I Name and Integrative Function of the Center: Mishkan Ruach Avraham
"And in your (Avraham’s) seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Bereshit 22. 18)
"When Moshe entered the Tent of Meeting to speak with Him, he heard the Voice speaking to him from above the cover which is on the arc of covenant, from between the two cheruvim, and He spoke to him." (Bamidbar 7. 89)
"My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations" - "Beiti ikare beit tefilah le-kol ha-amim." (Yeshayahu)
“Do we not all have one Father? Has not one God created all of us? Why do we deal treacherously each man against his brother, profaning the Covenant of our fathers?” (Maleachi 2. 10)
"Where there are two or three gathering in My Name, I am in their midst." (Gospel)
"People of the Scripture! Why will you argue about Abraham when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? ... Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian; but he was an upright man who had surrendered to God." (Qu’ran, Sura 3. 65.)
"He has ordained for you that religion which He commended to Noah, and ... which We commended to Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion, and be not divided therein. ... Unto this then summon (o Mohammed) ... say, I believe in whatever Scripture God has sent down, and I am commanded to be just among. God is our Lord and your Lord; Unto us our works and unto you your works; no argument between us and you. God will bring us together, and to Him is the journeying." (Qu'ran, Sura 42.13-16.)
“Of one tree are ye all the fruit, and of one bough the leaves; … The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens … Let not man glory in this that he loveth his country, let him rather glory in this that he loveth his kind.” (Baha’u’llah)
Jerusalem Academy is based on the Vision of Heavenly Jerusalem as the image of God’s final Temple and Spiritual Center on Earth. As such it is proposed to pour out pure waters of life. Thus Jerusalem Educational Institution (Academy) and Conference Center shall serve as the common denominator and roof of all the above-mentioned projects, functions and activities. Center and organization shall bear the name “Mishkan Ruach Avraham” (Tent of the Spirit of Avraham) and shall be run by “Ma’ayan Ha-Or”, the Israeli branch of an independent international group of people dedicated to divine life, self-realization and service to God and mankind (that is to foster and realize a holistic vision of life based on the spiritual values and the ethos of Jewish Tradition as well as the universal truths of world religions).
Its facilities are meant as a platform and forum to provide a protected space and atmosphere for the above-mentioned seven different kinds of projects. They shall be realized by according activities, as study-groups, research units, seminars, workshops and conferences etc. and all kinds of inter-cultural programs for social integration, reconciliation and peace building as interfaith parliaments, peace summits, cultural events (like classical or ethnic music etc.) as well as developing integral projects to foster, implement and realize socio-economic, cultural and spiritual projects for restoring, consolidating, integrating, development and uplifting the Israeli as well as the Palestinian society to the lofty standards of human dignity and a universal ethos of self-realization (which is the spirit and essence of Torah, Tanakh and Qu’ran);
Besides its educational and social mission as a reconciling and integrating force in Israel, it shall also become an abode of purified cultural and spiritual life. As a place of comparative religious studies and deep reflection about the transcendental meaning and goal of life it shall also become a sanctuary of divine life. Freeing ourselves from the life-devouring dogmas as well as empty superficial worldliness, we may restore ourselves to the lofty heights of divine life and wisdom in the original spirit of our faiths, realizing their common commandments of self-realization, ethical conduct, dedication, self-perfection, compassion and universal love. Only then the Center can become the pulsating heart of a New Jerusalem as proclaimed in the scriptures.
II Organizational Structure
JAEP shall be run by “Ma’ayan Ha-Or”, a residential spiritual fellowship, headed by Eliyahu Benedikt as the designed founder-director. “Ma’ayan Ha-Or” is the Israeli branch of an international non-profit spiritual community dedicated to divine life and service to God and mankind by realizing and fostering all kinds of programs for personal development (self-realization), education, ethical values, character building and charitable work (service to the poor, the sick and the needy). It has grown from the teaching of H. E. Benedikt and is embracing the common universal truths of all religions (See special pamphlet).
2 Advisory Board
The Fellowship is supported by an Advisory Board consisting of volunteering professionals, which guide, counsel and assist us in the setting up of projects according to their specific experience and know-how.
3 Associated Councils of Professionals
In order to effectively implement our projects, we have established different associations and councils of highly qualified people in different fields of human research, management, education and human relations helping us to carry out the previously mentioned goals within a larger scale of social, cultural and political institutions.
III Tasks and Objectives
JAEP is a roof organization sheltering different projects committed with activities to initiate, foster and support spiritual and social integration, personal development, bridging gaps within Israeli/Palestinian society, bringing about reconciliation between Jews and Arabs and to create the necessary spiritual, psychological and economic conditions for peace and well-being throughout Israel and the world. We are concerned with the Jewish nation as a whole – integrating religious and secular Jews as well and beyond that reaching out for a loving integration of our loyal and well-intending Palestinian brethren in this country.
We believe in the One Universal Power, G-d of Avraham, Isaak, Jaakov, Ishmael and all nations, who has created this universe and revealed Itself through the different Abrahamitic and non-Abrahamitic religions, which were intended to bless mankind with a spirit of truth and unity, higher knowledge, wisdom and love, and with spiritual and mental growth and upliftment heading towards universal peace and final redemption. If man was able to pervert divine revelation towards an instrument of separation and hatred, I am certain that he is the more capable to return to his source and to use his inborn divine potential in order to bear good fruit and build a kingdom of brotherhood and peace. Rediscovering and applying our psychological, mental and spiritual powers we are able to turn the destiny of permanent descent into a path of upliftment and growth on all levels - individually, economically, socially and of course in the field of culture and civilization. Returning to the transcendental source of our own sensitive soul, we will be able to draw light divine from the realm of spirit into the darkness of this world in order to transform this land – and this entire planet – into a garden of blessedness and prosperity.
Drawing from decades of professional and volunteer work and experience all over the world, we have established several groups and councils of emphatic people from all different backgrounds in Israel, running and/or developing several profound educational and societal endeavors in order to meet the needs of the day and to provide a better future for our pain-shaken country. These endeavors are basically dealing with the above-mentioned five different subjects, unfolding as seven interrelated projects:
1) Human Potential and Middle East Studies: that is Research in the common Human Resources for Pedagogy, Social-Psychology, Economy and Political Diplomacy, considering the specific mental, cultural, ethnic, economic and political conditions of life as well as for strategies for conflict resolution and social development in the Middle East;
2) Development of new holistic concepts and curricula for a much more effective, valuable and integral humanistic education for Israeli and Palestinian schools in order to provide a life-worthy future for our youth, including the carrying-out of all kinds of educational programs and projects to meet the specific needs of our divided multicultural society, like teachers trainings, psychological assistance, character building, parents programs, peer-groups, training of non-violent communication, peace-building, reconciliation, bridging gaps etc. – all based on a holistic vision of our human nature, wake self-awareness and the conscious apprehension of the timeless values of life.
3) Seminars and workshops for personal development, spiritual growth and Self-Realization for seekers of Truth, helping to restore us to our original dignity and wholeness as a human being, child of G-d and integral unity of body, mind and soul. Finding ourselves at the very root of our existence, we also realize the eternal unity of all living beings, thus attaining cosmic harmony with the universal principles of life within and without. (Herewith we rely on and draw from Jewish as well as Eastern spiritual traditions.)
4) Comparative Studies of World Religions, Intra- and Inter-religious Studies of the Abrahamic Religions respectively on the basis of their common grounds and the universal principles of divine life and God-realization. While we have received Divine Revelations as unison guiding lights towards peace and spiritual fulfillment, perverted interpretations of religions on one side and the lack of true faith on the other have become the major obstacles for the attainment of peace and well-being in our world today. Despite taking the commandments of ours faiths as guidelines for our own inner improvement and perfection, we distort them into dogmas, violently superimposing them on others thus causing superiority complexes, moral suppression and war. Hence we need authentic and spiritual understanding of the Holy Scriptures of World Religions in general and the three Abrahamic Religions in particular on the solid ground of the self-discovery, a spiritual understanding of our human nature and the (written and orally transmitted) testimony of the true and authentic spiritual authorities, which are the great saints, initiates, mystics and masters of all faiths and traditions, who have dwelled beyond time and space and yet simultaneously been humble servants of G-d and mankind everywhere in the world. Elaborating clear criteria to discriminate the humble simplicity of spiritual versus the distorted arbitrary fundamentalist vision of life and religion. Offer of all kinds of interfaith programs and meetings thus creating an unfaltering and profound basis for inter-religious understanding and peace, which G-d willing will lead us to the joyous realization of transcendental spiritual unity by letting go and behind all outer differences and differentiations. On this basis we are organizing interfaith meetings, dialogs and conferences for leaders as well as for any “grass-root” persons disregarding creed, ethnic origin or social background;
5) Lectures, workshops and encounters for integrating the split Jewish society in general and bridging the gap between Sephardi and Ashkenazi, religious and secular Jews in particular;
6) Workshops and mediated encounters to foster reconciliation between people of different national belonging, cultures and religious faiths, Jews, Palestinians and Druses respectively on the basis of profound inter-religious and inter-cultural understanding, deep respect towards the sanctity of human feelings as well as a sense for the all-transcending Unity of Life;
7) Studies in Political Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution and Politics of Peace as well as Development and Negotiation of practical diplomatic steps, peace policies and political solutions for our region with national and international, governmental and non-governmental organizations. Understanding the cosmic, moral, spiritual and psychological principles, laws and conditions for peace in contrast to the endless destructive cycles of violence and revenge as well as the actual mechanisms, rules and strategies of national and international power games, negotiations, agreements and policies in the plural global world, is providing a solid ground for the development of a variety of strategies for profound conflict resolution and long-term peace building by effectively applying these principles onto the actual situation. In this way we develop and negotiate solutions and strategies to create the needed political, economic, social, psychological and spiritual environment for peace, social integration and mutual intercultural co-operation. providing practical over-all conditions for peace, prosperity and welfare in this country and abroad;
These aims and goals shall be realized by Research Programs, Study groups, Workshops, Trainings, Mediated Encounters, Social Events, Cultural Performances and Conferences (See below).