A delegation of Hebrew University students attended a world conference in Italy last week, led by the Pope’s Educational Organization Scholas.
The conference focused around social and interfaith meetings designed to promote multicultural cooperation between the next generation of youth.
Two students from the delegation met personally with Pope Francis, Roni Tal and Montana Shem Tov – both students of the Asian Studies Department. The students represented Hebrew University, the only Israeli institution to be represented at the conference, where youth representatives from countries across the world met for several days discussing interfaith initiatives.
The Scholas Educational Organization, founded by Pope Francis, was created with the mission of promoting peace, establishing international relations and developing multicultural discourse between the younger generation of thinkers across the world.
Workshops within the conference included participants from countries such as Japan, Argentina, Mozambique, the United States, Colombia, Spain, Haiti, Morocco, Mexico, Italy as well as Israel. One special workshop titled “A place before language,” involved meetings conducted in total silence without a single word being exchanged between students in order to break down barriers arising from religion, origin or native language.
The Pope and Hebrew University first collaborated three year prior, when the Truman Institute and Hebrew University hosted Scholas themselves for an educational meeting earlier that year. During that meeting, 300 Palestinian and Israeli high school students participated in four days of workshops to promote peace between the two cultures.