(The Group of Interfaith Students and Faculty)
HUC-JIR/NY rabbinical students met with students from the Islamic Cultural Center in New York to participate in "Putting the Theology of Peace into Practice," a program of dialogue, religious community, and interfaith learning between Muslims and Jews.
The students' two days together included text study from both traditions, sharing of prayer and worship opportunities, and open dialogue about the opportunities and challenges inherent in the relationship between Judaism and Islam. Participants also spoke with peacemakers from Israel and Syria – individuals who work across religious boundaries to make peace between parties that usually do not communicate. They spent one day at the campus of HUC-JIR/NY and one day at the 96th Street Mosque, also in New York City.
The program was sponsored by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding and participants included Joyce Dubensky, Executive Director of the Tanenbaum Center, Imam Shamsi Ali, and Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at HUC-JIR.
HUC-JIR Board of Governors member Bob Heller and his wife Amy sponsored dinner for the participants, and shared with them in an evening of discussion. Program participants plan to gather together for future conversation and hope to build their commitment to peacemaking across religious borders.