The Muslim-Jewish Friendship Society of France (AJMF) in conjunction with FFEU will present an International Women’s Event in Paris at the prestigious Centre Culturel Christiane Peugot on the evening of November 12 entitled: “Friendship, The Path to Peace”. The international womens’ event, will be the capstone to synagogue-mosque twinning events that will take place throughout France on November 9-11 under the leadership of AJMF President Rabbi Michel Serfaty. The International Women’s event, organized by Rabbi Serfaty and AJMF Vice President “Schéhérazade Zérouala, will be a cultural feast of literature, poetry, song and music by Muslim and Jewish female writers and musicians celebrating the friendship, collaboration and cultural cross fertilization that existed between Muslims and Jews in North Africa in the first half of the 20th Century and is being recreated in modern day France.
(submitted by Anatoly Gendin, Chairman of the Relgious Community of Progressive Judaism in Simferopol, Ukraine)
Continuing our ongoing involvement in the international Muslim-Jewish meeting and dialogue program known as the Weekend of Twinning, representatives of the Religious Community of Progressive Judaism in Simferopol, Ukraine, the capital of Crimea, were invited by the Muslim Community “Battal Çelebi” to their community madrasa (Sunday school) for a festive celebration of Eid al -Adha — the Muslim festival of sacrifice.
The Jewish guests at the event were welcomed by the chairman of the Muslim community “Battal Çelebi”, Timur Chelebiev. He spoke on the history of the Crimean Tatars and the traditions of friendly relations between the Jewish and Crimean Tatar communities. Afterwards Anatoly Gendin, chairman of the Religious Community of Progressive Judaism in Simferopol, spoke to the joint Muslim-Jewish audience about the commonalities of our holidays and religions, with the celebration of Eid al-Adha as an example.
Gendin noted the Eid al-Adha commemorates an event that is also one of the best known parables in the Torah, in which the Patriarch Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic) prepared to sacrifice his son to God. The difference is that in the Muslim tradition the son who is to be sacrifices in Ishmael (Abraham’s oldest son), whereas in the Jewish tradition, it is Isaac, his younger son. In both stories, God rewards the devotion and virtue shown by Abraham by enjoining him to spare his son and sacrifice a lamb instead.
Among those who spoke at the event were Ayder Bulatov, Chair of the of the Center for Islamic Studies in Crimea, Rabbi Mikhail Kapustin of the Progressive Jewish synagogue in Simferopol, Director of Zionist youth organization “Hillel” Dina Liebman, the Imam of Battal Celebi and students as the madrasa.
Special attention during the discussion was focused on common problems facing the Jewish and Muslims communities in Crimea; including the ongoing fight against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Over the last few years, swastikas and other vile manifestations of xenophobic and defamatory graffiti have been repeatedly scrawled in recent months on both synagogues and mosques in Crimea. Both communities have vowed to work together against all expressions of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and to press the authorities to do more to prevent these attacks by fascist thugs.
After the meeting, we were invited to tea with traditional oriental sweets baked by women of the Muslim community. We sat together drinking tea, eating oriental sweets and making plans for our joint programs in the future. We hope to welcome all of you from around the world soon in our synagogue and mosque.
1 Anatoly Gendin (right), Eider Bulatov, Alla Liebman ( youth leader), Rabbi Mikhail Kapustin
2 Chairman of the Muslim community Battal Celebi – Timur Chelebiev entertains guests from the Jewish community.JPG
3 Sunday school children of the Muslim community Battal Celebi.JPG
4 Anatoly Gendin (left) and Eider Bulatov in the Muslim community Battal Celebi
Submitted by Walter Ruby
Muslim-Jewish Program Director, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
A heartfelt Salaam and Shalom! Welcome to the official blog of the 5th Annual Weekend of Twinning; the largest Muslim-Jewish encounter anywhere in the world, though it happens in many places at once. Indeed, during course of the observance of the 5th Annual Weekend of Twinning, thousands of Muslims and Jews in scores of cities in 26 countries on 4 continents will come together to hold joint programs dedicated to building lasting ties of communication, reconciliation and cooperation.
The Weekend of Twinning, which kicked off this week with the visit of members of the Jewish community of Simferopol, Ukraine to an observance of Eid-al-Adha by members of the Crimean Tatar community in that city (see below story), will reach its height on the weekend of November 16-18 and continue until the end of December.
The official theme of the Weekend of Twinning this year is Jews and Muslims Feeding the Hungry Together. 15 such events will take place in cities across North America, sponsored by FFEU in conjunction with groups like Muslims Against Hunger and Masbia. Please click on the below link for a film trailer, produced by FFEU and Unity Productions Foundation, about Muslims and Jews feeding the hungry and homeless together during the Weekend of Twinning.
In addition to these Feeding the Hungry events, there will, as in past years, be many diverse types of twinning encounters, during which we will celebrate commonalities in our two faith traditions and work together for the benefit of our two communities and the varied societies in which we live side by side.
What we must do in addition to holding these groundbreaking Muslim-Jewish encounters around the world is to make sure that as many people as possible find out about the wonderful work that Jews and Muslims are doing together in so many cities and countries. We therefore ask that those of you planning Weekend of Twinning events in your cities send us short reports on your twinning events immediately after they happen, together with photos to firstname.lastname@example.org , so that we can put them up on this blog. We will also post these reports on our FFEU Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Foundation-For-Ethnic-Understanding-FFEU/166163316772349
In addition, we ask you to get the word out on your events in advance by posting them on your own Facebook pages, and by tweeting before, during and after your events at: https://twitter.com/FFEUny Twitter Handle: @FFEUny
In short, we need your help to make this blog into a thing of beauty and an irrefutable testament to the reality that Muslims and Jews are building ties of friendship and trust around the world. Help us to inform our two peoples—and people everywhere–of this important story. Let’s do it together.
Muslim-Jewish Program Director
Foundation for Ethnic Understanding