Students from across every faculty at Carleton register in Religion courses because they recognize that religion and culture are key to understanding the world we live in. This travel course, Jerusalem Connections, provides students with a transformative educational experience. In May 2023, 22 students will travel to Jerusalem and its environs, exploring its history and its diverse religious and cultural communities.
Support our students to participate in this travelling classroom and empower them with the knowledge and experience to think critically about the historical and contemporary significance of this place that is so important to so many people around the world.
Something extraordinary happens when a student walks in the streets of a place they have only read about, explore sacred sites, encounter traditions they know nothing about, and witness the complexity of daily life in this historic and contemporary place. They are transformed.
Students will study together while traveling for three weeks with three professors (Religion, History, and Politics). They will learn from local professors and students, artists, community leaders, diplomats, activists, and archaeologists.
The course highlights the extraordinary cultural and religious diversity of this place with students encountering Bedouins in the Negev, Christian pilgrims at the Jordan river, Druze in Isfiya, Ethiopian Jewish villages, learning from the Baha’i community at the Temple in Haifa, staying at a kibbutz in the Galilee, and by meeting and interacting with local students. Our travels will include exploring Biblical sites by participating in archeological day digs at Tel Maresha and Jerusalem; exploring contemporary questions about religious status and identity at the Knesset and the Supreme Court; tracing the origins of Christianity in Bethlehem and the Galilee; exploring historical and contemporary Islam in Jaffa, Nazareth and at al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf; studying Second Temple Judaism at Qumran and Masada; traveling through tunnels under a Crusader fortress in Acre; immersing in 17th-century Jewish mysticism in Safed; reflecting on the memory of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem and learning from activists fighting for gendered religious equality, LGBTQ rights, environmental justice, and interfaith cooperation.
Your gift will directly provide critical financial support and lower barriers for students with limited means. It makes this life-changing educational experience accessible to all students, by providing financial support to those who need it most. Many students cannot even consider this opportunity because of the cost. Your gift means students passionate about learning will have the financial support they need to participate in this rich educational experience.
This traveling classroom will immerse students in a vivid, intellectually engaged experience that will be a high point of their university experience. Students will gain a more nuanced understanding of religion and culture in this region and in our larger global society. Students will gain knowledge, and develop their critical thinking about complex histories and contemporary issues through this powerful experience. As more knowledgeable and thoughtful professionals and citizens, they will carry these learning experiences into their future careers and lives.