Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement

A Partnership between the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion,
Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation, & USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture

Jewish and Muslim Engagement in the Headlines

Disclaimer of Endorsement

All articles appearing on this website represent the individual positions of their authors and not the position of the Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement.

January 2012

"A Bronx Tale: After the congregants of an Orthodox synagogue could no longer afford their rent, they found help in the local mosque." Los Angeles Times, by Ted Regencia and Lindsay Minerva, 23 January 2012

“People have a misconception that Muslims hate Jews,” said Baumann. “But here is an example of them working with us.”

Indeed, though conventionally viewed as adversaries both here and abroad, the Jews and Muslims of the Bronx have been propelled into an unlikely bond by a demographic shift. The borough was once home to an estimated 630,000 Jews, but by 2002 that number had dropped to 45,100, according to a study by the Jewish Community Relations Council. At the same time, the Muslim population has been increasing. In Parkchester alone, there are currently five mosques, including Masjid Al-Iman.

January 2011

"Muslim, Jewish women grow close at monthly meetings about spirituality" Los Angeles Times, by Nomi Morris, 29 January 2011

On a recent weekday evening in Santa Monica, seven Muslim and five Jewish women gathered around a dining room table laden with homemade foods prepared in accordance with the dietary laws of both faiths.

One by one, the women lighted candles, each saying a few words to mark the eighth anniversary of the West Los Angeles Cousins Club, a grassroots discussion group that explores spirituality and mutual understanding.

"Before we started the Cousins Club, I never even knew a Muslim person," said Shayna Lester, who hosted the anniversary meeting. "I am so blessed that I have made such dear friends. It feels like sisters coming into my home."

Lester is a spiritual counselor, interfaith minister and volunteer Jewish chaplain at the California Institution for Women in Corona. After the Sept. 11 attacks, she and Jean Katz, a poet and education consultant, along with the late Savina Teubal, started the Jewish-Muslim women's group, inspired by a similar one in Orange County.

"Muslim and Jewish students forge friendship network" The Guardian, by Harriet Swain, 24 January 2011

Sara Amin-Nejad, an Iranian-born Muslim studying pharmacy at Manchester University, has never experienced any hostility from a Jewish student. But she has never met one either.

That was why she signed up to be part of a new team, being launched tomorrow at the House of Lords, of 18 Muslim and Jewish students working as "campus ambassadors" at 10 universities around the UK to bring people from the two faiths together.

"I thought it would be a really good opportunity to meet new people," she says. "I've never had the chance to speak to a Jewish student before."

The idea is that the team of students will act as role models for good inter-faith relations. They will receive monthly training sessions in leadership, strategy and conflict resolution and be expected to organise activities on their campuses, such as art and drama projects, and volunteering in the community, that involve Muslims and Jews working together.

"Synagogue opens dialogue with Muslim teens" The Orange County Register, by Deepa Bharath, 11 January 2011

WESTMINSTER – Temple Beth David will host an event Tuesday night that will bring more than 20 Muslim and Jewish teenagers together.

The program, titled "Change begins with you and me," will explore common teen experiences and growing up as religious minorities in the United States, said Rabbi Nancy Myers.

This session, the first of its kind at the synagogue, is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at Temple Beth David, 6100 Hefley St. in Westminster.The second session, Myers said, will take place at the Islamic Center of Orange County in Garden Grove at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18. Information: 714-892-6623.

"Rabbi Marc Schneier Offers Opening Address at Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders" Online PR Media, by Online PR News, 11 January 2011

Brussels - Over 50 leaders of Islamic and Jewish communities from across Europe met in Brussels on Monday for the first Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders to discuss initiatives for better relations between the two communities. The meeting was co-organized by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the European Jewish Congress (EJC). As part of the gathering, a joint delegation met with the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, who supported the efforts undertaken by the group and called for a "revolution by the moderates." The leaders also attended a working lunch with representatives of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, at the Commission's Brussels headquarters.

Senior representatives of both faiths from Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States attended the one-day gathering. The group discussed a common statement which calls for closer cooperation between the two communities in Europe and steps “to ensure that Jews and Muslims are able to practice our respective faiths fully and unimpeded by intrusive, discriminatory and unfair governmental regulations.” It urges “cooperative projects to succor the poor and homeless of all backgrounds, to help protect new immigrants who are threatened by hatred and xenophobia, and to heal the environment, bringing together Muslim and Jewish youth for joint programming.” It also denounces all forms of violence in the name of any religion or ideology.

"(Bedouin) boy meets (Jewish) girl"Ynetnews, by Oshrat Nagar Levit, 9 January 2011

They share a tiny apartment in Safed, and lead the normal life of a young couple: They study, they work, they love. But a closer look reveals that Dana, a Jew, and Rafiq, a Bedouin, are not an ordinary couple – definitely not, considering they live in the city that gave rise to the rabbis' letter that urged Jews to avoid renting or selling property to Arabs.

Their love blossoms away from the eyes of their families - only her mother knows, and she is far from overjoyed - which is why they insisted on keeping their real identities secret. Growing up in Israeli society, they were not meant to fall in love. Rafiq, 23, grew up in a religious family, in a Bedouin village in the Galilee region. His mother hails from the conflict-torn Jenin refugee camp, and he grew up hearing her stories of suffering and hatred towards the Israel Defense Forces.

November 2010

"EGYPT – ISRAEL Al Azhar to start dialogue with Jewish scholars" Spero News, by Asia News, 26 November 2010

Cairo – Sheikh Fawzi Al-Zifzaf, head of Al-Azhar's Permanent Committee for Dialogue with the Monotheistic Religions in Cairo, drafted a landmark statement that clears the way to a new phase in Muslim-Jewish relations. His declaration, which lifts an ancient ban on dialogue between followers of the two Abrahamic religions, was read Tuesday at a meeting of political and religious leaders at the House of Lords in London.

The 'Banu Ibrahim-Children of Abraham Declaration' emphasises that Islam calls for "brotherhood and mutual understanding and the strengthening of bonds between Muslims and followers of the other religions, and the establishment of bridges of dialogue with scholarly institutions in Europe and America.”

"Interfaith effort assists Pakistan flood victims" The Republican, by Diane Lederman, 19 November 2010

AMHERST - What do you get when you mix Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and a rugby team?

A lot of people helping those in need.

Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Hindu students and maybe 100 rugby players from the University of Massachusetts are raising money and awareness about the summer Pakistani floods. The floods may have receded from memory and attention, but the suffering they caused continues.

According to the United Nations, the floods have left 3 million people homeless and destroyed or damaged more than 450,000 homes. The effect is greater than the Sumatra tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake combined.

"Muslim president inaugurates Jewish school" Ynetnews, by Dmitriy Prokofyev , 07 November 2010

A Muslim president of a Muslim country inaugurating a Jewish school is not exactly a common event. And yet, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev recently visited a Jewish education center in the capital city of Baku, accompanied by his education minister, minister for religious affairs, mayor and other senior officials.

Upon his arrival, the president was applauded and cheered by the ceremony's attendees. "I hope the graduates of this school will be proud Jews as well as proud Azerbaijani citizens," he said.

President Shimon Peres sent a televised greeting to his Azeri counterpart in honor of the occasion, expressing his deep appreciation of the unusual gesture in building the large Jewish center in Baku.

"Interfaith Health Fair Happens" Fox News, by Fox News Detroit Staff , 05 November 2010

Jewish and Muslim leaders are coming together to give deserving Detroiters the health care they need.

The Interfaith Heath Fair happens on Sunday, November 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center, which is located at 1605 West Davison Avenue in Detroit.

August 2010

"Couple behind Ground Zero mosque a model of tolerance" JTA, by Walter Ruby, 18 August 2010

Last May, I spoke at a public hearing of Manhattan’s Community Board No. 1 in support of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan, the husband-and-wife team who initiated plans to build a 13-story Islamic community center two blocks north of Ground Zero. I was there on behalf of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which has worked with the group Rauf and Khan lead, the American Society for Muslim Advancement, in ongoing efforts to strengthen Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States and around the world.

"Why Jews Should Support the Mosque Near Ground Zero" Washington Post: On Faith, by Robert Levine and David Ellenson, August 2010

One of the most beautiful stories to emerge from the devastating attacks of 9/11 was told by a Pakistani Muslim, Usman Farman, who was employed at the World Trade Center. Fleeing north as the first tower was collapsing, he was felled by a missile of glass and debris. Stunned, he laid on his back as frightened safety seekers stampeded by him. The pendant he usually wore, inscribed with an Islamic prayer for safety written in Arabic, gleamed through the darkness. Suddenly, a Hasidic Jewish man bent over him, took the pendant in his hand and read the Arabic out loud. With a deep Brooklyn accent he said, "Brother, if you don't mind, there is a cloud of glass coming at us, grab my hand, and let's get out of here."

"Muslims and Jews Join Hands" The Vancouver Sun, 3 August 2010

As yet another a border skirmish ensues along the Israeli-Lebanese border, a group of young people in Vienna is strategizing to make the world a better place for Muslims and Jews. The gathering, being held this week at the University of Vienna, is the first in what's to become an annual Muslim Jewish Conference. Conference sessions, which began Sunday and will wind up Friday, aim to serve as a platform for networking and dialogue between Muslim and Jewish groups worldwide, according to a press release from the Federation of Jewish Students in Canada.

July 2010

"Other religions are God's will" by Shaukat Malik, The Baltimore Sun, 13, July 2010

Muslims must accept the existence of other religions as God’s will. God decides our religion at birth, and judges us based on how we followed our assigned faith. Generally, a child follows the religion of his parents; conversions are rare. Abraham, Moses and Jesus were all good men and brought good messages of peace. We cannot reject their faith or message outright. The Quran confirms the messages in the Old and New Testaments. All of God's children are entitled to worship whatever faith God has chosen for them. There are many divisions between Muslims, yet they all pray to the same God. We should leave it to God to decide who is right and who is wrong. Here is a verse from the Quran confirming the existence of other religions acceptable to God that have not been revealed to us. This would cover Hindus and Buddhists and the rest of humanity.

"Death of a Muslim" by Reuven Firestone, Jewish Journal, 9 July 2010

A bright light of critical scholarship of Islam was just extinguished last week in Cairo with the death of Professor Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd on July 5. I saw him only last spring at the international conference, “The Qur’an in its Historical Context” held at the University of Notre Dame, where he and Professor Abdolkarim Soroush, the great contemporary Iranian philosopher and intellectual, together gave one of the most intellectually rigorous and emotionally moving keynote presentations I have ever experienced at an academic conference. These two Muslims represent the zenith of intellectual and ethical expression among any people of faith I know.

Abu Zayd is unfortunately best known for being tried by a civil court in Cairo in the mid-1990s and “convicted of apostasy,” after which he was to be forced by the court to divorce his beloved wife before fleeing Egypt for the West. He of course was not an apostate but a true believer who epitomized the intellectual and spiritual life of the classical `alim (plural `ulama’), the archetypal Muslim scholar who combined expertise in jurisprudence with philosophy, rhetoric, theology and Qur’an hermeneutics. Like Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and Averroes (Ibn Rushd), and like their contemporaries, Maimonides the Jew and Thomas Aquinas the Christian, Abu Zayd insisted on applying critical thinking to theology and even to what believers have the most difficult time viewing in this light: divine revelation.

"New booklet reveals Muslim acts of heroism during Holocaust" by Jonny Paul, The Jerusalem Post, 7 July 2010

A new publication highlighting Muslim acts of heroism during the Holocaust will be published on Wednesday, chronicling the role played by Muslims who defended Jews during World War II. The 34-page booklet, titled “The Role of Righteous Muslim Persons,” was initiated by Faith Matters, a London-based interfaith organization that works toward reducing extremism and fostering social cohesion in the UK. The aim of the booklet is to inform religious communities and the general public about the littleknown stories of courageous Muslims who stood up against injustice, protecting Jews during the Holocaust. Guided by their Muslim faith and personal desire to do what was right, they protected and saved the lives of many potential victims. The publication also aims to counter the narrative that no Muslims played a part in the defense of Jewish communities during the War. The work focuses on people deemed ”Righteous Gentiles” by Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem and highlights the role played by individuals, families and communities in countries such as Albania, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"Town Picks Muslim Mayor, Orthodox Jew Deputy" by Devin Dwyer ABC News 6 July 2010

More than half a century ago, Teaneck, N.J., which sits in the shadow of New York City just across the Hudson River, became one of the first American communities to voluntarily integrate its public schools. Now, the town that residents describe as a "progressive and multicultural" suburb once again has forged a new path, selecting a practicing Muslim as mayor -- and a devout Orthodox Jew to be his deputy. "No where else is this possible," said Mohammed Hameeduddin, Teaneck's first Muslim mayor and one of only a handful of Muslims to lead cities across the country. "The opportunity to bring two communities together and break down stereotypes that have belittled our nation is both monumental and humbling." Teaneck's non-partisan Township Council last week voted to appoint Hameeduddin and Adam Gussen, both current council members, to their respective posts, which they will hold for two years. Together, they will govern what is Bergen County's second largest municipality and home to significant African American, Orthodox Jewish and Muslim populations. Council members, residents and outside observers have called the pairing of Hameeduddin and Gussen "historic," particularly at a time when political leaders' religious views have been a source of divisiveness elsewhere around the country.

June 2010

"Muslim and Jewish Social Entrepreneurs to Address Social Problems, Cross-Cultural Rifts at Columbia Business School Summer Program"by Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship & Cross Cultural Network PRNewswire 29 June 2010

A groundbreaking initiative that brings Jewish and Muslim social entrepreneurs together to collaborate on finding innovative solutions to socio-economic challenges like healthcare, gender inequality and education disparities kicks off July 5, 2010 at Columbia Business School in New York City. The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship & Cross Cultural Network is the only program in the world that works to improve Jewish-Muslim relations by building a transatlantic network of innovators who all strive to apply business-driven tools to create sustainable social change. Part of the program's objective is to test a model for bridging the divide that exists between conflicting communities. The intensive two-week program, sponsored by the New York-based Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, in partnership with faculty from Columbia Business School and the University of Cambridge, consists of three components: * Business training in skills like raising capital, marketing and assessing the social impact of a project; * Cutting-edge scholarship in history and politics between Jews and Muslims, including contemporary Islamism and Zionism; * Facilitated workshops to address cross-cultural challenges. There is also a social component, in which the participants will visit religious sites and other venues in New York City.

"Riding the French countryside in the Jewish-Muslim friendship bus" by Sue Fishkoff JTA 24 June 2010

On a hot afternoon in early June, an unusual looking bus is parked in the central square of this historic city in eastern France. Passers-by cast sidelong glances at the brightly colored portraits on its side accompanied by such slogans as “Jews and Muslims say no to discrimination” and “We are more alike than you think.” It is the friendship bus, a project of the French Jewish-Muslim Friendship group, known by the acronym AJMF. Led by a rabbi and imam, the bus and its team spend five weeks every summer traveling through the French countryside hosting panel discussions, chatting with pedestrians, promoting dialogue, and holding out the hope of mutual respect and cooperation between two communities more often found at odds. “This is our sixth summer touring France,” said Rabbi Michel Serfaty, AJMF's founder and co-leader of the bus project with Imam Mohamed Azizi. “We fight discrimination and stereotypes, and try to break down the walls between our young people.”

"A Modest Peace Plan is Working" by Doug Chandler The Jewish Week 22 June 2010

When a group of Bukharian Jews and representatives of a mosque in Queens held a Muslim-Jewish health fair earlier this month, more than 100 local Muslims turned out for the afternoon of free blood tests, eye exams and other procedures, as well as brief comments by religious, community and elected leaders. But the event, hosted by the Jamaica Muslim Center, drew only 15 members of the borough’s Bukharian-Jewish community and not a soul from the congregation of Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov, one of the day’s key speakers. The rabbi, spiritual leader of the Kehilath Sephardim Bukharian Jewish Center in Kew Garden Hills, said several factors may have been in play, including concern over two developments far removed from central Queens: the flotilla affair in the Middl e East and fierce opposition to the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero. Opponents of what local tabloids have mistakenly dubbed the “Ground Zero mosque” include many Russian-speaking Jews, the rabbi noted.

"Forging Ties Between Bukharian Jews, Muslims — Slowly — In Queens" by Imam Abdullah Antepli and Rabbi Michael Goldman Washington Post 9 June 2010

Jews: want to fight anti-Semitism? Muslims: want to challenge islamophobia? There's an easy way to do it: have coffee with one another. Last week, the two of us, the rabbi and imam of Duke University, did just that. Not that meeting at a café is such a rare occurrence; we work together, we like each other and our children play together. But last week, amidst the tension between Muslims and Jews caused by the violence off the coast of Israel and Gaza, our coffee date felt like a political act. The fiasco aboard the Mavi Marmara hit close to home for our imam who, like several of those killed in that raid, is Turkish. We typically steer away from politics not because we feel uneasy on that turf; we know that we disagree on many core issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian controversy and are quite comfortable with that. We steer clear of this controversy because we are working to belie the fallacy that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all that a Muslim and a Jew would have to talk about.

May 2010

"Coffee and conversation finds common ground between Muslims and Jews" by Brianna McClaneThe Islamic Work Place18 May 2010

Religious conversations between Muslims and Jews take place in coffee shops across Chicago. They gather every other month to discuss religious text and its application to daily life, an attempt to bridge cultures with distinct differences and similarities. Discussions over Coffee is one of many events hosted by the Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative. The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs established the organization in 2001 as a response to an increase in hate crime against Muslims after Sept. 11. The two religions unite through culture, education and joint actions with a focus on how to improve the Chicago community. “It creates an interesting and a lively, an important space just to bring people together,” said coordinator Asaf Bar-Tura. “We have it in coffee shops not in more institutional settings is to create that casual and open inviting atmosphere.”

April 2010

"New York's Imam is on a Mission" Huffington Post 21 April 2010

Assistant Imam Mohammad Shamsi Ali's appointment to the ICC, the first building constructed as a mosque in New York City, only reinforced his commitment to bridge different religious communities. Calling the ICC the "PR officer" of American Muslims, Ali believes it is his mission to "dispel misconceptions" about Islam, and to connect with other faiths. "It is perceived as the real center, the cathedral of Muslims," Ali says. In less than 10 years at the mosque, he has established a free space for non-Muslims to come and ask questions about Islam; he has made countless appearances on TV to condemn terrorism, radicalism, and anti-Semitism; and he has initiated a regular dialogue with various religious leaders, including many rabbis.

Omid Djlalili, UK's Iranian comic, takes on the Muslim-Jewish divide with The Infidel

Meet MAHMUD NASIR, loving husband, doting father and something of a “relaxed” Muslim. He may not be the most observant, but in his heart he is as Muslim as it gets. But after his mother’s death a discovery turns Mahmud’s world upside down. He finds his birth certificate which reveals that not only was he adopted at birth…but he’s Jewish, and his real name is Solly Shimshillewitz!

Among the Righteous: A Documentary

Did any Arabs save Jews during the Holocaust? That's the question author Robert Satloff had in mind when he set out to discover the lost, true stories of survival, courage and betrayal in Arab lands during World War II. The history of the Holocaust in Europe is well-documented, but the history of what happened to the Jewish people of North Africa has been mostly forgotten, even in the very towns and cities where it occurred. The truth is remarkable: not only did Jews in Arab lands suffer many of same elements of persecution as Jews in Europe -- arrests, deportations, confiscations and forced labor -- but there were also hopeful stories of "righteous" Arabs reaching out to protect them.

"My Month of Being Jewish" The Guardian 8 April 2010

I am not, in a strictly factual sense, Jewish. But put to one side my Asian looks, ignore my Pakistani parentage and overlook my Muslim name, and I could easily be one of the children of Israel. When I read, in these pages, Jonathan Margolis's personal piece about being "Jew-ish" rather than Jewish, the bells were ringing in my head, too. What with my extensive collection of Woody Allen and Curb Your Enthusiasm DVDs, I've always thought I wouldn't have to change my life hugely if I were to wake up and find my name changed from Sarfraz to Seth.

"United States offers Europe and Interfaith Model" The Washington Times 6 April 2010

It was a warm summer afternoon in the new U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and some European rabbis and imams were exchanging bearhugs. Imam Mohamed Kajjaj, vice president of the Council of Muslim Theologians of Belgium, waxed eloquent about all the Muslim-Jewish give and take. "It's been magnificent, wonderful," he said, speaking in French. "This is a grand movement for the future."

"Project helps Jewish and Muslim Teens Cooperate, Form Friendships" Daily News Los Angeles 4 April 2010

Danielle Feuer and July Aye both study hard, share Facebook friends and worship the same God. But one is Jewish, the other Muslim, working side-by-side among a dozen interfaith teens on Sunday to sort food at a Van Nuys food bank. "The whole point of our group is to not be confrontational, but to learn about each other and to discuss issues in a friendly way," said Feuer, 16, of Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.

March 2010

"Unlikely Duo Teams Up for Kosher, Halal" American Public Media Marketplace 30 March 2010

Ari Daniel Shapiro reports on two meat distributors -- one Jewish, the other Muslim -- who have struck up a unique friendship to provide products to their customers that seek to redefine kosher and halal. (radio program)

"Shul Devotes Shabbaton to Muslim-Jewish Ties" New Jersey Jewish News, 26 March 2010

Reform Judaism’s top legislative activist spoke at Temple Rodeph Torah in Marlboro on March 21, culminating a Shabbaton devoted to fostering better relations between Jews and Muslims. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said the often interwoven history of Jews and Muslims, while frayed by tensions in the Middle East, can be repaired by “inspired” leaders and communities.

Using Quranic Narratives in Pursuit of Peace Common Ground News Service 4 March 2010

I consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the single biggest obstacle to eliminating Muslim-Jewish antipathy. Although this dispute is fundamentally about the distribution of assets and the power to control decisions, it is frequently portrayed as a religious conflict. And too often, opposing sides have used erroneous or out-of-context interpretations of their scriptures to demonise the other and to provide justification for not striving towards a just peace.

February 2010

"Burton Visotzky on Muslim-Jewish Dialogue; Reflections from Emerging Interfaith Leaders" Tikkun Daily 26 February 2010

"European Imams, Rabbis Visit 'The House That Ruth Built'" The Jerusalem Post 22 February 2010

During a trip to Yankee Stadium with a group of European imams and rabbis last week, their host, Rabbi Marc Schneier, was struck by the impact of the stadium's kosher food: All of his guests, with their varying dietary restrictions, could take part in the fare.

"A Jewish Voice Against Banning the Burqa" by Joshua Stanton, Journal of Interreligious Dialogue 1 February 2010

Even as a Jew in New York, I know what it is like to be Muslim in France. While studying abroad in the French city of Strasbourg in 2007, I decided to grow a bushy beard. Little did I know that in France only traditional Jewish and Muslim men don anything but the most finely trimmed moustache or goatee. Since I did not wear a yarmulke or other head covering, people who saw me on the street assumed that I was Muslim. I felt that police officers and passersby treated me with suspicion, and even on the crowded rush hour bus few chose to sit next to me if they could avoid it. On one occasion someone followed me home and tried to start a fight, only to find I was a bewildered American, not a French Muslim.

"Campus Clubs: MuJew" The Michigan Daily 4 February 2010

While there are many groups on campus that focus on shared interests, one student group centers around bringing together those with different backgrounds. A campus organization committed to social action and cultural awareness, MuJew is a student group that seeks to build inter-personal bridges between Muslim and Jewish students at the University. LSA sophomores Molly Mardit and Jenna Weinberg and LSA senior Husnah Khan founded MuJew in October of last year, in an effort to bring Muslim and Jewish students together in a relaxed atmosphere that fostered mutual understanding and constructive dialogue.

"Chicago Jewish, Muslim Leaders Reaffirm Solidarity, Condemn Hate" Huffington Post, 11, February 2010

Chicago Muslims and Jews Speak with One Voice on Peace and Justice. My friend Donna Yates of Poetry Pals has an observation - she says that unless Muslims and Jews are at each other's throats, there isn't an interest in the media to cover their relationship. She runs inter-faith poetry and art workshops in Chicagoland amongst students of Muslim, Jewish and Christian day time and weekend schools. And unfortunately, there's been little interest from the media.

"Banning the Burqa: An Opinion by Reuven Firestone" Jewish Journal, 9 February 2010

While on sabbatical as a family in Egypt a couple of years ago, we quickly became accustomed to seeing women wearing head coverings on the street. Nearly every single Muslim woman over the age of 12 wore one. The general word for these is hijab, which is a quranic term meaning “barrier” or “screen.” In a famous verse (33:53) it refers to a partition in the home of the prophet Muhammad to separate the women of his family from the eyes of the many people who would come to Muhammad’s home seeking an audience with him. Its meaning is basically the same as the Hebrew word mechitzah, the barrier that separates the women’s section from the men’s section in traditional synagogues.

"A Muslim/Jewish Gift in Rapping at Nuyorican Poets Café" NY Blueprint, 12 February 2010

Arabs and Israelis arguing over century-long issues could get so angry they’d want to spit on each other. But this Tuesday night, one Muslim rapper from Iran and one Jewish rapper from Israel will spit rhymes on the microphone about conflict in The Middle East.

January 2010

"US Rabbi Says Dialogue with Muslims Should Become a Top Priority" www.worldjewishcongress.org, 29 January 2010

The most challenging task for Jews over the next decade is to improve their relations with Muslims, Rabbi Marc Schneier, the chairman of the World Jewish Congress in the United States and head of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, has said. Schneier, who has focused a great amount of his activities on creating a network which promotes understanding between the two religions, criticized Jewish organizations in the US for their "obsessive" quest to stop the declaration of Pope Pius XII as a saint.

"If they focused only some of their energy on improving relations between the Jewish and Muslim communities, the situation would be much better and more promising," he was quoted by ‘Haaretz’ as saying. "I don't want to diminish the importance of cultivating good relations between the Jews and the Catholic Church, but this issue has been dealt with and has greatly progressed. The central and most crucial challenge that faces the Jewish people with regards to inter-religious relations in the next decade, is to find a way to diminish the misunderstandings between the Muslims and the Jews around the world," he said.


December 2009

"Detroit's Muslim community joins Jewish groups to help with Mitzvah Day" Crain's Detroit Business, 18 December 2009

The region’s hungry don’t stop needing food because it’s Christmas. Children and seniors living in group homes need visitors even more on Christmas. Their needs don’t take a holiday. But the people who serve them day in and day out can, thanks to the annual volunteer efforts of many, including Metro Detroit’s Jewish community, on Christmas...

"Swiss minaret ban recalls synagogue bans of past eras" , JTA.com, 14 December 2009

VILNIUS, Lithuania (JTA) -- A week after the Swiss referendum banning the construction of new mosque minarets in Switzerland, I flew to Vilnius, Lithuania, for a seminar that focused on the destruction of Jewish heritage in Lithuania during the Holocaust. The timing was coincidental. And I realize that the Swiss voters who overwhelmingly approved the minaret ban were responding to scare tactics that raised the specter of an extremist Islamic takeover in their country. Yet in a certain way, the Swiss vote Nov. 29 and the Lithuanian seminar were connected.

"Wanted: Jewish, Muslim young adults for new Bay Area fellowship group" , JWeekly.com, 10 December 2009

Jewish and Muslim young adults are being encouraged to apply for fellowships with NewGround, a program that aims to foster positive partnerships between the Jewish and Muslim communities. After two years in Los Angeles, the Progressive Jewish Alliance program is launching its first Bay Area cohort. Up to 20 fellows will be selected.

"Swiss Pol Apologizes For Calling For Ban On Muslim And Jewish Cemeteries" , http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com, 4 December 2009

A Swiss politician has apologized today for calling for a ban on Jewish and Muslim cemeteries two days after the country voted to outlaw minarets on mosques.

"Subtly, Interreligious Dialogue Brings Leaders Closer" by Reuven Firestone. Jewish Journal: 3 December 2009

Rabbi and professor of medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, Reuven Firestone, reflects on an interfaith dialogue experience in Doha among Muslims, Christians, and Jews. He explores how the three monotheistic traditions have related to the use of violence at various points in history and provides a vision of how religions can move beyond war.

"Rabbi urges more tolerance for Muslims in Europe" JTA 3 December 2009

PARIS (JTA) -- France’s chief rabbi said Europe must change its attitude about Islam. Rabbi Gilles Bernheim said a Swiss vote Nov. 29 forbidding the construction of minarets alongside mosques was a clear sign that Western European leaders had “failed” at building tolerance toward Muslims, and he called on “all religions” as well as political leaders to increase interfaith dialogue.


November 2009

"Muslims and Jews Together" Startribune 17 November 2009

Conventional wisdom has it that Jews and Muslims are implacable foes. But this past weekend, in Minnesota and around the country, mosques and synagogues were writing a very different story.

"Jewish-Muslim Relations" by Dan Rickman Y-Net News, 8 November 2009.

Judaism and Islam have a lot in common. To develop relationships between these two faiths further, Jews and Muslims need to be more aware of nuances within their respective traditions.


October 2009

"Muslim and Jewish Faiths Merge in Washington" Al Arabiya News Channel, 26 October 2009.

"Jewish, Muslim Students Promote Peace at 8th Annual Interfaith Dinner" The GW Hatchet, 15 October 2009.

"Germany Should Mark Jewish and Muslim Holidays Leaders Say" JTA: The Global News Service of the Jewish People, 14 October 2009.

"Jewish and Muslim students join to celebrate R-osh Hash-amadan," by Karen Herland, Concordia Journal, 1 October 2009.

On Sept. 23 about 30 people gathered around a table at Hillel House on Stanley St. to share mergez, shawarma, kabobs and hummus. The occasion was R-osh Hash-amadan and the guests included 10 members of both Hillel Concordia and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) along with representatives of the CSU and Multi-faith Chaplaincy.

"Synagogue and Islamic Center Share Space and Set Tone for Cooperation" by Mohamed Elshinnawi, 5 October, 2009

As the Muslim population in the United States continues to grow, Islamic centers across the country have begun looking for extra prayer space in nearby schools and churches to accommodate their increasing memberships. Recently, an Islamic center in Northern Virginia found some rental space in a Jewish synagogue – an arrangement that could serve a role model for Muslim-Jewish relations in the Middle East.


September 2009

"In one Paris neighborhood, Jews and Muslims live as they did in N. Africa: Together," by Ilan Moss, JTA, 22 September 2009

Despite the tensions that have marked Muslim-Jewish ties in France in recent years, this neighborhood in northeastern Paris has managed to stay relatively free of them. The Arab-Israeli conflict still complicates relations between the two communities, but residents describe Belleville as idyllic compared to the hostility between Jews and Muslims in the immigrant suburbs surrounding Paris.


August 2009

"Abundant Faith, Shrinking Space: Mosques Turn to Synagogues, Ballrooms to Accommodate Growing Membership", by William Wan, Washington Post, 22 August 2009


July 2009

"Jewish-Muslim Dialogue: The Risks And Rewards," by Steve Lipman, The Jewish Week, 15 July 2009.

Rabbi Burton Visotzky, professor of Midrash and interreligious studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, was on foreign but familiar ground recently. A veteran of interfaith discussions with Muslims around the world, he was among three rabbis who took part in a panel discussion at the Islamic Society of North America’s 46th convention in Washington, D.C. Their topic: Muslim-Jewish Dialogue: Building a Peaceful Society Here and Abroad.”


June 2009

"Conference shines new light on Arab Jews," University of Cambridge Office of Communications, 19 June 2009.

A major conference, to be opened by Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan this week, will shed new light on the underexplored subject of Arab Jews.

"Unity Program’s first local grads break down walls of Muslim-Jewish relations," by Stacey Palevsky, JWeekly.com, 11 June 2009.

Imagine: Jewish and Muslim teenagers laughing together, walking arm in arm, making plans to hang out in the summer. They seem like unlikely scenarios — but thanks to the Unity Program, a project of the S.F.-based nonprofit Abraham’s Vision, they’re a reality. The program graduated its first class of Bay Area students May 31.


May 2009

"Interfaith Understanding Wins Out, and a Plot Loses," By CLYDE HABERMAN, New York Times, 22 May 2009.

"Jewish-Muslim Interfaith Directory Launches to Foster Dialogue," PRWEB, 21 May 2009.

JewishMuslimDirectory.org announced the launch of the first online interfaith directory to facilitate dialogue between Jewish and Muslim communities in the United States.

"Moroccan Women Religious Leaders Find Common Ground with US Jewish & Muslim Women Leaders on Advancing Equality, Tolerance, & Families," PRNewswire-USNewswire, 20 May 2009.

Visiting 'mourchidates,' or women religious counselors, share views at Interfaith Forum on women's role in strengthening communities, combating domestic violence, building more progressive societies


April 2009

"Coroners get MRI body scan option," , BBC News, 21 April 2009

Ministers say some people, including some members of the Muslim and Jewish faiths, are uncomfortable with invasive post-mortem examinations.

"Ukrainian Jewish, Muslim leaders meet," JTA, 19 April 2009.

Jewish and Muslim leaders in Ukraine agreed to hold an interfaith conference later this year.

"Dreaming of cheese, jobs in New York field," by Poppy Harlow, CNNMoney.com, 15 April 2009.

An entrepreneur has long dreamed of building high-end specialty cheese factory, his key selling point: Product would meet strict standards of Jewish, Muslim faiths

"Zooming In On Righteous Muslims," by Steve Lipman, The Jewish Week, 14 April 2009.

"He has a dream," by Yitzhak Benhorin, Ynet News, 14 April 2009.

Prominent US Jewish spiritual leader, Rabbi Marc Schneier believes Jews and Muslims must join hands in the fight against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

"Growing up Muslim amongst Jews," by Zeba Khan, Altmuslim.com, 9 April 2009.

Zeba Khan traces her own adherence to Islam as an adult back to the Jewish friends she made as a young student at the Hebrew Academy of Toledo, who shared with her the joy and spiritual fulfillment they felt from practicing their faith.


March 2009

"Budget Cuts Threaten Jewish, Muslim Burial Rituals," By Sally Goldenberg, New York Post, 25 March 2009.

"Jewish group: Dialogue with Muslims more urgent than ties with Vatican" , by Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz.com, 17 March 2009

A top Jewish umbrella organization in the United States is launching a campaign to initiate dialogue and cooperative efforts with the Muslim community.

"CSU seminar to explore religious finance rules" , by Michelle Jarboe, Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com, 17 March 2009

About the event: A look at how traditional Jewish and Muslim legal attitudes toward mortgage lending apply to the mortgage crisis.

"Jewish, Muslim comedians make peace, jokes onstage" , By JAWEED KALEEM, Monterey Herald, 10 March 2009.

A Muslim and a Jew walk on stage. Chaos ensues — of the comedic variety. This is Laugh in Peace, featuring Muslim comic Azhar Usman and Rabbi Bob Alper.

"We must face the real interfaith challenge" , by MARC SCHNEIER, Jerusalem Post, 10 March 2009.

"250 attend 6th Annual Jewish-Muslim Peace Walk" , by DANIEL WOOLFOLK, Tucson Citizen, 8 March 2009.

About 250 people participated in the 6th Annual Jewish-Muslim Peace Walk in Tucson on Sunday, officials said.


February 2009

"Milk & Honey: Part II," by A Qasimi, Santa Fe Reporter, 25 February 2009.

Kosher and halal foods submit to nostalgia and reinvention

"Hip hop harmony comes to LSE for interfaith week," Finchannel.com, 24 February 2009.

A Muslim-Jewish hip hop collective are performing at LSE as part of an interfaith week which aims to bring out the common cultural links between religions.


January 2009

"Muslim woman, rabbis to pray at inaugural service," by RACHEL ZOLL (AP), the International Herald Tribune, 14 January 2009


December 2008

"Stamps of Approval," The Jewish Daily Forward, 31 December 2008.

Two Turkish diplomats who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust have been honored with commemorative stamps recently issued by Turkey’s postal system.

"Rabbi at Temple Shalom in Dallas emerges as leader in Muslim-Jewish dialogue" , by Sam Hodges, Dallas Morning News, 13 December 2008.

"Muslim, Jewish graves desecrated in France," JTA, 10 December 2008

More than 500 Muslim and up to 20 Jewish graves were desecrated in a French military cemetery.

"Meet MUJU: the London theatre troupe that unites Muslims and Jews," by Caroline White, Times Online, 9 December 2008

"Many Spaniards found to have Jewish or Muslim ancestry" , by Giles Tremlett, Guardian, 5 December 2008

Study shows that one in three have traces of Jews or Moors forced to convert or leave Spain in 15th and 16th centuries

"Gene study shows Spain's Jewish and Muslim ancestry" by Nicholas Wade, International Herald Tribune, 5 December 2008

The genetic signatures of people in Spain and Portugal provide new and explicit evidence of the mass conversions of Sephardic Jews and Muslims to Catholicism in the 15th and 16th centuries after Christian armies wrested Spain back from Muslim control, a team of geneticists reports.

"Finding A Connection To Judaism During the Eid" , by Eboo Patel, NPR.org, 8 December 2008

"Mumbai's Jews remain at one with Muslims despite antisemitic attack" , by Rhys Blakely, Times Online, 6 December 2008.


November 2008

"Local Indian, Muslim and Jewish reaction to Mumbai terror attacks" WINK News, 30 November 2008

"Twinning builds bond between Muslims, Jews" by Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star, 24 November 2008.

"A Jewish-Muslim effort to dispel fears and biases" by Jeff Diamant, New Jersey Start-Ledger, 22 November 2008

"At Riverdale Jewish Center, Muslim student finds a haven for prayer" by N. Clark Judd, Riverdale Press, 20 November 2008

Dinar Enggar Puspita had never been inside a synagogue until she came to Riverdale in August; now she prays at Riverdale Jewish Center every Wednesday.

"Muslims and Jews pack Rutgers dialogue event" by Debra Rubin, New Jersey Jewish News, 6 November 2008.

Students share views on dating and diets, find common ground

"MPs Tour Universities to Improve Relations between Muslim and Jewish Students," by Ruth Gledhill, The Times Online, 3 November 2008.


October 2008

"Schechter joins yearlong Jewish/Muslim dialogue" by Johanna Ginsberg, New Jersey Jewish News, 30 October 2008.

‘Unity’ program aims for students to be ‘catalysts for change’


September 2008

“Jewish and Muslim students break Challah, boundaries,” By Noa Borkan, the Wesleyan Argus, 23 September 2008.

"Anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attitudes rise in Europe" by Brian Knowlton, 17 September 2008

Anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim attitudes have been rising nearly in tandem in several European countries, apparently reflecting concerns over immigration, globalization and economic ills, according to a new international survey.


August 2008

“Muslim, Jewish educators swap ideas in Greensboro,” by Jeff Mills, News Record, 22 August 2008.

“Rabbi fights to block Muslim leader's deportation,” by Elizabeth Llorente, The Record Online(northjersey.com), 3 August 2008.

One witness's testimony riveted the courtroom at the deportation trial of a Muslim spiritual leader accused by U.S. officials of having had ties to Hamas. It was the account of David Senter, an Orthodox-trained rabbi from Pompton Lakes, in defense of Imam Mohammad Qatanani as a man of peace and love and an asset to America.


July 2008

“Hot pot dinner bonds two very different ‘believers’ in China” by Alison Klayman, Jewish Journal, 30 July 2008


June 2008

“Another Wedge Issue” by Salam Al-Marayati and Steven B. Jacobs, Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2008.

“French Muslim, Jewish Leaders Unite to Encourage Religious Tolerance” by Lisa Bryant, VOA News, 25 June 2008.

Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish communities, both located in France, have just elected new leaders Sunday, who both vow to make their faiths more tolerant and open to non-believers.

"Bloomberg Defends Obama before Jewish Audience," by Sara Kugler, Associated Press, 20 June 2008.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged Jewish voters to denounce the whisper campaign that for months has pushed the false rumor that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim.

"Jews, Muslims Face Challenges in Military Burials" by Jonathan D. Rubin , Beliefnet.com, 16 June 2008.


May 2008

“New York Muslim leader forges close ties with city's Jews,” By Reuters, Haaretz.com, 16 May 2008.

New York's largest mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) on East 96th Street in Manhattan, is getting applause from an unexpected quarter -- the city's influential Jewish community.

“In Qatar, Muslim, Jewish clerics meet,” By Barbara Surk, Associated Press, 16 May 2008.

More than a dozen rabbis, including two from Israel, were in attendance this week as this conservative Muslim sheikdom opened one of the Gulf's first scholarly centers dedicated to interfaith dialogue.

“Muslim and Jewish students win advanced degrees from Catholic Union,” By Manya A Brachear, Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2008.

Two teachers become first Jewish female and first Muslim female to receive advanced degrees from Catholic Theological Union.


April 2008

“Backstage with Six Rabbis, Six Imams and No ‘Kumbaya’” by Anthony Ramirez, New York Times, 13 April 2008.

In New York, six Rabbis and six Imams, led by Rabbi Schneier, 49, worked on a television commercial to promote tolerance between Muslims and Jews and to condemn prejudice against Muslims and Jews, and intolerance between Muslims and Jews. It is set to air in September, during Ramadan, the month in which it is said the Koran was revealed to Muhammad. It will also play in early October, during the Jewish High Holy Days.


March 2008

"Jewish Representative Body Welcomes Muslim Call to Dialogue," International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, New York: 3 March 2008.

In an historic first, the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), that represents world Jewry to other world religions, has issued a call for dialogue between Muslims and Jews. The statement follows the recent call to peace, dialogue and understanding issued by Muslim scholars on February 25th 2008. For more information contact: Ari Gordon, Principle Secretary, at (212) 891 6768 or gordona@ajc.org

Click here for the Full Text of the Letter: Seek Peace and Pursue It: A Jewish Call to Muslim-Jewish Dialogue


February 2008

“Muslim Leaders Issue Letter to Improve Relations with Jewish Community,” by Ruth Gledhill, Times Online, 24 February 2008.

Muslim scholars from The Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations (CMJR) with the support of Muslims scholars throughout the world have facilitated the above-mentioned letter to the international Jewish community. This letter is intended as a gesture of goodwill. Its aim is to build upon existing relations in order to improve mutual understanding and to further the positive work in building bridges between Muslims and Jews. The letter was introduced by Prof. Tariq Ramadan at CMJR in Cambridge on Monday 25 February.

Click here for the full text of: An Open Letter: A call for peace, dialogue and understanding .

“Hebrew Union College funds Muslim Scholar’s Rescue” by Brad A. Greenberg, Jewish Journal, 22 February 2008.
A correction to this article was made through a Letter to the Editor: "Muslim Scholar"

“Faith unites Jewish, Muslim Students,” by Gregg Krupa, The Detroit News, 21 February 2008.
A group of 16 Muslims and Jews have met together for months to plan their spring break together, hoping to work side by side to help rebuild New Orleans united by their faith.


January 2008

“Muslim Beauty Queen to play role of Anne Frank,” by Eldad Beck, Ynet News, 17 January 2008.
Asli Bayram, 26, first German beauty queen of Turkish origin, plays role of Jewish girl in hiding from Nazis in Frankfurt theater

“Jewish groups Condemn Attacks on Obama” by Yitzhak Benhorin, Ynet News, 16 January 2008.
Leaders of the Jewish organizations in the United States issued a joint letter condemning the email being distributed both in Hebrew and in English attacking Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“It’s Time to (re)Open Dialogue with Islam” by Rabbi Haim Ovadia, Jewish Journal, 11 January 2008.

“Jewish board to appoint Muslim adviser” by Riazat Butt, The Guardian, 8 January 2008.

“The Pragmatic Caliphs” by Jason Goodwin, New York Times, 6 January 2008.
A story of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Coexistence

“Jewish studies, for Muslims only” by Jack Khoury, Haartez, 5 January 2008.


December 2007

“Jewish, Muslim groups Launch Joint Program” by Michelle Boorstein, the Washington Post, 29 December 2007
Curriculum will educate on differences and common ground between the two Abrahamic faiths

“A Muslim Stor

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