An Interfaith Multi-Narrative Listening Tour to Israel/Palestine
Group Leader Bios
Marisa Brown Ludwig, MSW, M.Div. is Associate Pastor at First Church of Christ in Longmeadow, UCC. She is a member/ former chair of the Task Team on Ecumenism & Interfaith Relations for the Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, and the Vice President of the Interfaith Council of Greater Springfield, MA. She studied interfaith dialogue leadership in the Building Abrahamic Partnerships Program at Hartford Seminary. She has moderated and participated in panels, workshops, and keynote addresses across Massachusetts appearing with Jewish, Muslim and Christian partners on the interfaith complexity of peacemaking, most often on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She has co-authored media statements and a UCC Resolution condemning hate, especially based on religious identity, and works regularly with local interfaith colleagues offering education programs and advocacy on issues of climate change, immigration, racial justice, women’s reproductive justice, LTBTQ rights and economic equity. Marisa can be reached at email@example.com and (413) 575-4497.
Yehezkel Landau, D.Min., a dual Israeli-American citizen, is an interfaith educator, trainer, consultant, and author active in Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations and Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding for close to 40 years. While in Israel he was executive director of the Oz veShalom-Netivot Shalom religious peace movement in the 1980’s, then co-founder and co-director of the Open House Jewish-Arab peace center in Ramle in the 1990’s. From 2002 to 2016 he was a professor of Jewish tradition and interfaith relations at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and holder of the Abrahamic Partnerships Chair. He is the author of numerous articles and essays, as well as the research report Healing the Holy Land: Interreligious Peacebuilding in Israel/Palestine, published by the U.S. Institute of Peace. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 860-944-4504. His personal website is www.landau-interfaith.com
Karima Hadj-Zoubir is a trilingual teacher / author with a multi-cultural background. The fact that she was raised with a Middle Eastern/ Arab culture, a French culture and an Anglo-Saxon culture, opened her mind to a global vision of the world and different cultures, religions and philosophies with a humanitarian view. She works as one of the leaders and member of the steering committees of numerous interfaith organizations to promote peace and tolerance like “The Daughters of Abraham,” “Central Massachusetts Connections in Faith” and as the coordinator of: coexistthroughknowledge.com. Her new book: “Islam and People of the Book”, shows how the monotheist religions have been hijacked to serve political purposes and an ideology of hate. The study shows that Islam is a continuation of Judaism and Christianity and it also emphasizes the relation between Islam and the other monotheistic religions and their shared beliefs. She is a frequent interfaith speaker who participates in gatherings including the three faiths in their places of worship advocating for tolerance, peace and what is common to the three Abrahamic religions. Karima can be reached at email@example.com.
Karen Nell Smith, M.Div., D.Min., is a United Church of Christ pastor and holds certificates in mediation and conflict transformation skills from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center and in trauma healing from Eastern Mennonite University’s Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resiliency Program. She received her Doctor of Ministry at Hartford Seminary with a focus on conflict transformation and interfaith dialogue and was a member of the Building Abrahamic Partnerships facilitation team from 2007 to 2014. She is currently coordinator of Journey of the Spirit program of Open Spirit Center and she served as Program Director of Interfaith Engagement for the Brookfield Institute where she developed programs such as “Can We Talk? An invitation to dialogue about the Holy Land,” “Living in a World of Difference: Meeting our Jewish and Muslim Neighbors,” and the “Many Hands Project: An Interfaith Youth Initiative.” Karen Nell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (508) 331-3081.