Adult Studies, Sundays in September — “Breaking Down the Walls — Understanding the Israel-Palestine Conflict from Different Perspectives”

Sundays, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. in Calvin Hall

September 8Steve Feldman: Compartments (how people get the wrong ideas about others—a first-hand experience—and correction of some myths)

September 15 — J. Mark Davidson: History (pre–1917, 1917–1948, 1948–present)

September 22 — Bshara Nassar: Present (description of the current reality—settlement growth, water issues, etc.)

September 29 — Steve Feldman and Mark Davidson: Discussion of what the future can and should hold.  What can we do?

Steve Feldman is a Jewish dermatologist (arguably the world’s top expert in dermatology, whose professional activities have given him the opportunity to see people who are on the other side of the walls that separate us into different groups.  He’s been an invited speaker on dermatology issues in China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran. His insights from medicine led to a non-fiction book, Compartments, that was a foundation for the Presbyterian Church’s Israel/Palestine Mission Network “Breaking Down the Walls” report (  Steve is on the Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation and on the board of the Coalition for Peace with Justice (  He also serves as curator of the Coalition’s Jewish Museum of the Palestinian Experience (


J. Mark Davidson is Pastor of the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, where he has served for 21 years. He grew up in Lebanon, where his parents were mission coworkers with the PC(USA). Davidson has been active in the work for a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine since 2004. He co-founded the Abrahamic Initiative for the Middle East (AIME), a coalition of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim spiritual leaders focused on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. In 2013, Mark was part of an international fact-finding delegation to Israel and Palestine with Friends of Sabeel and Tree of Life. A member of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network, Mark is the Coordinator of the Hosanna Preaching Seminar, encouraging prophetic preaching on Israel-Palestinian issues. Mark was Moderator of the PCUSA Peace Discernment Process (2010-2016). He is a spiritual director and author of three books of sermons: Sacred Glimpses (2006), A Luminous Presence (2008), and Fire in the Bones (2013).


Bshara Nassar is the Founder and Executive Director of the Museum of the Palestinian People in Washington, D.C. He earned his undergraduate degree from Bethlehem University (Palestine) in Information Systems and Business Administration in 2010. He earned his Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA) in 2014. As the fourth generation of the Nassar family, Bshara was deeply involved in his family’s educational farm, Tent of Nations, in Palestine, including education, communication and social media. He has spoken publicly on the Israel-Palestine conflict in diverse forums, including the French Embassy, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a number of churches and universities around the country.

For information on Adult Studies classes for October–December, visit our Adult Studies page here.