the other.

By initially restricting political arguments, we ensure that when divisive issues do come up, as they inevitably will, they are discussed in a non-threatening way and in a way which doesn’t damage the group’s process. By the time they are discussed, the discussion is between friends who trust each other and know how much they share. When you disagree with a friend, you do so in a way which is dramatically different than with someone you see as an enemy.

Our approach also differs from other interfaith efforts because its focus on interactive conversations between participants, rather than passive listening to expert speakers.

The effectiveness of the IEA approach is supported by a series of academic research works conducted by Bar Ilan, De Paul and Berkley Universities.

The Interfaith Encounter Association works since 2001 to promote genuine coexistence and sustainable peace, through joint community building on the grassroots level, using interactive interfaith dialogue as its vehicle.
In its twenty years of existence, the IEA has held more than 4,000 programs, with many thousands of participants. A most significant fact is that the participants in IEA programs include people of all political and religious views, as well as all ages, genders, walks of life etc.; and that the vast majority of them have met the 'other' for the first time through IEA. As of this date the IEA has founded 116 ongoing community-groups of interfaith encounter – from the Upper Galilee to Eilat, including 38 groups that bring together on a regular basis Israelis and West Bank Palestinians.
In 2021, despite challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we ran 33 groups, who met 385 times, with some 3,000 participants.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Each of the groups has its own target audience and a diverse coordinating team, with diversity representing the participating communities. We collect feedback on a monthly basis from coordinators and on an annual basis directly from groups' participants.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Last year coordinators expressed the desire to recieve trainings with additional tools and as a result we started bi-monthly trainings.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We don't ask the participants and coordinators only for reflections on things that happened and should be strengthened, repeated or improved. We also request ideas for additional types of groups or activities, which are often applicable and direct the office work. For example: after a participant suggested that we organize an interfaith singing evening for all our groups, we organized it as an annual event in December.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Friends of Interfaith Encounter Association Inc

Sign In or Create Account to view assets data

lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Friends of Interfaith Encounter Association Inc

Board of directors
as of 1/19/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rabbi Bob Carroll

Ibrahim Mustafa

Jared Goldfarb

Moatasem Hassuneh

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/19/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/19/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.