Global Interfaith WASH Alliance


Find out more about the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance that was recently launched at the UNICEF Headquarters in NYC. 

Rabbi Soetendorp's Interview at the Global Economic Symposium

Lifting our Eyes - A Tribute to Nelson Mandela


Today humanity as a whole mourns Nelson Mandela. It is a rare moment to reach out to the people of South Africa.

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Welcome to the Soetendorp Institute

The Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values has been founded by Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp. Honoring the name of his late father, the Institute is building bridges between the religions, cultures and generations. It is guided by the imperative of tikkun olam, repairing a world that is broken for those in need, for ourselves and our future.

The basic motivation for the projects of the Soetendorp Institute was derived in Rabbi Soetendorp's moving life story, his "memory beyond memories": Having survived World War II as a hidden childed, rescued by a righteous couple who risked their lives for him, Rabbi Soetendorp has come to the conviction: When the gaze of a baby can still reach the heart, even in the deepest depravity, nothing is lost.

The Institute therefore promotes an "education of the heart" that generates hope, inspiration and empathy with other cultures, religions, and forms of life. We believe that these skills are essential for eradicating xenophobia and creating just, peaceful and sustainable communities.

blessingBuilding on the successful "Wings for Rio + 20" Multistakeholder Dialogue held in May 2012 in the Peace Palace, the Soetendorp Institute co-organized "Wings for Earth Charter". The event took place in Amsterdam on September 13, 2012 and involved the other co-hosts of Wings for Rio - Inner Sense and Earth Charter Netherlands.

This time, the focus of the event was on the Earth Charter, highlighted by Earth Charter Commissioner Ruud Lubbers and Alide Roerink, who gave her farewell as Dutch Earth Charter Coordinator.

The event featured the "Thumbs Up Africa" project of three young people from the Netherlands, who soon will soon embark on the biggest adventure of their lives - a hitchhiking tour from the Groningen, Netherlands to Cape Town, South Africa.

Their "Thumbs Up Africa" tour of more than 15.000 km will bring them through 14 different countries. It is their plan to visist different social and environmental projects along their way, and highlight them on their interactive travel blog.

During the Wings for Earth Charter event, the three hitchhikers joined a Feather Ceremony that was held to bless their journey. After the ceremony, indigenous elders gave Neda, Christiaan and Sierd a traditional blessing while the whole audience was holding hands, prayingand listening to a song by Jyoti, the convener of the International Grandmothers Council.

This ceremony was joined by Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein from Alaska and Grandmother Julieta Casimiro from Mexico from the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, as well as Princess Irene of the Netherlands. Please find some impressions of the event here.

The Soetendorp Institute


Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values
Van Wijngaerdenstraat 21
2596 TW The Hague
The Netherlands