On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Magdalena Institute is hosting the 9th Annual Women’s Encounter from March 30th – April 1st, 2023 from ancient Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. The Magdalena Institute’s Women’s Encounter is a project dedicated to promoting the dignity of the human person, with a special emphasis on the dignity of women.
This year’s Encounter is entitled Celebrating Feminine Identity: In a World Focused on Gender Ideology, Who Do You Say That I am? Guided by an international group of female philosophers, educators, religious leaders, entrepreneurs, and musicians, we will celebrate feminine identity with two and half days of conferences, dialogue, music, activities, and prayer in the Judeo-Christian tradition, on the beautiful shores of the Sea of Galilee.
This year’s Women’s Encounter events highlight the special guests who will be providing uplifting presentations and performances intended to celebrate feminine identity:
Thursday March 30th
- Introductory Remarks: Who Do You Say That I am?
Host of the Women’s Encounter, Kathleen Nichols will explore some definitions of feminine identity offered by a culture permeated with the challenges of gender ideology, opening up the weekend’s conversation about what and who women are called be.
- Formation of Feminine Identity and Gender Ideology: Philosophical Aspects
Spaniard Dr. Martha Rodriguiez, Academic Coordinator of the Institute of Higher Studies for Women at the Ateneo Regina Apostolorum in Rome, will open the Encounter with a two-part address about certain philosophical aspects of the formation of feminine identity.
- Female Brewmaster Madees Khoury
Madees Khoury will lead participants in a beer and wine tasting of products from her family business, ‘Taybeh Brewing Company’ and the ‘Taybeh Winery’ in Palestine, while sharing some of the challenges she faces as a female entrepreneur in the Middle East.
Friday March 31st
- Ascent of Mt. Arbel
Kathleen Nichols will offer an optional guided morning ascent of historic Mount Arbel, located behind the Magdala Hotel to the West. Watch the sun rise over one of the most breath-taking views of the Kinneret, hiking past ruins of the late Roman/Byzantine-era synagogue of Wadi Hamam, cliff caves inhabited over the centuries, and the Arbel Fortress.
- Feminine Identity in the Tanakh: Reflections
Yisca Harani, Tel Aviv scholar involved with interreligious dialogue, and the 2022 Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award recipient, will discuss feminine identity in in Tanakh (the Hebrew Scriptures) together with Jewish spiritual leader, educator and musician, Rabbi Lana Zilberman.
- Feminine Identity According to the New Testament & the Church
Sisters of the Servants of the Lord & the Virgin of Matará (SSVM) Catholic religious order, will discuss feminine identity in the New Testament and the Church, together with Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, Kathleen Nichols.
- Current Challenges for Women in the Middle East and the West: Pastoral Considerations
Colombian Anita Cadavid, Director of the Institute of Higher Studies for Women in the Ateneo Regnia Apostolorum of Rome, will discuss modern challenges for women in western culture in dialogue with Hanina Al-Bitar, lecturer and Vice President at the Center for Democracy and Workers’ Rights, who will shed light on the challenges women face in the Middle East.
- Christian Vespers & Kabbalat Shabbat Prayer
At the 1st century synagogue uncovered in Ancient Magdala, Rabbi Lana, Yisca Harani, and the SSVM Sisters will mingle singing psalms from the Christian Divine Office with the ‘Kabbalat Shabbat’, a musically based mystical prelude to the Shabbat.
- World Premiere Performance of the song, “Mary Magdalene”
The young Syrian-Mexican singer song-writer Mariana Barron Esper will perform her new single, ‘Mary Magdalene’, together with a number of other original musical pieces she composed during her time as a volunteer in Magdala.
- Wine & Design Mosaic Art Project
Over an evening glass of Israeli Teperberg wine, Evaluz Garcia Burgos of ‘El Instituto Mexicáno de la Radio’ from Tijuana, Mexico – an arts and crafts enthusiast – will guide participants in creating their own mosaic art piece based on the Magdala Mosaic Map on-site.
Saturday March 30th
- Singing in the Sunrise
Join the SSVM Sisters Saturday morning at sunrise on the Magdala shoreline to pray Lauds, Christian Morning Prayer from the Psalms.
- Second Synagogue and Franciscan Magdala
After a brief look at the second 1st century synagogue recently uncovered in Ancient Magdala at the base of Mt. Arbel, a Franciscan Friar of the Holy Land will lead a walk through the Hasmonean, Herodian and Roman-Era Excavations at the Franciscan archeological site of Ancient Magdala.
- Insights of Feminine Identity in the Person of Mary Magdalene
Author of the book, Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala, Jennifer Ristine, a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, will discuss feminine identity and leadership in the person of Mary Magdalene.
- Speakers Panel: Pastoral Applications
Participants will have the opportunity to engage with Encounter speakers to explore pastoral answers to the challenges of gender ideology in specific situations, based on a Judeo-Christian vision of the person, human dignity, and feminine identity.
- Bach’s “The Art of the Fugue” All Female String Quintet
Brazilian born Israeli musician, Myrna Herzog will conduct the all-female string quintet as cellist, preforming with violinists Noam Schuss and Lila Slavny, and violas Amos Boasson and Miriam Fingert. This work – possibly Bach’s last – was left incomplete, giving it a magical and mystical aura, which is impossible to put into words. The concert will be given in Duc In Altum, looking out over the waters of the Kinneret.
- Concert-Tour of Ancient Magdala with “Alma Israeli Woman’s Voice”
Ella Medina is the artistic director of ‘Alma’, an all-female vocal ensemble, singing mezzo soprano. Together with alto Hadas Dahari, sopranos Tal Malkinson & Mor Rosenfeld, mezzo Carmel Ronen, and Noa Vax on percussion, ‘Alma’ will perform a mix of Jewish and Christian pieces and love songs in musical dialogue with percussion. The performance will be given in the Archeological Park of Magdala as a ‘Concert-Tour’ of the site, with guides Yisca Harani in Hebrew & Kathleen Nichols in English.
- Catholic Eucharistic Celebrations
Legionary of Christ priests will offer optional Catholic Mass for participants on both Friday and Saturday during the Encounter, enriched by liturgical music by the SSMN sisters.
The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at his moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling. (Pope Paul VI)
The Magdala Hotel is offering a special for participants who wish to stay overnight for the 9th Annual Women’s Encounter. Contact the Magdala Hotel and Specify “2023 Women’s Encounter” for more information..
Phone: 074 700 3204
Email: [email protected]
More information: Pilgrimage & Encounter 2023 (11)