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UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Studies

  • Research Institutions

    • University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, 31905 Haifa, Israel
  • spain

  • English, Hebrew
  • Show


Promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation in the field of study of the history of intercultural dialogue in Al-Andalus, involving research in different fields: historiography, literature, philosophy, sciences, sociology, anthropology; promote cooperation among Jews, Christians, and Muslims in present-day society in the light of the coexistence of these three communities during the Middle Ages in the Iberian peninsula; serve as a means of facilitating collaboration between high-level, internationally recognized researchers and teaching staff of the University and other institutions in the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and Central Asia.


The UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Studies was established in 2000 at the University of Haifa, Israel.

IRD Activities

  • Role-Play 'Intercultural Dialogue'. Toledo as a Model - Jews, Muslims and Christians. Tension and Coexistence

    The role-play offers a personal experience based on the unique phenomenon of vast and prolific cooperation among Jews, Muslims and Christians in Medieval Spain, a “travel in the tunnel of time”, allowing for perspective and contemplation. Participants of the experience workshops assume roles of members of different cultures in Medieval Toledo, a city that has become the symbol of intercultural dialogue and multicultural cooperation in the history of Mankind. Members of the three communities cooperated in culture, science and economy, while preserving their spiritual and religious identity. The intellectual and emotional experience the role-play provides, promotes attitudes and behaviors conducive to peaceful and democratic societies where non-violence, tolerance and cultural pluralism are sacred values

  • Television Programs

    The Chair has produced TV programs in the framework of The Academic Channel, highlighting Medieval Spain as a paradigm of intercultural dialogue. In this project, leading artists and authors participated

  • Encounters Among Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Creative Artists - Promoting Dialogue in a Pluralistic Israel

    Israeli society is torn apart nowadays by internal conflicts among orthodox and non-orthodox Jews. This project aims at opening windows of acquaintance with the cultural heritage and with the inner feelings of each party, as they unfold in its literature and poetry. Orthodox and non-orthodox authors discuss their attitudes and their creativity. Encounters with both artists and works of art create an artistic experience, aesthetic pleasure and emotional identification promoting mutual respect and understanding among the different fractions in Israel, paving the path towards a more pluralistic society

  • Windows to the Soul in Two Languages. POETS' Encounter - Promoting Dialogue between Jews and Arabs in Israeli Society

    Negative and hostile attitudes towards the other are often the result of lack of knowledge and understanding. Reality in Israel and in the Middle East witnesses both Jews and Arabs failing to regard each other with respect, due to a strong and persistent feeling of alienation. One of the most helpful means of altering this sad situation is the endeavor to open windows of acquaintance with the heritage, the cultural achievements and the pains guiding each side. This project offers acquaintance with the inner feelings of each party, so magnificently portrayed by literature. The project consists of a series of encounters with literary texts depicting Jews and Arabs in Arab Literature and in Hebrew Literature. The contents of the encounters and the manner of implementation (an encounter with an artist, a theatrical performance, and musical pieces) create an artistic experience, aesthetic pleasure and emotional identification. These combined with the intellectual experience enhance awareness to the complex situation of each party and promote mutual respect, which is a stipulation for coexistence

  • A Unique Project. Encounters of Scholars - Muslims, Jews and Christians. From Israel and Arab Countries Based on the Paradigm of Medieval Spain

    The goals of the project are to strengthen intercultural dialogue among Jewish, Muslim and Christian scholars by meetings based on the mutual interest of intellectuals in the research of cultural encounters that took place in medieval Spain, to promote a culture of peace and understanding among people, to study and discuss from a multidisciplinary standpoint, and to use the historical experience of contacts and confrontations in Spain as a linkage to the dialogue that exists at present between Jews, Muslims and Christians in the Mediterranean countries. Among the achievements of the colloquiums the following results can be mentioned: During the concluding sessions the participants noted that the level of the discussions had been very high and that the integration of the disciplines had contributed much to an understanding of intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean Basin, both from a historical perspective, and as a point of departure for discussion of coexistence in the present and in the future. A core group of scholars and figures of influence continue to develop the dialogue among Israeli and Arab scholars based on the Spanish connection, while foundations for joint projects with Spain, Morocco and Egypt were laid during initial encounters, later encounters pave the way to real collaboration between nations in order to promote projects and enterprises.

  • Main Focus Countries of Activities

    Spain - Germany - Austria - USA - Argentina - Brazil - Bulgaria - Poland - Russian Federation - Israel - Israel - Israel - Israel - Morocco - Spain