At Sampoerna University, we educate our students about the importance of understanding other people, and thus improving tolerance as we live in a multicultural, multireligion global society.
As part of General Education core course, our students are also expected to attend lectures and discussions on major religions throughout the world. In doing so, they are expected to be open-minded, tolerant and actively engaged global citizens.
Of many courses in General Education courses, our freshmen are to take “World Religions”. It is a compulsory subject that every student must take in order to be able to pass the first year of their study. This first year is fundamental to the next step.
To understand more about other religions, freshmen were recently sitting together and learning from Sapri Sale, who began opening and tutoring a Hebrew class in Indonesia several years ago. Having studied the language since 1990s, Sapri also compiled the first Hebrew-Indonesian dictionary. Despite his interest, Sapri is in fact a devout, practicing muslim.
In his lecture titled “Judaism and Jews” at Sampoerna University on November 2nd 2019, Sapri explained what Judaism and being a Jew mean. “It is an ethnic religion of the Jewish people, comprising the collective religious, cultural and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people,” he said.
Sapri mentioned some questions that challenge the students’ critical thinking and encourage them to take a more objective point of view when dealing with any issues related to Jews and Judaism. “Why does this tiny group influence many civilizations? What do Jews contribute to our civilization?”
He also highlighted several points. As global citizens, we ought to look for similarities instead of our differences. “I believe we came from the same root so we should find ways to live together harmoniously and peacefully. That way, we can work together to build a better civilization,” he elaborated further.
If we talk more about our similarities, we can get along with each other. But if we keep looking for differences, we will always fight against each other, Sapri ended his eye-opening lecture. (*/)