Seminars and Conferences

The Syrian Opposition Conference
For the first time in Israel and in the Hebrew University, the Truman Institute hosted two Syrian expatriates to present and speak about the current situation in Syria. The two participants addressed the audience and the media that filled the Mexico Auditorium to explain the horrific situation that the Syrian people have been living in for the past six years. The Syrians spoke about their view of the Assad regime, the way it has been abusing the people in the country and how astounded they were with the international community for failing to bring an end to the war and atrocities that has been ravaging their country, killing their families and friends.The Syrians also spoke about their view towards Israel and what, in their opinion, it can do to help and assist the Syrian people trapped in the combat zones with no means to escape or save themselves. As part of the event, the speakers incorporated live conversations with opposition leaders who are present at the fronts and battlefields in the country who provided a picture of what life looks like at the torn cities of the country. Photo Gallery>

The Latin America Rectors Summit
In order to strenghten ties between Israel and Latin American countries, the newly founded Latin American Ambassadors Forum initiated a new summit. This came as part of the Forum's decision to launch an academic conference and bring rectors of universities from all over Latin America to the Hebrew University in order to strengthen ties between the countries and universities, and promote collaboration. Following the activities of the BDS movement and the rise in protests against Israel on campuses around the world, the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace initiated the annual summit with Latin American countries to promote a true image of the Israeli people and country. Twenty rectors arrived to Israel, from 14 countries - Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Chile, Bolivia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.

The delegation met with the president of Israel, Mr. Reuven Rivlin, Nobel Economics Prize laureate Prof. Israel Aumann, and high-ranking government officials. The rectors visited three campuses of the university, two in Jerusalem and the one in Rehovot, and signed cooperation agreements with the president of the Hebrew University. Photo Gallery>

The Stacey Mandel Palayge and Keith Palayge Program in Middle East Peace for Students of Tulane University, New Orleans
Between May 29th and June 18th, the Truman Institute hosted The Stacey Mandel Palayge and Keith Palayge Program in Middle East Peace for Students of Tulane University, New Orleans. During their stay, the students received lectures from Truman researchers and fellows, went on excursions around Israel and met with members of Knesset, community heads of different groups and the people trying to promote a change in life in Israel – all in order to receive a better grip and understanding regarding to the situation of Israel and the Palestinians.

This enabled the participants to gain a better understanding about the history of the two people, the differences in views, beliefs and religions, while explaining the impact that inner divisions and subgroups have on the changing social and political scenery. The students expressed keen interest to understand how Israelis like themselves view the situation and had intricate discussions with the Truman personnel and students that provided their life's experience and insights about how different life is in Israel, in many aspects, to those in the USA. Photo Gallery>

The Asian Religious Leaders Delgation
A delegation of Asian religious leaders visited The Hebrew University of Jerusalem to hold a day of discussions hosted by the Truman Institute. The leaders met with their Israeli counterparts from religion and academia to exchange ideas on issues ranging from the advancement of peace to the protection of environment.

The delegation included representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Shinto, Sikh, Taoist and Zoroastrian faiths, from countries including China, India, Japan, Myanmar, South Korea and Taiwan. The meeting opened with a prayer and meditation session, followed by discussions about safeguarding the ecology of planet earth in the industrial age, and the role of religious leadership in peacemaking. Photo Gallery>

Politics, Religion, and the Pursuit of Peace Brazil, Israel, Palestine
Scholars, journalists, religious leaders, and political figures from Brazil, Israel, and Palestine gathered for the Sixth International Symposium on Brazil at Hebrew University to discuss the interaction of politics and religion in Brazil, Israel and Palestine and their effects on the search for peace. Among issues debated was the role of religious leaders in setting the stage for dialogue. Dr. Alick Isaacs, Co-Director of "Siach Shalom" and Asharaf Al Ajarmi, Former Palestinian Minister of Prisoners, weighed in on the relative merits of framing the conflict between Israel and Palestine in religious or secular terms.

The panel, “Faith, Dialogue, and Politics,” offered a frank discussion among Dr. Mohamed Odeh, President of the Latin American Committee of Fatah, Hebrew University anthropologist Dr. Yehuda Goodman, and Rabbi Ruben Sternshein of the Congregação Israelita Paulista about the challenges and obstacles for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Photo Gallery>

Public Health Delegation at the Truman Institute
A group of 21 public health students from developing countries including Africa, India, Haiti and Jordan learned about the work of the Truman Institute’s regional divisions and researchers during a visit to the Institute. Participants in an intensive one-year program coordinated by the University’s school of Public Health and Community Medicine, the students gained new perspective on Middle East topics in conversation with Truman researchers. And, like most visitors, they enjoyed the panoramic view of Jerusalem seen from the roof of the Truman Institute. Photo Gallery>

Democratization, Religion and the Pursuit of Peace in Africa
The conference  brought together senior leaders from both the political and religious spheres from across Africa, as well as academics from Israel and abroad. Through this encounter, the event facilitated a unique trialogue along the nexus connecting politics, religion and academic scholarship. Through these multilateral discussions, the event shed new light on the place of religion in socio-political processes—including democratization and peacebuilding—across the continent, culminating in concrete paths for action and new directions for scholarship. The keynote address was delivered by former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who spoke about democratization and challenges thereto across Africa. This topic was then picked up by successive speakers through the prism of particular contexts, with special emphasis on the responsibility, as well as challenges, for religion in preserving and deepening democratization processes.

Christian Renewal Movements in the Global South in the 20th and 21st Centuries: Religious, Social and Political Transformations
The explosion of new and diverse forms of Christianity across the Global South – mass conversions, emergence of new denominations, and revitalization within established churches – have been among the most staggering religious phenomena of recent times. The diffused Pentecostal and Evangelical movements, which gained prominence throughout the 20th century, have already reached a dramatic following of over half a billion. The Roman Catholic Church and the historical mainline churches have joined the fray with their own charismatic renewal movements. The emergence of these new churches has had profound social, cultural and political impact within international, national and local arenas. No wonder, therefore, that some have been referring to the explosion of new Christian forms as a "second reformation," a term indicative of its magnitude and far-reaching implications. Continue reading more about the conference