I will bring them to My holy mount, and I will cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Isaiah 56:7)
The HOPE vision – a House of Prayer and Education – the first interfaith center in Jerusalem.
HOPE draws from an ancient Biblical vision, spelled out by Isaiah, a vision of harmony and unity in the divine presence: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” HOPE seeks to translate this vision into a reality of sharing prayer for peace by Muslims, Christians, Jews and others, praying in their respective spaces, under one roof. HOPE is an educational complex that seeks to set new standards in interfaith relations and sharing of wisdom. HOPE is a place of communal encounter for scholars, religious leaders, pilgrims, spiritual seekers and the community at large. The Center of Hope will be a safe space, belonging fully to participating faiths. HOPE is a community of communities, a welcome for pilgrims, a home for all.
The House Of Prayer and Education is a means of training hearts and minds to openness to the other and to the ultimate other, a symbol and model for interfaith relations, and an invitation to jointly express in prayer the deepest aspirations of humanity and, above all, the aspiration for peace… in Jerusalem and the entire world.
There is not a single institution in all of Jerusalem in which its religions share and come together. There is no interreligious center anywhere in the Holy Land that is frequented by members of the three religions and there is absolutely no sense of the possibility of sharing a site or a place of worship, as a means of seeking to express and deepen the quest for peace and harmony between Jerusalem’s religions. In fact, there is no such center anywhere in the world. Once such a center is created, it would provide a powerful symbol of the potential that Jerusalem has to be a city of peace, rather than one of tension. It would inspire people outside Jerusalem, worldwide, to both support the collaborative spiritual vision of Jerusalem and to seek to emulate it and to extend it to their various localities. Thus, a Jerusalem-based project is actually quite international in its ultimate vision. It also seeks to involve members of all religions, East and West, in the creation of the world’s most visible interfaith center, in a city that more than any city globally represents the coming together of different faith traditions, thereby providing a symbol for the potential of a better future. The Center of HOPE will include learning opportunities, a museum on prayer and the spiritual life, a pilgrims’ center for interreligious pilgrimage and parallel prayer spaces for all major faith traditions, modeling collaboration and the continuing quest of prayer for peace, in Jerusalem and worldwide.