The Young Leadership Council (YLC) is the youth branch of the International Council for Christians and Jews (ICCJ).
Currently our board includes people from various Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions from around the world.
The yearly conference typically overlaps with the ICCJ conference and holds joint sessions in order to cement relationships between the youth branch and senior members of the ICCJ.
When a participant participates in a YLC program, they encounter new ideas, new ways of life, and new friends. We aim to facilitate encounters that cross cultural, religious, political, generational, and socio-economic boundaries in order to expand our understanding of each other and the world. We believe that encountering different people, ideas, and ways of life can deepen our own self-understandings and help us engage the world with deeper hope and more meaning.
By encountering the "other", we believe that we are overcoming religious and cultural boundaries without eliminating or discouraging difference and variety. We also strongly believe in intergenerational encounter as we desire to see our relationships deepen with those who are older as well as those who are younger. Furthermore, we have much to learn from those who have gone before as well as those who will come after. In order to deepen these relationships, we want to connect with the ICCJ in meaningful ways - such as participating in their yearly conference and connect with independent member organizations across the globe.
We want to see people's lives and communities changed. To that end, we aim to equip all our participants with tools for dialogue and self-discovery. We have resources in many organizations and are always looking for new and productive methods for increasing communication and reconciliation processes.
We want to see people exchanging stereotypes for relationships, fears for experience, and mistrust for compassion. This should occur as ideas,beliefs hopes and dreams are also being exchanged. A participant at a YLC conference goes home changed, with experience to interact and lead in their own communities through experiences of shared relationship, interreligious and intercultural community, and spiritual engagement.
The Annual YLC Conference
Each year, the YLC hosts an international conference that brings together a group of carefully selected participants from diverse religious backgrounds and geographical locations. The YLC conference typically lasts just under a week. In the past, the conferences have been held in various locations throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. The purpose of our yearly conference is to bring together young people from across the world in order to both encourage and train them in skills relating to participation in Interfaith Dialogue. It is our deepest hope that these yearly conferences will inspire participants to take what they have learned back to their home communities.
Past participants have come from diverse regions including the UK and Ireland, the United States, Continental Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. For each conference, the YLC board is able to offer places to 30 participants, covering most costs. After receiving recommendations and applications, the board carefully selects participants they believe will contribute beneficially to Interfaith Dialogue both at the conference and at home. The board also aims to select a diverse selection of religious backgrounds from each of the Abrahamic faith traditions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The primary aim of this yearly conference is to meet, share and learn from and about each other. While we understand that religion has vast-reaching effects, especially in tense political situations, we want any potential participant to understand that the primary aim is Interfaith Dialogue rather than political affairs. We understand how interconnected politics can be to religious faith, but we ask all potential participants to agree in advance to refrain from using this conference as a means to political ends.
The conference aims to bring people together to learn more about the different faith traditions. We encourage this through programming which, includes creative activities such as music, dance and theatre; shared prayer times and services from each faith, and daily interaction with sacred texts, to name just a few. We desire that those who attend these conferences leave feeling equipped, inspired, and encouraged to engage their communities in meaningful dialogue in positive ways.
Please see also:
YLC board members