Goals of the Prize
- To advance the cause of peace in the Middle East
- To bring people together across religious, cultural, ethnic, and political divides
- To break down barriers of hate towards "the other"
- To recognize innovation and reward those who are courageous and committed enough to work to overcome the religious, cultural, ethnic and political issues which divide the region
- To inspire others in the U.S. and the Middle East
- To motivate current and future IIE grantees to work toward peace in the Middle East
2015 Goldberg Prize Winners
Yehuda Stolov and Salah Aladdin, two leaders of The Interfaith Encounter Association, received the 2015 IIE Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East for leading grass roots interfaith dialogue and cross-cultural study groups that bring Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze together on a very personal level to share their cultures, beliefs, and traditions across religious and cultural divides.
Mr. Stolov and Mr. Aladdin believe that the different communities have to learn to interact positively as a pre-condition for sustainable political agreement, and the process towards it has to include all parts of the respective societies, regardless of their political aspirations. Their work facilitates interaction among individuals who might not otherwise ever have a chance to meet one another, and encourages individuals to confront their own prejudices and fears of “the other.” Their goal is to replace mistrust and fear with mutual understanding, respect and trust, making it possible to explore the differences between the traditions respectfully and constructively and to develop friendships among people who may disagree.