For the first time, a special convention is to take place that will see the meeting of leaders of eastern religions with Jewish leaders, in an attempt to strengthen interfaith relations.
The convention, to take place next week, is an initiative of the foreign ministry, in participation with the American Jewish Committee and the World Council of Religious Leaders.
The goal of the meeting is to create a dialogue between religions on a wide range of topics: The status of religion in modern society, intercultural and political, economic, and strategic relations.
Some 20 religious leaders of eastern religions are to participate, including leaders of the Buddhist, Hindu, Shinto, Jain, Sikh, Taoist and Zoroastrian religions.
On the Israeli side, Rabbis of all denominations are to participate, as well as various authorities in the fields of Interreligious Relations and Jewish Thought.
The convention will deal, among other things, with common challenges among all religions, such as the place of religion in modern society, environmentalism, the advancement of human dignity, individual rights versus social justice, and the role of religion in advancing world peace and welfare.
In addition, the eastern representatives will hold meetings with Muslim, Druze and Christian representatives along with Jewish representatives, and will visit holy sites of the different religions in Israel.