Jews, Muslims hold world’s largest dialogue

Ynetnews, Israel
23 November 2011

Foundation for Ethnic Understanding facilitates 125 events with participation of 250 Muslim, Jewish organizations in 26 countries in four continents

Thousands of Muslims and Jews across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa participated last weekend in The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s (FFEU) 4th annual Weekend of Twinning.

Since 2008, FFEU has organized hundreds of similar initiatives around the world in cooperation with the World Jewish Congress and the Islamic Society of North America.

The annual Weekend of Twinning brings together hundreds of synagogues and mosques, cultural centers, Muslim and Jewish university students and young leadership groups and Muslim and Jewish social action networks.

These gatherings have helped Muslims and Jews in North America, Europe and around the world to nurture ties of friendship and trust.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, FFEU President, remarked, “FFEU is proud to showcase these unprecedented international gatherings of Jews and Muslims. The sheer magnitude of this year’s Weekend of Twinning reinforces our efforts to build a global movement of Muslims and Jews committed to communication, reconciliation, cooperation and understanding.”

Participating Muslim and Jewish organizations held their events over the weekend of November 18-20. Some events will continue through the end of December. Social action initiatives include Muslims and Jews feeding the hungry and the homeless in Boston, New Jersey, Toronto and Washington, DC.

FFEU Chairman Russell Simmons noted, “There was a moment in time when some thought that bringing together Imams and Rabbis wouldn’t be productive but I’ve had some of the greatest and most rewarding experiences of my life promoting dialogue. The fact that year after year more Muslims and Jews are joining the conversation speaks volumes.”

Young Professional Leadership events will kick off in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC.

‘Relations can be peaceful and sustainable’

Ilja Sichrovsky, secretary-general of the Muslim Jewish Conference (MJC), an interfaith grassroots leadership initiative involved in the organization of FFEU´s virtual online twinning event which will connect young Jews and Muslims around the world, said “MJC provides grassroots driven opportunities for the next generation of Muslims and Jews to talk. Not about each other, but to each other.

“Our annual conferences as well as FFEU´s virtual twinning event demonstrates that Muslim-Jewish relations can be peaceful and sustainable, if only given a chance to be created.”

The Weekend of Twinning kicks off FFEU’s Muslim Jewish programming for the upcoming year. In February 2012, the second meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders will take place in Europe.

In March 2012, FFEU will host the first Mission of Latin American Muslim and Jewish Leaders to Washington, DC.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, who also serves as Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, said, “This historic outpouring of Muslims and Jews worldwide demonstrates that we not only share a common faith, but a common fate. It is our single destiny that we must strengthen our bonds of concern, compassion and caring for each other.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4151833,00.html

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