About us

The Haifa Laboratory for Religious Studies (HLRS) was established in 2020 with the goal of promoting positive social and civic change while adhering to the principles of mutual respect, as reflected in the civic structures employed by various religious communities, as well as those adopted by society and the state.

At the core of the HLRS's work is the recognition that religions play a pivotal role in today's societies. We believe that religious communities are not only spiritual entities but also social systems through which a wide variety of social and civic initiatives, such as social solidarity, environmentalism, education, and social justice, can be promoted. The HLRS promotes common agendas while recognizing the diversity and uniqueness of different religious communities in order to develop an inclusive and harmonious society. It fosters cooperation between academia and religious communities and amongst different religious congregations.

The activity of the HLRS derives first and foremost from the recognition of the uniqueness of the University of Haifa as an academic institution operating in a multi-religious urban space, at the center of which operates the largest multi-religious, multicultural and multilingual campus in Israel. These elements present the Haifa academic community with a unique opportunity to lead intellectual discourse and research pertaining to the human fabric inherent in and around it. Haifa is one of the most multi-religious cities in the world. The city's religious mosaic features a manifold of Jewish communities (Orthodox, Conservative and Reform), a Muslim community, an Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, diverse Christian communities (including those belonging to the Latin-Catholic, Greek-Catholic, Greek-Orthodox, Maronite, Anglican, Armenian, Russian and more), Bahá'í World Center representatives, and even a considerable Druze presence. Many of these communities live in common neighbourhoods throughout the city, sharing workplaces, cultural lives and education.

The HLRS seeks to harness religious pluralism in order to strengthen the fabric of shared societies. To that end, the HLRS is dedicated to equipping people and expanding a space for mutual understanding engagement, making significant strides in fostering peace, coexistence, and respect among various faiths. In the pursuit of this noble goal, it aims to contribute not only locally but to the global community, as it envisions a future where religious pluralism is celebrated and cherished.

Despite the theological disparities underpinning these frameworks, they do share a common set of values and, theoretically, a unifying spiritual foundation that can benefit all faith communities and those without faith, ultimately benefiting society as a whole. In pursuit of this objective, the HLRS fosters both academic and practical collaboration among scholars and practitioners from diverse fields and religious backgrounds. The aim is to enhance and broaden the inclusivity and harmony of societies in Israel, the Middle East, and across the world.

This initiative is the first of its kind in Israel and most likely in the world. It intersects academic engagement with missions of social change in one of the more challenging moments for religious pluralism both in Israeli and global history. Since its inception, the HLRS has conducted a multitude of academic events, both on a national and international scale. These events have encompassed special programs involving graduate students, multi-faith dialogue summits, and the establishment of research groups and forums.



Our Partners

Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%