written on 2 July, 2010  I would like to share with you some extraordinary events in the life of the Institute. Throughout my life I have been convinced that the cooperation between the generations is the key to unlock the sources of boundless compassionate energy to establish the world the All Merciful One wanted us to have - in the words of my father Jacob “a world filled with cooperation, love, truth and righteousness.”


In 1993 at the end of the conference of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders for Human Survival in Kyoto dedicated to value change where Green Cross was created I was introduced for the first time to the feather ceremony led by Native American youth. I was struck by its beauty and potential to enhance the intergenerational dialogue by sharing authentic lessons and dreams.

Since then I carried the memories of this moment with me through my life, and wanted to do activate the great potential of this sharing of stories as the feather is being passed around. It has taken all these years till through the institute this dream has become a reality.

There on the stage in the heart of the Earth Charter 10 year anniversary we were given the blessed opportunity bring this age old ritual to life. What a miracle that my Maori Sister Pauline Tangiora was there on the stage with us who we wanted to involve in this project for a long time.  

I want to thank my gifted coworker Michael Slaby and all others who created the Feather film trailer and paved the road to this great moment.

What a week it was: It started with the Inspiration Days in Eindhoven organized by Green Cross under the leadership of Mark Lambregts with lectures, exhibitions, dialogues and concerts, educational events for children and display of innovative sustainable technical devices.

In the following days we all had the sense of being one family drawing strength from each other to continue the work with even more conviction and to care for Earth and one another as the Earth Charter states.

The day after three leaders of Friends of the Earth in Middle East (Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli) shared their joined efforts to safeguard the river Jordan and assure the access to pure water for all - a sign of hope.

With the launching of the interactive website of the Feather Project we enter a new stage of cooperation. I hope with all my heart that you will join us in sharing lessons and dreams for creating a better future for all life on this planet, realizing the urgency expressed by Putri from Indonesia: “The future is in the present”.

May we all have a refreshing summer.


Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp

The Soetendorp Institute


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