As participants from more than 40 countries started arriving to the conference venue on Sunday, August 16, 2015, the MJC Team welcomed the new arrivals and started the registrations that continued late in the day.
The sixth annual MJC will see participants discussing gender & religion, conflict transformation, anti-Semitism & anti-Muslim Racism and challenges of living as a minority among other pressing issues over the week.
To get started and to introduce what the attendees should expect from the conference, a unique exercise on breaking down stereotypes was conducted. The Muslim and Jewish participants were divided into smaller groups based on their faiths and were asked to come up with stereotypes that “others” might have about their faith.
The participants brainstormed and shared their experiences, coming up with insightful, cathartic yet humorous presentations. The night ended with the participants discussing the outcome of the exercise – a deeper understanding about the nature of stereotypes and an appreciation for the struggle of the “other”.
The message that most participants took away from the exercise was the realization that Muslims and Jewish communities, while historically being at odds over political and religious beliefs, share a lot in terms of negative stereotypes about their communities.