III Scholas Chairs International Congress 2017

“Religion can bring us together and teach us to create the bonds of friendship. With the intuition of Scholas and the intelligence and history of the Hebrew University, I am sure that this will produce great changes in the world” (Pope Francis)

The 3rd Scholas Chairs International Congress in Jerusalem this year unites Youth from five continents, who join Palestinian and Israeli students, religious and academic leaders, in answer to Pope Francis' call for peace building through encounter. The summit is co-organized by the Pontifical Scholas Occurrentes ("Scholas") and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University. 75 Christian, Jewish and Muslim youth, age 15 and 16 from Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and other countries joined their Palestinian and Israeli counterparts for 4 days summit of learning through arts, sports, technology, and living together.

At the opening ceremony, the young expressed their hopes for peace through a variety of artistic presentations. Students from Burundi and Congo performed a song in Swahili; Palestinian students from Shu'afat and Beit Hanina performed "Imagine" by John Lennon; and Jewish high school students sang of peace in Hebrew. Three senior religious leaders, representing the three Abrahamic faiths, gave opening benedictions as part of an interreligious prayer for peace: Kadi Iyad Zahalka, The Kadi of Jerusalem and the Head of the Sharia Courts of Israel; His Eminence Mons. Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel; and Rabbi Michael Melchior, former Israeli Minister of Social and Diaspora Affairs and Head of the Middle East Religious Initiative for Peace. The closing ceremony on July 5 is expected to include greetings from Pope Francis, together with the planting of a traditional olive tree for peace in his name, as students describe their experiences and present their works of art and their social projects.

Among the dignitaries representing the Holy See and Scholas Occurentes were José María del Corral, President of the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes; His Eminence Mons. Angelo Zani, General Secretary of the Congregation For Catholic Education, Holy See; and His Eminence Mons. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Vice President of Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes and Great Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Holy See). 


Pictures & Videos 

Live Streaming of the Congress - Click here please 
- The Congress Opening Ceremony Video - Click here please 
Pope Francis words to the Palestinian and Israeli youth in Scholas Encounter
- The Congress Photo Gallery - Click here please

Media Coverage

The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) - in Arabic