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What's Happening At Tantur

Tantur Becomes A Member of the Community of the Cross of Nails

Tantur Cross Of Nails April 24th 2018 Fr

On April 24th, 2018, Tantur Ecumenical Institute was fully received into the Community of the Cross of Nails during a simple but moving service officiated by Rev'd. Canon Dr. Sarah Hills of the Reconciliation Ministry of Coventry Cathedral. Tantur Rector Rev. Russ McDougall, C.S.C. received the symbolic Cross of Nails on behalf of the Institute, and thanked the Coventry Reconciliation Ministry delegation for traveling from Coventry Cathedral to Jerusalem for the express purpose of the presentation of the cross. Founded in the post-war era as a spiritual renewal alongside the physical reconstruction of the historic Anglican Cathedral of Coventry which had been entirely destroyed during the Second World War, the Community of the Cross of Nails is now a worldwide network of Christian churches, institutions and ministries that share a common call towards reconciliation between peoples, communities and nations.  Tantur's relationship with the Community of the Cross of Nails extends to many generations of leadership, staff and friends of both Tantur and Coventry, and will continue in the years to come.  For more information on the Community of the Cross of Nails, please visit

2018 Easter Greetings from Tantur

Tantur Easter 2017

As our communities of faith celebrate Passover and Easter this year, we find ourselves at a moment of great tension in this Holy Land.  As the American government prepares officially to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Christian Zionists in the U.S. see God at work in a "Cyrus redivivus," a.k.a. Donald Trump; religious nationalists among Israelis have felt emboldened to push for expansion of settlements or even outright annexation of large segments of the West Bank; and Palestinians, whether Muslim or Christian, have despaired of ever becoming "a free people in our own land," leading to the protests and violence that we've seen unfold in Gaza and some parts of the West Bank in recent days.
As an ecumenical institute committed to bringing people of faith together to engage in honest dialogue about the differences, whether theological, philosophical or political, that exist between them, we at Tantur feel called to remind the "peoples of the Book," parties to the present conflict in this Holy Land, that the prophet Amos, honored by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, was forceful in his warning that a nation's survival is dependent on its ability to establish justice for all its inhabitants.  One after the other, the rulers the prophet Amos castigated--in Damascus, Gaza, and Tyre; in Edom, Ammon, Moab, Israel and Judah--passed from the political stage, but not before their ambitions brought enormous suffering upon the peoples they ruled.  
The actors may have changed since the eighth century B.C.E., but the realities decried by the prophet have not.  In these days of Passover and Easter we call upon people of faith to join together in prayer to the one God of every race and nation, as well as in action to do what we can to break through to the hearts of our political leaders and of our co-citizens, that we might be drawn beyond "zero-sum" calculations of interest into "cooperative games" in which all sides can discern a "win," and "justice may [indeed] flow down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" (Amos 5.24).
Amen.  Chag sameach.  Happy Easter.


Landrum Bolling: November 13th, 1913 - January 17th, 2018

Landrum Bolling

It is with great sorrow that Tantur has learned of the passing of Landrum Bolling, noted journalist, author, professor, peace advocate, President of Earlham College, and rector of our Institute from 1985 to 1988. Landrum died at the age of 104 on January 17th, 2018. Landrum played a leading role in advancing Tantur as an Institute and a physical space that could advance the cause of peace in the Holy Land. His lifelong dedication to this mission remains an inspiration to Tantur.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9

December 2017 - January 2018: Blessed Nativity Season from Tantur Ecumenical Institute

November 2017: Welcoming Brother Emile of Taize at Tantur

Taize Website Small

This November, Tantur further built its relationship with the Taize Community through having the privilege of hosting Brother Emile, who has been part of the Community since 1976. Tantur is pleased to have this opportunity to both build its relationship with Taize and to have this opportunity to strengthen its community prayer life. We will continue to journey in faith, prayer and fellowship with Taize Community members both in Jerusalem and elsewhere. For more information about Taize Community, visit

Autumn 2017: New Continuing Education Programs at Tantur 

Educational Enrichment Weeks are four thematic weeks that come out of the Three Month Continuing Education Program; designed for those who have been to the Holy Land before and do not have the time for one of our standard Tantur Continuing Education Programs. Each Educational Enrichment Week is a special opportunity to deepen your understanding in a specific area with programming that includes lectures, text studies, discussions, presentations by experts in the field, excursions and encounter with the historical and local realities, as well as food, art, and music. Each week will be accompanied by an authority in the field. This year, we are offering four weeks: Biblical Studies, Islam, Judaism, and Ecumenism.   To learn more about these exciting new programs, and to register, please click here. We will also be launching a new program designed and led by women of the Holy Land, entitled Hakimah. This program will last from January 9th-22nd. For more information, please click here.

June 2017 Patriarchate Masson McDougall Smith

June 2017 - Tantur, Jerusalem Global Gateway Staff Visit Patriarch Theophilos 

In June of 2017, Rev. Russ McDougall, rector of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Rev. Robert Smith, Director of the Notre Dame Jerusalem Global Gateway and Frederic Mason, Director of the Tantur Program Office met His Most Godly Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. During the meeting the representatives of Tantur and the University briefed His Beatitude on the various programs and initiatives that were taking place at Tantur, and discussed possibilities for future cooperation. His Beatitude articulated his experiences on ecumenical, interfaith and social concerns in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. At the conclusion of the meeting, a mutual exchange of icons occurred along with a blessing from His Beatitude.


May 2017 - In Memoriam:Sr. Abraham Kirsten Stoffregen Pedersen, PhD 

                                         2/26/1932 - 5/31/2017

Tantur Ecumenical Institute was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sister Abraham Kirsten Stoffregen Pedersen on May 30th, 2017. Sister Abraham, born Kirsten Stoffregen Pedersen in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1932, was a beloved ecumenical figure in Jerusalem as a pilgrim, student, educator, iconographer, and monastic. Beginning her monastic life as a Bridgettine sister, she is best remembered for her contributions to the study of the Ethiopian Coptic presence in the Holy Land and her distinctive Coptic icons. Sister Abraham's relationship with Tantur Ecumenical Institute spanned decades and multi-faceted; not least of which included publishing her substantial work, The History of Ethiopian Community in the Holy Land from the time of Emperor Tewodoros II till 1974, published in 1983 by Tantur Ecumenical Institute. Sr. Abraham attended our 40th Anniversary Tantur Conference in 2012, returning to her native Denmark in 2015, ending fifty years in the city of Jerusalem that she dearly loved. We will be publishing a more substantial list of Sister Abraham's works and contributions to Tantur, as well as other reflections on her life and legacy, over this summer. May her memory be eternal!

April 2017 - Christ is Risen!  Blessed Easter from Tantur 

Happy Easter From Tantur 2017

From Tantur Ecumenical Institute, we wish all a blessed Holy Week, Easter, and Bright Week as we celebrate in Jerusalem at the empty tomb of the Risen Christ, newly renovated through the combined efforts of the churches and institutions responsible for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  "As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."  - Mark 16:5-6 

January 2017 - Welcoming Catholic Bishop Conference, Sir Vincent Fean 

On January 17th, 2017, Tantur Ecumenical Institute and Jerusalem Global Gateway - Notre Dame International was pleased to welcome the Bishops of the 2017 Holy Land Co-ordination, an annual program led by Bishop Declan Lang, England and Wales (Chair of the Holy Land Coordination), with over 40 fellow participants. Tantur was pleased to welcome the delegation, providing meeting space  and welcoming them to join our community for dinner.  We wish the delegation best wishes as they continue to work and pray for the future of the Holy Land.

Holy Land Coordination Sir Vincent Fean Tuesdays At Tantur Small










December 2016 - January 2017: Merry Christmas from Tantur Ecumenical Institute!

December 2016: Fr. Brian Daley, S.J. Appointed Senior Ecumenical Fellow of Tantur 


Fr. Brian Daley, S.J., the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, recipient of the 2012 Ratzinger Prize for Theology, has been appointed to the newly created position of Senior Ecumenical Fellow of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute. A historical theologian who has authored numerous works, Fr. Daley has been president of the North American Patristic Society, an editor of the scholarly journal Traditio, and also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Early Christian Studies. Fr. Daley has been a member of the Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultation in North America since the early 1980s and is at present its Executive Secretary. In the 1960s and 1970s, ecumenical conversations were unknown territory, but there is a different landscape today,” Fr. Daley remarks. “A lot of progress has been made from fifty years ago; people and churches are more cordial towards one another. We’ve done a good deal in this direction, so what is the next step?”  As Senior Ecumenical Fellow, Fr. Daley will work to develop pre- and post-doctoral fellowship programs for junior and senior scholars, and help to determine the direction of ecumenical theological studies and programs at Tantur. Fr. Daley describes his role as facilitating “a return to that question of what can be accomplished in this place at this time to benefit Christian dialogue and unity.”

November 2016: Church of England and Roman Catholic Hierarchs, Pilgrims Visit Tantur Ecumenical Institute 

November 8th Ecumenical Pilgrimage Tantur

November 8th, 2016 was a particularly ecumenical day at Tantur as we welcomed a joint Catholic-Anglican pilgrimage from the United Kingdom. His Grace, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, and His Grace, the Most Reverend John Inge, Anglican Bishop of Worcester, paid a mid-day visit to Tantur to learn more of the mission of Tantur. Tantur Rector Fr. Russ McDougall gave a presentation of the history and present condition of Christian churches in the Holy Land, and the origins and work of Tantur to the more than fifty clergy and laity in attendance. Following the Litany of Reconciliation of the Community of the Cross of Nails (CCN) in our courtyard icon of Jerusalem, the Bishops and Fr. Russ were joined by His Grace, the Most Reverend Grégoire Pierre Melki. Syrian Catholic Bishop of the Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem, who was also visiting Tantur. 

October 2016: Text Study: Rabbi Daniel Siegel, Renewal Judaism's Perspectives on Interreligious Dialogue 

Rabbi Daniel Siegel

Tantur was pleased to welcome Rabbis Daniel and Hannah Siegel, founders and leaders of the Jewish Renewal Movement. Rabbi Daniel spoke about the legacy of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z"l in the world of interreligious dialogue.  The lecture included 'Niggunim' (traditional Jewish chants) that marked the end of the Jewish New Year.  We studied a Midrashic (Tana d-bay Eliyahu Rabba 2:1) and Talmudic text (B.T. Ketubot 2a; 5a) which touched on Jewish Renewal's ideas of the Paradigm Shifts in human spiritual consciousness. In addition, Rabbi Daniel discussed the tension between the particular and the universal when it comes to Judaism and how ideas such as the Ger Toshav (Resident Stranger) can be used to bridge between both realms.  Participants were active in asking questions about what implications this can have for bringing our peoples closer together.  We would like to thank all of the participants last night and hope to see many of you in the future at our interreligious text studies. 

September 2016: Our Autumn Begins 

Following our annual August respite from program activities, Tantur reopened to welcome an Opus Dei pilgrimage group from Spain, who were the very first to see all the hard work that our facilities staff did to clean, repaint and even do some renovation work in our main building.  We also welcome our 2016 Three-Month Sabbatical Participants, with several scholars joining our current retinue of Kroc Institute for Internatonal Peace Studies Students, with "Tuesdays at Tantur" returning in the coming weeks.

August 2016: Late Summer Library Closure  

From August 12th to the 28th 2016, the Tantur Library will be closed to the general public.  The Library will resume regular hours and visits by appointment starting August 29th, 2016.    The Tantur Library is developing a long-term strategic plan to meet the needs of contemporary scholars and students of theology.  As we approach the 45th Anniversary of Tantur Ecumenical Institute opening its doors, our Library remains "The Gem of Tantur," a treasure that we will continue to share with all those in the Holy Land that seek greater knowledge and understanding of theological, ecumenical, historical and contemporary subjects.  

July 2016: Tuesdays at Tantur Offers Dialogue, Conversation, Discourse  

This spring, a joint initiative by the Tantur Ecumenical Institute and the Jerusalem Global Gateway University of Notre Dame entitled Tuesdays at Tantur brought a wealth of knowledge, perspectives and social capital together.  On the first and third Tuesday of each month from May to July, six speakers from a range of backgrounds and vocations led conversations on topical socio-political, historical, theological and regional concerns. The format of "Tuesdays" is designed so that speakers engage with the audience with facilitators assisting with encouraging audience participation through questions, commentary and debate with the not only the speakers but other audience members.   The spring and summer Tuesdays at Tantur speakers included Jerusalem Global Gateways Director and researcher on Christian Zionism, Rev. Dr. Robert Smith; Bethlehem University faculty member and senior local member of the Middle East Council of Churches, Dr. Bernard Sabella; University of Notre Dame faculty member and authority on the Israel-Lebanon conflict, Dr. Asher Kaufman; Austrian Representative to Ramallah, Dr. Andreas Nasi; noted researcher on 20th century Israeli Jewish philospher Martin Buber, Dr. Paul Mendes Flohr; and conflict resolution facilitator and Regional Director for the Allliance for Middle East Peace, Huda Abuarqoub.   These inaugural events were notably well-attended, with discussion continuing up to and beyond the allotted hour of discussion in every session. Tuesdays at Tantur will return in the second half of this coming September, and through December.  

June 2016: In Memorium: Kenneth E. Bailey, Th.D: 1930-2016 

The global community of Tantur Ecumenical Institute was deeply saddened to hear of the death of renowned New Testament scholar and former Tantur staff member, Kenneth E. Bailey,  Th.D. on May 23rd, 2016 at the age of eighty-five.  Kenneth was a full-time staff member of Tantur from 1985 to 1990, and a regular lecturer until 1995.  A lifelong scholar, Kenneth mastered the Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac languages along with New Testament Greek and his native English, authoring innumerable articles and books, including the highly acclaimed Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes.  His last publication, The Good Shepherd, Thousand-Year Journey from Pslam 23 to the New Testament, was released in 2014.  In a richly diverse ministry that spanned more than half a century, Kenneth is perhaps best remembered as introducing the New Testament in a Levantine cultural context to Western audiences.   Tantur mourns the loss of Kenneth as a member of the Tantur community, a phenomenal contributor to the field of theological study, and an endearing friend.  A full obituary can be read here: Kenneth Bailey Th.D. 1930-2016

April 2016: Tantur Welcomes Finnish Lutheran Delegation

 On April 14th, 2016, Dr. Pekka Lindqvist, Chairman of the Commission on the Church and the Jewish People of the Lutheran Church of Finland brought a delegation of Commission members to Tantur Ecumenical Institute to meet with Fr. Russ McDougall C.S.C. for a discussion on the role of Tantur Ecumenical Institute with Christian-Jewish relations, theological research and peace-building.  The meeting was preceded by a tour of the village of Artas in Bethlehem district, known for being the place of research of Dr. Hilma Granqvist, noted Swedish-speaking Finnish cultural anthropologist of the early 20th century.   

April 2016: Tantur Welcomes President of the Protestant Federation of France 

On April 4th, 2016, Tantur Ecumenical Institute was pleased to welcome Pastor Francois Clavairoly, President of the Protestant Federation of France and two of his colleagues to Tantur. Pastor Francois Clavairoly (to the left of Fr. Russ) and Fr. Russ discussed a variety of subjects relating to the past and present work of Tantur. Scholars and program participants of various French Protestant communities have been a substantial component of the “human fabric” of Tantur since the start of the Institute, while French-language books and periodicals represent the second-largest selection within our library. We look forward to further cooperation with the Federation, and wish its leadership and members many happy returns to Tantur.

March 2016: Sacred Places and Cultural Heriage Conference, Closing Session at Tantur Held March 17th

The final session of an international conference on the protection of sacred places and cultural heritage was held at Tantur Ecumenical Institute on March 17th, 2016 at 19:00. The conference was co-sponsored by several institutions, including the Oxford Journal of Law & Religion and the Jerusalem Global Gateway of the University of Notre Dame. This conference brought together high level groups of religious leaders, academics, lawyers, and policy makers from diverse backgrounds. Its aim was to bring awareness to the existing challenges and tensions surrounding the use of sacred places, discuss innovative approaches to substantive law and foreign policy, and broaden the perspective of key stakeholders and experts. Speakers for the special session included Anthony O’Mahoney, Director of the Centre for Eastern Christianity at University of London, and Merav Mack, Research Fellow at the Hebrew University Institute for the Advancement of Peace.

Bread of Angels Stephanie Saldana

February 2016: Stephanie Saldana, Author of Bread of Angels, Visits Tantur

"How do I know that God isn't in exile?" Stephanie Saldana spoke at Tantur on Saturday, February 27th, about her first book, "Bread of Angels" which tells the haunting and beautiful story of her life-changing stay at a Syrian monastery, Deir Mar Musa. The focus of the Deir Mar Musa monastic community is prayer, hospitality and dialogue with Islam. Ms. Saldana's memoir is one of a Christian spiritual life transformed by her interaction with her Muslim friends and neighbors and touched by war. 

February 2016: Dr. Jiries Khoury, Tantur Staff Alumni, 1952-2016 

Jiries Khoury

It is with sadness that Tantur Ecumenical Institute learned of the passing of Dr. Jiries Khoury, former Director of Special Programs at Tantur Ecumenical Institute and noted advocate of ecumenical and interfaith . Dr. Jiries died on in Rome on February 3rd, 2016, shortly before a planned visit to Pope Francis as part of a delegation of Palestinian Christians. 

From 1982 to 1984, Dr. Jiries Khoury was Director of Special Studies at Tantur.  Following his departure from Tantur, he was director of the Al-Liqa Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land from 1988 until his death.  He had also been the Mayor of Fassouta, a village located near the Israel-Lebanese border, from 1996 to 2001.  In recent years he had been involved in the Kairos Palestine Declaration and Dean of the Theological Department at Mar Elias Educational Institutions. 

Dr. Jiries was noted for his commitment to ecumenical and Christian-Muslim dialogue, and his commitment to Christian involvement in a just peace in the Holy Land.  He will be a missed figure in the academic, theological and cultural life of the Arab Christian presence in the region.  Our thoughts are with his family, colleagues and community during this difficult time. 

Tantur Christmas 2015

Winter 2015 -  Our Three-Month program ended in early December of 2015, which closed out the end of the calendar year of activities.  Our staff were pleased to start a new tradition of a day trip outside of the Bethlehem-Jerusalem are to another part of the Holy Land, with this year being a visit to Nazareth and the Galilee.  We were also pleased to join the people of Bethlehem for their annual Christmas Tree Lighting with a visiting delegation of our colleagues from the University of Notre Dame.    


Autumn 2015 - Tantur is pleased to welcome Jerusalemite Mark Mina as the newest members of the Tantur team. As Director of Operations, Mark is responsible for day-to-day facilities management, oversees administration of facilities staff,and assists the rector of Tantur with the many challenges that come with administration and upkeep of our large institution, it's buildings and poperty.  Mark brings over a decade of nonprofit financial and administrative management experience to Tantur. He is married with three children, and is active in many Palestinian Christian civic organizations as well as a member of Jerusalem's Coptic community.   


Summer 2015 - Each summer, Tantur Ecumenical Institute comes alive with a multitude of programs and activities that make it a true hub of Jerusalem's educational and ecumenical Christian landscape.  While programs run throughout the year and our scholars are an ever-present component of our Institute, the month of July this year has been particularly busy. Tantur is at present hosting both our second of two month-long Continuing Education Programs, as well as our annual Hebrew-language summer course.  This summer also brought a return to public lectures at Tantur, with Dr. Yuri Stoyanov, on faculty of the School of Oriental and African Studies, giving a well-attended lecture on Orthodoxy, War & Pacifism.   Through the Abrahamic Reunion, an interfaith organization active in Jerusalem, we hosted an interfaith iftar organzed to coincide with the Jewish fast of the 17th of Tamuz.  We have also had the pleasure of several scholars in residence as well as welcoming the newest group of students affliated with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, who have traditionally resided at Tantur while completing internships with local organizations in the Jerusalem-Bethlehem area. 

Stoyanov & McDougall News


Spring 2015 -  Our friends at the Tantur British Trust  were able to conduct a spring pilgrimage program shortly after Easter.  We were also blessed to have Dr. Yuri Stoyanov, noted Bulgarian researcher and lecturer on topics ranging from sacred space preservation, Byzantine studies and the theology of the Orthodox church with militarism and conflict, as a visiting scholar in residence.  Papal scholar Dr. Alberto Guasco also was a guest lecture in an event co-hosted by Bethlehem University and Tantur entitled "The Ecumenism of Pope Paul VI." Lastly, Tantur Rector Fr. Russ McDougall represented Tantur Ecumenical Institute at both religious services and public events organized by the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem commemorating the cannonization of the victims of the Armenian Genocide


January 2015 - The year started off with both a meeting of our International Advisory Board as well as a conference entitled Tantur and the Future of Ecumenical and Religious Dialogue hosted by the Theology Department of the University of Notre Dame.  We also also welcomed our Spring 2015 UND Global Gateways program, and welcomed two new international staff members to our team - Rev. Robert O. Smith and Jeff VonWald M.Div. Welcome one and all! 

GG Spring 2015 By The Wall


December 2014

Our Three-Month Program bids farewell as we close out our curricular for 2014.  We thank all of those who joined us for both Continuing Education and partnered programs this year, and wish you well!

Interested in funding for your research project? The Palestine Exploration Fund has announced research grants ranging from £500 to £2,000 for 2015.  Details can be found at  

Autumn 2014: New rector, new beginnings 

Fr. Russ McDougall, C.S.C. officially began his tenure as rector in August of 2014, but this September saw his formal welcome to Tantur with a well-attended reception.   Formal visits were also held with Latin Patriarch Foud Twal, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, and British Consul General Alastair McPhail.  

July 2014: Now Hiring Administrative Assistant 

The Tantur Ecumenical Institute is seeking a permanent, full-time Administrative Assistant to provide program and other administrative support.  The position is from morning to afternoon, Monday to Friday. A four-year bachelor’s degree, fluency in Arabic and English, three years’ work experience required; fluency in Hebrew preferred. Employee package includes competitive salary, health insurance, complimentary lunches, and a positive working environment. For more details, please review the job description here: Administrative Assistant Position July 2014

Applications will be accepted until Thursday, July 24th.  Please submit a cover letter and CV in English via fax at 02-676-0914 or by email to Director of Operations Tony Pohlen at

November 2013

Autumn Tree At Tantur

  • Our Three-Month Sabbatical program heads into its final trimester.  Following a busy October program of trips and  lectures, our program participants will enjoy a more relaxed schedule, with ample time to read and reflect on all that they have experiences so far.  Trips to the Old city of Hebron, the Negev and participation in a Sabeel conference in Jerusalem are planned, as are many more lectures and panel talks! 

  • IPCRI is hosting a Women's Leadership conference from November 7th to November 9th at Tantur. We wish our friends and neighbors a productive gathering! 

October 2013

  • Three Month Sabbatical Course.  Our Three Month Sabbatical participants have now settled in, and are enjoying a holistic regimen of study, reflection, hands-on learning and communal living. This month includes trips to the Galilee, the upper West Bank, and multiple day trips to places of important religious, historic and cultural importance across the Holy Land, as well as a week for private study, reflection and, if so desired, relaxation.

  • In-house lecture, "Herod for Christians".  On October 7th, Tantur rector Fr. Timothy Lowe was pleased to give a presentation to a group of Israeli visitors led by Aryeh Rotenberg on the subject of King Herod in the Christian narrative in our Chapel Seminar Room.  With Herodion easily seen to the east of Tantur from our seminar room balcony, it made for quite a presentation!

  • Be'yachad, a Swiss-based organization working with Israel's Messanic Jewish and Palestinian Evangelical Christian communities, will host a day conference on October 9th. In addition, local peacemakers from the EAPPI and the Group Focalizer also visited us in early October.  

  • Frequent Tantur visitor Glenn Wittmer will be staying with an educational program made up of US Christians from October 12th to October 17th.  

  • Terve! We welcome a seminary delegation from the Finnish Institute for the Middle East on October 22nd, after a field lecture on 20th century Finnish cultural anthropologist Hilma Granqvist. 

September 2013

  • Three Month Sabbatical Course.  September heralded the arrival of our Three Month Sabbatical participants. The program has a gentle start, allowing for participants to rest from their travels, become acquainted with one another, and start to learn about their new surroundings with the help of some of guest lecturers and trips to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

  • Glenn Wittmer Program.  Welcoming back Glenn Wittmer from Australia, bringing a group of Australians for a three week program, entitled "Light of the Torah." We are pleased as always to host the first leg of the journey! 

  • Kids4Peace, September 23rd.  A fun and informative day camp for young peacemakers and their families is in the works.  We are looking towards swapping some of our accustomed quietness in exchange for hosting such an important program. 

August 2013

Even institutions need holidays!  August is the one month in the year where we do not have any running programs of our own, or visiting programs to facilitate.  We start again on September 5th with our Three-Month sabbatical program, and are looking towards a full, productive autumn with many visitors and programs on our hill. 

What Happened in July 2013? 

  • July One-Month Continuing Education Program.   Our July program is well underway. We have had an abnormally mild month in terms of the weather, and our participants are taking full advantage of it, spending a good deal of time outside in our lovely courtyard.   Having just completed their Galilee program, they are visiting Hebron and Nablus during the third week of their program.
  • Intensive Hebrew Course.   Four students from the University of Notre Dame have been busy with our fast-paced but enjoyable Hebrew language course. Joined by a participant in our scholars program, the group can often be heard practicing conversation, pronunciation, vocabulary and more than a few songs in this reborn language.   
  • Happy 4th!  The American expats at Tantur threw a 4th of July Celebration this month, replete with hamburgers, bratwurst and apple pie.  The only complaint was that we didn't celebrate Canada Day, Guy Fawkes, Saint Patrick's and ANZAC Day as well - a mistake that we will remedy in 2014! 

What happened in June 2013?

  • June One-Month Continuing Education Program.   Our first of two summer programs started on June 1st and went through to June 28th.  14 participants from five countries came to join us and learn together. With almost half the group coming from Australia, it was only proper that our program ended with a noted send-off song from Down Under, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down." A new tradition just might have been born!  
  • Dante Conference, Italian Studies of Notre Dame.   From June 17th to the 28th, over 40 scholars from across the

    Dante Aligheri

     Western hemisphere came together for the annual International Summer Seminar, organized in partnersip with the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.  This year marked the first time that the conference was held outside of Rome, and Tantur was honored to have hosted such an event. This year's focus was on the Theological Dimensions of Dante Alligheri's work, and included two public lectures given respectively by Piero Boitani of the University of Rome "La Sapienza"  and Professor Giusepe Mazzotta of Yale University.  
  • Completion of Notre Dame Jerusalem Studies Program.  After six weeks of study, travel, discovery and fellowship, the students and staff of the JSP program said goodbye to one another and returned home on June 30th.  This year's program enrollment was more than three times than that of 2012, and also coincided with both our June Continuing Education Program and the Dante Seminar, making for a very packed early summer! 
  • Tantur Institute on Ancient Faith Radio.  The premiere online Orthodox Christian radio station interviewed Fr. Timothy Lowe about the mission of Tantur and its role in ecumenicism in the Holy Land.  The interview can be listened to here.

What Happened in May 2013?

  • May 2nd: We say goodbye to our visitors from the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary of Ontario, Canada and wish them many happy returns.  
  • May 2nd: A busy day for Tantur!  Fr. Virgil Elizondo arrives with this group of graduate students and professors for an eight-day program in the Holy Land. In addition, Paul Jones and Mike Cairo from Transylvania University arrive with their group for a two-week program of learning and pilgrimage. 
  • May 2nd and 7th:  Our friends at the Israel Palestinian Center for Research and Information (IPCRI)


    continue in their series of  Quaker/Jewish interfaith dialogue with two more sessions on May 2nd and 7th.
  • May 14-15th:  Visitors from the University of Chicago join us for a two-day visit.  
  • May 19th: Eddy Kaufman visits us with a group to learn more about our vision and mission. 
  • notre_dame

    May 19th-June 30th: University of Notre Dame undergraduates led by Brian and Hannah Barrett with instructor Asher Kaufman join us for a six-week program. We look forward to hosting guests from our US parent! 
  • May 25th-June 1st:  Lindisfarne Training Partnership, led by David Bryan, start their summer school program.  

What happened in April 2013?

  • April 11th: Our Easter CEP program finished after an amazing three-week experience of celebrating Holy Week and Easter in Jerusalem. We wish our newfound friends well and many happy returns home. 
  • April 14th:  Our friends and neighbors of IPCRI wil host a Quaker/Jewish interfaith dialogue group as part of their ongoing work to improve interfaith relations and understanding between the two communities. 
  • April 19-25th: We are delighted once again to have over 40 guests from Winnipeg, Canada as part of a group led by Tantur's longstanding friend and supporter, Glenn Witmer.  We welcome back Witmer and look forward to meeting his most recent group to the Holy Land.
  • April 30th:  The US Consulate hosted a daylong retreat for its local staff, taking time to re-charge as well as enjoy the roses in our courtyard!

What happened in March 2013?


  • 12th : The Israel Palestine Centre for Research and  Information will be here at Tantur for a morning session where they will bring Israeli experts to give an overview to students of the socio-political situation in Israel/Palestine.
  • 14th: Alas we said good bye to our 6 Week Group 2013. They were a wonderful bunch of people and really added to the rich tapestry of life at Tantur. We are delighted to welcome them in to our Tantur Family.
  • March 09th - March 16th: We were delighted once again to have over 20 students and staff from the University of Notre Dame visit us at Tantur. All the undergraduates enjoyed  opportunity to experience and immerse themselves in the theological, historical and cultural life of Jerusalem and The Holy Land.
  • March 21st to April 11th : Everyone from Tantur is delighted to have 15 Continuing Education Program participants for Easter one of the most spiritually awakening experiences in the Holy Land. They come from the USA, Australia, Ireland and India and we all wish that they have a wonderful enriching experience throughout the duration of their stay.

What happened in February 2013?

  • Feb 01st - March 14th : Tantur is delighted to welcome our first Continuing Education Program group for 2013. Welcome one and all to the 6 Week Program. While most come from the Northern Hemisphere, many have been on mission posts in various parts of the world. We have three Irish priests, two of which, have been on missions in Peru & Zambia. We are also delighted to have a Canadian Archbishop with us and two priests and a sister from the UK and a priest from Scotland. We would also like to welcome all the American contingent who make up the largest nationality of our group.
  • 06th  We welcome The Rainbow Group to Tantur for a seminar. They are a Jewish - Christian dialogue group, primarily into theological discussion, and the seminar will be hosted by Prof. Paul Fredriksen. The topic will be "From Christ Back to Jesus".
  • Swedish Theological Institute

    08th : The Swedish Theological Institute will be at Tantur for a lecture and a tour of our grounds. The lecture will be given by the Rector of Tantur, The Very Rev. Timothy Scott Lowe.
  • Seeds of Peace

    15th : We are delighted to have Seeds of Peace back with us again this time for a one day conference. They always add a great atmosphere to proceedings at Tantur.

Happy New Year to all our Tantur Friends and Alumni. We hope your 2013 and beyond is full of blessings, adventure and peace. Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement and hope to see many of you back in Tantur in the not so distant future.

Happy New Year

What happened in January 2013?

  • Dec 28th - Jan 18th : We are delighted to have the Princeton Seminary Group with us, many of whom celebrated their first New Years overseas in Jerusalem. What an experience!
  • 04th : Tantur's neighbours in the commune of Beit Zafafa will celebrate and have a community party on the grounds of Tantur. We look forward to seeing everyone.
  • 04th - 10th : Tantur extends a warm welcome to the 33 strong Australian Group who will be staying with us for a week led by Marge Hughes.
  • 09th - April 17th : Tantur is once again delighted to have back in our midst the Middle East Study Program (MESP) with students from different Christian Universities from all over the USA, led by Dr David and Dr. Suzanne Holt.
  • 11th - 12th : We welcome back, Seeds of Peace, who are regular visitors to Tantur for their annual Educators Conference 
  • 17th - 20th Seeds of Peace will be back at Tantur on the 17th, for a Harvard Training Conference involving a group of over 40 participants.
  • 28th : The Israel Palestine Centre for Research and Information (IPCRI) will host on of their annual board meetings at Tantur.


Ghazali's Politics in Context

What happened in December 2012?

  • 19th & 20th : Tantur welcomes the Israel Palestine Centre for Research and Information (IPCRI - who will host a two day meeting at Tantur.
  • 22nd : Rev. Dr. Yazid Said will launch is book at Tantur entitled 'Ghazali's Politics in Context' published by Routledge at 7.30pm in the Chapel Seminary Room in cooperation with The Educational Bookshop, East Jerusalem. We wish Yazid all the best. He has been a Scholar in residence at Tantur for almost a year and is due to take up a position in Dublin early next year.
  • 28th - Jan 18th : Tantur is delighted to welcome Princeton Theological Seminary  who will be exploring the Holy land throughout the New Year.

In Addition

Tree Planting at Tantur for Peace, Justice and an end to Conflict

Tantur said good bye to our Three Month Group. They will be greatly missed and provided a wonderful atmosphere to proceedings here. They hailed from Ireland, Australia, UK, USA, Switzerland, New Zealand and the Philippines with two of the Priests in the groupworking as missionaries in Brazil and Peru. They left many good memories at Tantur. To cap it all of Sr. Claire Salvani from the Philippines inaugurated a tree planting day on the grounds of Tantur in early December as a symbol for peace, justice and an end to conflict.

What happened in November 2012?

  • Aug 29th - Dec 03rd : Our Middle East Study Program students aka MESPers are now beinning a travelling odyssey to

    Israeli and Palestinian children coming together to work on the Olive Harvest

    explore some of the Islamic world and its amazing history, culture and architecture. They will visit the heart of Islamic Spain, Granada before travelling on to Morocco and Tunisia. We wish them as safe trip and look forward to seeing them back on the 20th Nov.
  • Sept 06th - Dec 01st : Well after a well deserved week off where many of our Three Month participants travelled to Sinai, Jordan, Galilee and many other exciting places to explore this fascinating region. All are back safely from their travels and entering their last month of the Three Month Program. How time flies!
  • 05th - 10th : We look forward to having Glen Witmer and his group of 20 who form a most Mennonite Ecumenical Group here again at Tantur.
  • 09th :  We are delighted to have Seeds of Peace and their group of Palestinian and Israeli chiildren who come together on peace building projects here at Tantur on Friday. They will work together on gathering some of the olives from our many olives trees collectively known as the Olive Harvest.


In Addition

The Magowan Family from Boston enjoying their first Thanksgiving at Tantur

We were delighted to celebrate Thanksgiving with many of our American Friends at Tantur. We had the American students from the Middle East Study Program (MESP) as well as our Three Month Group which has 3 American Priests and one American Sister. The Magowan family who were staying here throughout the holiday also joined us. They are originally from Boston but are now living in Wiesbaden, Germany. The banquet was presided over by The Very Rev. Timothy Scott Lowe and his wife Lisa both from Connecticut and their daughter Shoshanna Lowe Clark, her husband Tim and beautiful daughter Izzy. Tony Pohlen our new Program Director hails from Minnesota and spent his first of we hope many Thanksgiving celebrations at Tantur.

It was a lovely celebration especially for those of us who are not from North America. While many of us had heard of the holidays we never quiet experienced it so it was fantastic to taste the turkey with all the trimmings, sweet potato, corn and of course pumpkin pie a must have at Thanksgiving we hear.

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What Happened in October 2012?


  • 11th : - We look forward to the grand opening of the Methodist Office which will take place at the Tantur Auditorium.They have recently opened new offices here at Tantur and we welcome them with open arms.
  • 15th - 20th: A warm welcome to the undegraduate group from Notre Dame who will be here mid October to attend a course entitled Jewish - Christian Relations after Vatican II taught by Todd Walatka.
  • 19th: Machson Watch - Women Against the Occupation will hold their AGM at Tantur.
  • 40th Anniversary

    26th - 27th: Tantur is proud to host it's 40th Anniversary of Learning, Community and Hospitality. To mark the occasion a 2 Day Colloquium will take place in our auditorium with locally and internationally renowned speakers. Rev. Dr. Patrick Gaffney, CSC, Dr. 

    André Birmilé, Dame Mary Tanner, Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen, M.Afr, Rt. Rev. Dr. Munib Younan 

    and Rev. Dr. David Neuhaus, SJ. We are also delighted to have in attendance the former Rector of Tantur , Fr. Michael McGarry and Vice- Rector Sr. Bridget Tighe to accompany us at the celebrations. The Very. Rev. Timothy  Scott Lowe, Rector of Tantur will preside over the celebrations.
  • 30th - 04th Nov : We are looking forward to receiving David Bradburn and 29 participants who will take part in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
  • The Three Month Group continues to blaze a trail across the Holy Land with their latest adventure taking them to the


    Taybeh Beer (Oktoberfest) Festival in Palestine. A lot of fun was had by all.
  • Everyone at Tantur would like to congratulate the Rev. Dr. Yazid Said who is a Scholar in residence at Tantut on the publication of his new book 'Ghazali's Politics in Context' - which will hit the shelves in November/December published by Routledge. For further information about Rev. Dr. Said please click here


Tony Pohlen - Program Director

What happened in September 2012?                                                                 

  • Tantur is delighted to have a new member of staff. Tony Pohlen hails from Minnesota in the USA with his wife Esther from the Netherlands and will be Tantur's new Program Director - You are very welcome Tony and Esther.
  • Aug 29th - Dec 03rd: We are delighted to have the Middle East Studies Program (MESP) back at Tantur with their 3rd Fall/Autumn group with David and Suzanne Holt at the helm.
  • 06th - 01st Dec - Tantur would like to extend a big warm welcome to our Three Month Continuous Education Program participants. They come from the four corners of the world. USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland by way of Canada and Brazil. 
  • 10th: The Israel Palestine Centre for Research and Information (IPCRI) will hold a meeting at Tantur. 
  • 15th : Tantur is delighted to facilitate the Brothers of Bethlehem University meeting where they will be assured a warm welcome.
  • 20th - 21st: Tantur will host Seeds of Peace for their reunion celebrations with a special dinner in the evening.
  • 24th : The Israel Palestine Centre for Research and Information (IPCRI) is once again back in Tantur


    for an aftermoon meeting.
  • We would like to extend a big congratulations to Prof. Mary C. Grey on the publication of her  new book The Resurrection of Peace - A Gospel Journey to Easter and Beyond which will hit the shelves in November (Published by SPCK). 


What happened in August 2012?

  • Tantur officiallly closes for the month of August. May you enjoy the rest of your Summer and see you back here in September where we will welcome our Three Month Group

What happened in July 2012?

  • The University of Notre Dame Undergraduate program led by Hannah Barrett continues to explore the Holy Land and will be at Tantur until the 14th July. The students come from the USA and China.
  •  2nd – 30th: Tantur gives a big warm welcome to our July One-Month CEP program. They come from Australia, UK, Ireland, India and the USA and all have arrived safe and sound to begin a month of discovery in the Holy Land. We are also delighted to welcome our first attendees from Honduras and South Korea.
  • 11th :  Columbia group led by Dani Abelow will attend Tantur where Fr. Timothy Lowe, Rector of Tantur will give a talk.

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What happened in June 2012?

  • 01st - 29th: Tantur would like to extend a big warm welcome to our June Summer Group who will spend the whole month here experiencing the rich variety that our Continuous Education Programs have to offer
  • 02nd - 14th: We would like to welcome the University of Notre Dame Undergraduate Program led by Hannah Barrett.
  • 04th - 29th: We look forward to the arrival of the participants of Tantur's first ever run Hebrew Ulpan Course - Level Aleph.
  • 05th : Tantur extends a warm welcome to the Methodist Seminary Group led by John Kampen  for their one day program.

What happened in May 2012?

May 2012

  • 27thApril – 7th MayGlenn Witmer - Australian Catholic study group/ Light of Torah.
  • 1stConference for Diakonia; For further information on Diakonia please click here. Contact persons are Bérénice Van Den Driessche or M. Malin Greenhill.
  • 6th Union of Sister Religious of the Holy annual meeting;  We would like to welcome Trudy Nabuurs and all the sisters.
  • 9th – 14thAmir Hussain; Loyola Marymount University; We would like to welcome Alex Abbasi who is the student leader and all the attendees accompanying him,
  • 9th – 26th Charles Nienkirchen “Summer School in the Holy Land”. We look forward to seeing you all here.
  • 13thEdy Kaufman and students from Haifa University for lunch and visit with Rector and IPCRI..
  • 17th – 26th: We look forward to seeing Glenn Witmer back at Tantur – We would like welcome the Manila Group (Graham/Maryknoll) .
  • 26th – 2nd June: A big welcome  to the University of Notre Dame faculty group led by Greg Sterling.
  • 26th – 10th June: A big welcome to the University of Notre Dame Graduate program; led by Virgilio Elizondo.

In Addition........

Kjell, Ingar, Fr

Tantur will say good bye to Rev. Kjell & Ingar Jonasson who have lived at Tantur for 8 years. Kjell & Ingar have worked with various Lutheran groups during their time here and Ingar is an acomplished artist having showcased exhibitions throughout Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Everyone in Tantur will be sad to see them go. Ingar celebrated her birthday on the 15th May 2012 and treated all the staff to a cake and coffee morning on the beautiful grounds of Tantur. Kjell & Ingar will now return to Stockholm, Sweden and we wish them all the luck of the future.

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What happened in April 2012? 

April 2012

  • 12th – 16th and 27th – 1st May:  Tantur is pleased to host students from Westmont in Istanbul, an off-campus program of Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California.  The students are led by faculty members Jim and Heather Wright.
  • 17th – 28th:  Joe Miller, a Mennonite pastor from Lancaster, PA and Continuing Education Program alumni, has organized a work crew to help paint corridors and plant the gardens here at Tantur. We look forward to their fellowship and their help!
  • 25th and 26th:  Tantur will host students and faculty from the University of Chicago.
  • 25th – 30th:  John Went, Bishop of Tewkesbury, will lead a pilgrimage tour of the Holy Land.  We look forward to welcoming Bishop John and his group to Tantur.
  • 27th – 7th May:  Once again, Tantur is pleased to host Glenn Witmer as he leads a Catholic study group from Australia.


In Addition…

James Kirby

Tantur alumni Fr. Jim Kirby, from Des Moine, Iowa, is back with his cameras in tow.  Fr. Jim is the producer of the YouTube video on this website and the photographer for many of the pictures displayed on the site and in our brochure.  Fr. Jim is working with Keith Begg to produce a virtual tour of Tantur.  It is always a pleasure to welcome him back to Tantur and we are grateful for his efforts on our behalf.

We are also delighted to welcome former Tantur scholar Dr. Alison Schofield back to Tantur. Dr Schofield is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Judaic studies, specializing in the Dead Sea Scrolls, at the University of Denver.  She has graciously agreed to lecture and guide for both our Six-Week and Easter Continuing Education Programs.  Her expertise is an invaluable asset to our programs and her friendship an invaluable asset to the Administrative staff.  Welcome back Alison!

What happened in March 2012? 

March 2012

Off to a Great Start - Six-Week Program 2012

Six Week Program 2012

After a few months of winter repairs and some rest for the staff, Tantur is pleased to have the Six-Week program in full swing.  The 2012 participants come from the far reaches of the globe (literally;  North Pole Alaska and Berhampore, New Zealand), and also include those from Canada, UK, Ireland, and Australia (although residing in Zambia).  As another program participant once said, “Six nations separated by a common language.”  So true.  But nevertheless joined in a common bond of love for Christ and His church, and for one another.  There is a lot of laughter in the dining room these days as they get to know one another and share the day to day sights and experiences of this complex place.  Once again, we are privileged to offer our hospitality to those who have spent their lives in the service of the Gospel.  We warmly welcome all of them to Tantur.

March 2012

  • 9th – 18th:  Tantur will host Theology students from the University of Notre Dame.  The program is led by Ophir Yarden, Director of Education of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel.
  • 9th – 19th:  We are delighted to welcome Knud and Ida Jeppeson, (formerly the Vice Rector of Tantur), and their group of Danish scholars for ten days of lectures and tours throughout the country.
  • 10th – 16th:  Tantur will host Glenn Witmer and thirty Mennonite leaders from Mannitoba.  We are happy to welcome Glenn who frequently leads and teaches groups from various corners of the globe.
  • 29th – April 19th:  Tantur welcomes the participants in the Easter Encounter, our three-week Continuing Education Program.

What happened in February 2012?

February 2012

  • 09th : The second of the two lectures on Music & Religion will be held on February 2, at 7:30 p.m. This lecture is by Dr. Merav Rosenfeld-Haddad, University of Cambridge, Faculty of Music, and is entitled “The Four Formative Phases in the History of the Jewish Parliturgical Song within the Arabo-Islamic Cultural Domain”
  • 8thTantur welcomes the participants in the Six-Week Continuing Education Program.
  • 17th – 26th: Tantur welcomes students and staff from the Theology and Religious Studies programs at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, London.


In Addition.......................

  • We are delighted to attach our brochure as many of you have asked if there is one in existence and we are glad to say there is Tantur Brochure 2012
  • We are delighted to attach details of the weekly writings by Prof. Eleonore Stump who is one of the many Scholars to have passed through Tantur on Spirituality Reflections. Prof. Stump has been at St. Louis University since 1992. Please click on the following link, select a Sunday and then select Spirituality of the Readings
  • We are also delighted to announce the publication of a book by Dr. Stephen Travis who was a regular visitor to Tantur between 1999 - 2008. It is entitled 'The Galilee that Jesus Knew' (Grove Books Cambridge - Written with those who preach and teach from the gospels in mind, it explores the nature of village life, the relationship between Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, city and countryside, and the character of Herod Antipas' rule, providing a vivid context for Jesus' teaching on the kingdom of God.


What happened in January 2012?

January 2012

  • 11th: Tantur welcomes students and staff from the Middle East Study Program (MESP) of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, who will make Tantur their home for the next three months.
  • 12th – 15th: Tantur hosted a Seeds of Peace workshop led by instructors from Harvard University emphasizing conflict mediation training. The workshop was attended by 50 students and managed by the ever-competent Seeds of Peace staff. Tantur is always pleased to partner with Seeds of Peace and in this way, help to support their work with Palestinian and Israeli youth.
  • 24th – 05th: Tantur welcomes 16 members of the Presbytery of Alaska, Presbyterian Church (USA), who will be in residence here while participating in a program that combines a pilgrimage with an introduction to the Holy Land, its peoples and its history.
  • 26th: Tantur will host the first of two lectures on Music & Religion on Thursday, January 26th at 7:30 p.m. This first lecture is by the Rev. Dr. Andreas Loewe, Senior Chaplain & Gavan Lecturer at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne, Australia. His lecture is entitled ‘Ich folge Dir Gleichfalls – I also will follow’: J.S. Bach’s Passions and the Cost of Discipleship.
  • 27th – 28th: A conference led by Rev. Dr. Paul Tarazi, Professor of Old Testament, Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, will take place at Tantur on the 27th and 28th of January. Fr. Paul will lecture on Corinthians, in Arabic, for local Palestinian Christian leaders.

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