Rabbi Soetendorp participated in the 8th Annual Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue that took place in Doha, Qatar from October 19 to 21, 2010. The conference was hosted by the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID) and brought together some 220 leaders from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities from 58 countries.
The meeting focused on the topic of "Raising the new generation with a foundation of values and tradition: religious perspectives" and addressed the crucial role of the family, social, educational and media institutions, as well as the positive contribution of religious worship for educating today's young people and helping them to find some moral orientation in today's world.
Rabbi Soetendorp chaired a session on the educational role of worship and spoke at a panel on the influence of media and technology on the young generation where he called for a creative use of the internet, film and social media in reaching young people and inspiring them by sharing authentic stories from the past.
"For me it was an heartening experience to participate in this remarkable conference" said Rabbi Soetendorp. "It was amazing to have an open discussion with the representatives of the different traditions. At some special moments in interfaith dialogue you recognize that you need the other to complement and enrich your own religious identity. This need was strongly felt during the personal interactions I had."
A special highlight of was the final session where students from Qatar and the Netherlands presented their projects of involving young people in joint programmes. "The openness and insightfulness of the young people was impressive" said Soetendorp, and added "We all felt the need to involve young people even more in forthcoming events".
"It is a sign of hope that the initiative to host this dialogue between the three monotheistic faiths came from the Muslim world. The conference hosts did an excellent job to bring us together and facilitate discussion" reported Soetendorp "I have the feeling that we could reach a breakthrough in the dialogue between the three faiths if these meetings and conferences are being continued, especially as the meeting revealed the vibrant and dynamic discussions within Islam, Judaism, and Christianity and demonstrated that non of these traditions can be considered monolithic."
Download his address to the conference here, entitled "Building a Partnership of Love and Compassion Between the Generations".
Take a look at the conference agenda and click here to read some reports about the event published by the Qatar News Agency and the Gulf Times.
Rabbi Soetendorp participated in 8th Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue