In Jerusalem “Be the Bridge!”: N. H. youth’s international Forum on universal Fraternity
With 200 New Humanity youngsters (Youth for a United World) from 20 countries to enliven proceedings, from 24th April to 1st May 2013 “Be the Bridge!“, the youth workshop for the analysis and promotion of universal fraternity was held in the Holy Land.
The event saw the young participants actively involved in excursions to the most significant places in the Holy Land, in artistic and musical workshops and in moments for reflection on the subject of universal fraternity.
The title of the event made clear the underlying spirit which informed the eight days of travel: the importance of being bridges stretching out to meet the other, always in pursuit of fraternal dialogue.
A particularly significant stage of the journey took place on 25th April at the Bethlehem Peace Center. Here, the delegation of youngsters from New Humanity was welcomed by Dr. Vera Baboun, mayor of the city.
The following day a moment of reflection on universal fraternity together with Muslim and Christian professors and students from the University of Bethlehem took place.
On 30th April a similar seminar entitled “Discovering the humanity of the other“, took place at the Synagogue of Kehilat Yedidya. The meeting was animated by the contributions of Rabbi Raymond Apple, member of the ICCI and Emeritus Senior Rabbi of the Great Synagogue of Sydney, and of Prof. Alberto Lo Presti, Professor of the History of Political Thought at the Pontifical University of San Tommaso. Chairing the event was Rabbi Ron Kronish, director of the ICCI (Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel), with the Apostolic Nuncio to Israel Giuseppe Lazzarotto and numerous young Muslims, Christian and Jews in attendance.
The climax of “Be the Bridge!” was the first of May 2013. In a live broadcast seen worldwide, the United World Project (the great project for the fostering of fraternity promoted by Youth for a United World in collaboration with New Humanity) and its developments were reviewed.
In a video interview, Dr. Shyami Puvimanasinghe from the section for the right to development at UN headquarters in Geneva, responded to the question of how Youth for a United World can collaborate with the United Nations on the very issue of spreading universal fraternity far and wide.
The live broadcast saw the participation of the 3,000 young Italians gathered at Loppiano (Florence), the young Indians assembled in Mumbai, offering a testimony on foregiveness, and those present in Budapest, together with the President of the National Commission of UNESCO.
At the end of the event there was the official opening of the United World Week 2013, which, at all latitudes, in this first week of May, will notch up events of sporting, cultural and social kinds – depending on the creative bent of the youngsters and the specificities of each country – to ‘sponsor’ the idea of the united world.