Tblisis, Georgia

Marine Solomonishvili

Georgia, Muslim-Jewish 5th Annual Weekend of Twinning

contact person: Marine Solomonishvili ,  President of International Foundation LEA&Council of Jewish Women in Georgia  solomonishvili@hotmail.com  )


In Georgia , Marine Solomonishvili ,  President of International Foundation LEA &Council of Jewish Women in Georgia  with partnership different organizationsof Jewish ,Muslim and other ethnic minority was organized a different meetings on 9th , 15th , 16th November,2012   to dedicate Muslim-Jewish  5th Annual Weekend of Twinning , also FFEU, 16 November-International Day for Tolerance, and otherevents.


1.-On 9th November,2012 ,village Kachrety  (Region of Georgia) was held a roundtable to dedicate Muslim-Jewish  5th Annual Weekend of Twinning and  “9 November-Khristalnight” with participation of Jewish ,Muslim and other ethnic minority leaders (place Ambassador Hotel,Kachrety,Georgia ).

The leaders said the importance of working together to promote the key problems for prevention antysemitism, Islamofobya ,diskrymination and other intolerance of ethnic/religious minorities.

Muslim’s women, Leila Mamedova, head of Union of Yang Azerbaijanian’s  said that is important with partnership to Marine Solomonishvili, President of International Foundation LEA&Council of Jewish women in Georgia annually organizing Tbilisi Muslim-Jewish  women’s Twinning .  She also said about Muslim Jewish meeting there were in Paris,there vere a Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, for an evening of storytelling, based on real life experiences.       


2.-On 15th November,2012 in Tbilisi was held a meeting to dedicate Muslim-Jewish  5th Annual Weekend of Twinning and “Tolerance Day” with participation of Jewish ,Muslim and other religious/ethnic minority leaders (place Redison Hotel,Tbilisi ). The conveners of this year’s event, a  Reception of Public Defender of Georgia for rabbis, imams, senior clergy Christians ,community and state leaders are participated on “Tolerance Day”.   The leaders said about role a “Tolerance Day”.

Marine Solomonishvili, said about role a this event for develop the integration process, friendship and intercultural dialogue Jewish with Muslims and other ethnic minorities, especially with partnership a women leaders from different communities.

Marine Solomonishvili said the importance together  selebrating “Tolerance Day” Muslim-Jewish  5th Annual Weekend of Twinning . She also said that in  Georgia the basic religion is orthodox Christian , but  alongside which there are Islam and  Judaism. Church,  Synagogue, Mosque  are together  in heart of old center in Tbilisi and this place was very old tradition of tolerance .


 3. –On 16th November,2012 in Tbilisi was held a meeting to dedicate “Tolerance Day” . The conveners of this year’s event was   Parliament of Georgia with  participation of Jewish ,Muslim and other religious/ethnic minority leaders and state leaders are participated on “Tolerance Day”.    (place Vere Palas Hotel,Tbilisi).



4.-On 16th November,2012  in Tbilisi was held a roundtable “Gender equality “ -Women’s role present and future perspectives “with participation of Georgian, Jewish ,Muslim and other ethnic minority women/girls leaders (place Holidey Inn Hotel,Tbilisi ).

Marine Solomonishvili  also said, more than 1/3 of Georgian population consists of representatives of ethnical minorities, there are more than 20 ethnic minority Communities in Georgia (Jews, Azeri, Armenian, Kurds, Russian, Ukrainian, Assyrian, Germans, Czechs, Polish, Greeks, Estonian, Lithuanian, Roma and etc.), about 60% are women. This period of turbulent Times is difficult in Georgia, especially for socially vulnerable groups, including religious/ethnic minorities and women.

The women noted that it is necessary to improve the joint work for the development of key problems of gender equality in Jewish, Muslim and other communities.


About International Day for Tolerance


16 November-International Day for Tolerance

In 1996, the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November, with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public.


This action followed on the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 at the initiative of UNESCO, as outlined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the Year.


On the day of its fiftieth anniversary, 16 November 1995, UNESCO’s Member States adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Among other things, the Declaration affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.


The Declaration qualifies tolerance not only as a moral duty, but also as a political and legal requirement for individuals, groups and States. It situates tolerance in relation to the international human rights instruments drawn up over the past fifty years and emphasizes that States should draft new legislation when necessary to ensure equality of treatment and of opportunity for all groups and individuals in society.


The 2005 World Summit Outcome document (A/RES/60/1) furthered the commitment of Heads of State and Government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.


Detroit Twinning: Salaam Aleikum/Shalom Aleichem

By Rabbi Dorit Edut
Being welcomed into a mosque from the first moment with “Salaam Aleikum” is not probably an experience that most Jewish people have – nor having Muslims attend a Jewish Sabbath service is also an unusual experience for most of us. Yet this wonderful, peaceful, and spiritually uplifting experience is something that occurred in downtown Detroit on Friday afternoon, Nov. 16 and Saturday morning Nov. 17.   Yes, this actually happened in the midst of the crisis in Israel and Gaza – though it certainly had not been planned or anticipated to be at the same time!
     Members of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and the Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network came to the Friday afternoon services at the Muslim Center of Detroit on W. Davison, and were warmly  greeted both by the congregants before the service and during the service by Imam Abdullah El-Amin who spoke of the good relations being built between our two communities and of the need for men to treat their wives with respect so that they would also be respected in the world.  Women were given scarves to cover their heads and sat in the middle and back of the carpeted sanctuary, while men sat in the front half, only divided by a rope.  All removed their shoes before coming into the sanctuary and were encouraged to wash hands, face, and feet  to insure both bodily and spiritual purity before entering the sanctuary. Two hundred Muslim members of the congregation entered quietly , each one bowing and saying their own prayer silently, while the Imam gave his teaching in English. Then people formed lines standing up and facing the front, listening to the Arabic lines chanted which gave praise to Allah, bowing and prostrating themselves several times, and responding with a few words in Arabic meaning ” God is great!” There were also chairs for those who wanted to sit on the sides or back of the room,too, but most people sat on the comfortable, thick carpets. At the end everyone greeted the others with “Peace be with you – Salaam Aleikum” and then we were invited to partake in a special reception sponsored by a couple that had just had their wedding this past week. “Such a beautiful service!” was the comment of Samantha Wohl of the Downtown Synagogue. Gail Katz, of the interfaith women’s group WISDOM, who has attended other services at mosques, found this to be very nice in that it blended traditional prayers with a modern-day message, and easily and naturally brought people of different backgrounds, ages, and cultures together. Karen Knox, of the Downtown Synagogue, was fascinated by the new Jazz Cafe that the mosque has opened in memory of Walid Muhammad who was a member as well as a famous trombonist with the Dizzie Gillespie band.
        On Shabbat morning the Downtown Synagogue welcomed a small group that came to be part of the services and stayed for the Kiddush Luncheon afterwards. Many questions about Judaism and the service itself were answered afterwards during the friendly conversations over vegetarian lasagne, split pea soup, and blueberry pie that synagogue members had prepared for lunch.
        We hope to have more opportunities to do things together,especially for the good of our city, and learn about each other’s traditions in the coming months. We hope that this peaceful gathering will serve as a model to others in the rest of our world who think that Jews and Muslims cannot get along.

Twinning in Toronto

Toronto — Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims (CAJM)

The November 2012 Weekend of Twinning took place in painful circumstances when many Muslims and Jews were deeply affected by the bloodshed of children, women and men in Gaza, and the ongoing missile attacks and escalation of fear in Israel.

Despite the tense climate due to events in the Middle East, Canadian Jews and Muslims made a valiant effort to continue to work together focusing on the mutual desire of the two communities to present a model of cooperation for Canada and the rest of the world.

A number of mosques and synagogues jointly participated to promote harmony and positive interaction between their congregations, and to strengthen their commitment to fight antisemitism and Islamophobia together.

The Noor Cultural Centre invited Temple Emanu-el congregants and others on Friday  to attend the Juma prayers; and Temple Emanu-el invited Noor to attend Shabbat services and participate in text study. Then Sunday, November 18th, to culminate the Weekend of Twinning,  Noor hosted all participating groups from across the city to attend a lecture by Prof. Benjamin Berger, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University on the topic of “A Garden of Legality? Religious Pluralism in Canada and the Problem of Law”  The lecture and subsequent discussion explored the relationship between the rule of law and legal pluralism, between secularism and the lives of Jewish, Muslim and other religious communities, and the way in which Canadian law has managed minority legal systems.

The CAJM promoted other Twinning events throughout November. On Sunday, November 4th, members of Darchei Noam and Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Congregations got together with members of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto to study texts about the life of Moses/Musa. The study sessions were led by Imam Badat of the Islamic Foundation  and Rabbi Grimberg of Darchei Noam.

The participants shared learning and knowledge with each other, with a focus
on the approach to interpretation of sacred text in the Jewishand Muslim traditions.  This event has become an ongoing  opportunity to continue Jewish Muslim fellowship with friends  made over the past years of twinning, with the study session allowing for meaningful discussion and interaction.

The Twinning activities in the Greater Toronto Area included a Women’s Interfaith Panel organized in Brampton where Dr. Karen Mock, former National Director of the League for Human Rights of  B’nai Brith  Canada and a founding member of the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims, took part in the panel discussion on “Leaders of my Faith – Role Models for our time.”

Members of the Jewish and Muslim communities in Toronto also came together to take part in “Jews and Muslims Feeding the Hungry”. The response from both communities was heart warming.  The organizers had to divide the overflow of enthusiastic volunteers in two shifts to accommodate all who wanted to be a part of jointly serving the “less fortunate”.

The CAJM plans to build on the Weekend of Twinning and use it as a catalyst for diversifying into other areas of cooperation.  While the dialogue, discussions and faith based conversations are truly inspiring and helpful in bringing our communities together, CAJM intends to expand on the Twinning program to more directly impact the community in which Jews and Muslims live together. These areas may include but will not be limited to arranging photo and art exhibitions, food drives, film and music festivals, joint authorships and creation of common physical spaces where Jews and Muslims can interact, communicate, reflect and pray together.

CAJM plans to start working on 2013 Weekend of Twinning as early as possible, with an increased emphasis on continuing to engage Jewish and Muslim youth and university students to help us reach a wider audience through social media and relevant ongoing programming, in order to make the coming year an unprecedented success.

Detroit: Reflections on shooting hoops, forming friendships, and Muslims and Jews healing Detroit.


Fellow Jewish and Muslim Detroiters came together last Saturday,
November 17th, for a friendly game of basketball.  Teams were mixed
while we had a series of pickup games at the HYPE Recreation Center in
Dearborn Heights, Michigan.  At the same time, players stood on the
sidelines introducing themselves and exchanging business cards.  After
about 6 games, the players went to the cafeteria for a snack and
talked about way to better help Detroit.

One individual, Salman Ali, spoke of a new organization called iCAN
(Indus Community Action Network), and their ongoing effort of
rebuilding homes in Detroit.  He offered that this would be great way
to bring the two communities together in the future.  The group is now
planning to meet early next year to help with this project.

“What else is something that brings everyone together in an informal
way where everyone is an equal?,” Said Detroiter Justin Jacbos, who
founded the sports league organization Come Play Detroit.  “We wanted
to show that while we are all tied to our backgrounds, we all have our
own interest and we’re all passionate about Detroit.”


Check out the press on this great event: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121117/METRO01/211170372/1361/Young-Jewish–Muslim-professionals-team-up-to-better-Detroit

A Reflection from Esmond Rosen of the Jewish Volunteering Network on Muju’s “24 Hours Later” play in honor of the Weekend of Twinning

Esmond Rosen, Regional Development Manager of the London-based Jewish Volunteering Network on the Mu Ju Crew performance

You appear to be going from Strength to Strength and Shekayach on your current international achievements and we hope in our limited way to support (y)our aims and objectives.

Just to report back, that I had the privilege of attending The Muju presentation “24 hours later” on Monday evening produced as part of the FFEU Weekend of Twining and its theme of Hunger & Poverty.

The mixed Jewish and Muslim cast were introduced to the audience as having scripted together over the previous 24 hours performing acts depicting both religious and cultural reactions to the issues of poverty and fundraising, having previously been given an explanation of both the aims and the values of the FFEU. This provided me with an opportunity in the Q/A afterwards to provide a further brief explanation of the Foundation and its objectives.

The workshop skilfully conveyed a few highly amusing sketches of different family reactions to poverty, and its relief, issues of research funding with its changing criteria of potential donors to suit fashion or events, a charity collectors ability to change his dialogue to suitparticular clients and finally a Muslim grandparent being introduced to her final aged caring home.

All acts provided interesting points to challenge stereotypes and myths surrounding the thematic issues which was warmly appreciated by the small but appreciative audience.


Muju is a unique and wonderful example of the power of what drama can achieve to encourage debate and discussion by tackling difficult issues with sensitivity and humour whilst communicating ideas and thoughts especially to young people. Unfortunately and this is not a direct call for funds, Muju has limited capacity to develop beyond its current scope of performing one off short productions a few times a year and its touring facilities particularly to students, communities and schools are almost non existent.

They are fortunate to have access via the Tricycle Theatre to rehearsal and performance space but no further ability to develop.


Best Wishes and Much Success with the Weekend of Twinning,



Tripartite Twinning Event in Atlanta northern suburbs

Congregation Or Hadash of Sandy Springs, GA, the North Fulton Islamic Center and the Sandy Springs Christian Church took part in an event entitled “Three Faiths, One Table” that took place on Sunday Nov 4 at 5 PM at the Sandy Springs Christian Church. Rabbi Analia Bortz of Congregation Or Hadash sent the following account:

Over 200 people participated in the celebratory event at which members of the three congregations explained the different rituals, traditions and foods that characterize Jewish, Muslim and Christian sacred occasions. Participants sang together, shared the Maghrib Muslim prayer time as well as the Jewish Ma’ariv prayer, before blessing the meals and eating dinner together. It was beautiful!



From left to right Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz, Imam Dr. Moiz Mumtar & his wife, Rabbi Ellen Nemhauser at the Three Faiths, One Table event on Sunday November 4 2012 at the Sandy Springs Christian Church.


Muslims and Jews from the U.S. to Pakistan, from Germany to Morocco and countries in between will kick off the Weekend of Twinning on Sunday, November 11 by taking part in a Virtual Twinning event entitled From Strangers to Friends: Bringing Muslims and Jews Together Around the World.


 Co-sponsored by FFEU and the Global Muslim-Jewish Friendship Forum (GMJFF), an on-line global community of young Muslims and Jews in their 20’s and 30’s, the Virtual Twinning will allow Muslims and Jews in far-flung countries to connect with each other from the comfort of their own homes via a secure computer hookup. Participants in the Virtual Twinning will watch a short film on the dangers of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and take part in a moderated discussion on how to realize the long-term objectives of FFEU and GMJFF to build a global movement of Muslims and Jews committed to communication, reconciliation and cooperation.


The Virtual Twinning, which has been a key facet of the Weekend of Twinning since 2010, is a vivid demonstration of how 21st Century technology allows members of our two communities to connect with each other and build ties of friendship and trust across great distances, ideological chasms and sealed borders. Please see below the announcement of the Virtual Twinning by the GMJFF, which includes information on how people interested in participating in the event can sign up for i:.



Please Join us for a virtual film screening and discussion as part of the annual Weekend of Twinning under the auspices of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and moderated by GMJFF team members. We will look at social and political issues such as anti-religious sentiment and xenophobia that deeply impact both communities and how we can unite our efforts to combat hatred and discrimination.

When: Sunday, November 11th

We will be holding three sessions.
Session 1: 7am WST/10am EST/4pm Germany/8pm Pakistan

Session 2: 9am WST/12pm EST/6pm Germany/10pm Pakistan

Session 3: 11am WST/2pm EST/8pm Germany/midnight Pakistan

Each session is capped at 9 people.

Where: Your computer! We will be using Google hangout for this event.

RSVP: Tickets are free, but you MUST register for one of the sessions. Click on one of the links below to register:

Session 1: http://gmjffwot.eventbrite.com/#

Session 2: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4768521777#

Session 3: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4768581957#

Atlanta Muslim and Jewish Feeding the Hungry Event

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/359056287518239/

Together with the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, AJC ACCESS Atlanta, Children of Abraham–Emory, and Open Jewish Project we will meet at The Temple for an in depth discussion and brief video prepared by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) on the common moral imperative in both Islam and Judaism to feed the hungry and help those most in need. It will also be a chance to socialize and build personal and communal ties between members of the Atlanta Muslim and Jewish communities.

PLEASE bring a few canned goods which we will donate to a local food drive!Weekend of Twinning: Organized by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding in cooperation with the Islamic Society of North America and major Jewish and Muslim organizations around the world, the Weekend of Twinning is an initiative in which synagogues, mosques, and Muslim and Jewish young leadership groups form partnerships and hold joint programs with the goal of building ties of communication, reconciliation, and cooperation between Muslims and Jews.


The MuJu Crew, a pioneering Muslim-Jewish theatre troupe in London, will present a play entitled “48 Hours Later” on Monday night November 12 dedicated to the Weekend of Twinning. The play, which focuses on the issue of poverty, will be created during a whirlwind creative process beginning Saturday evening November 10 and culiminating in its debut perfomance on Monday evening November 12 (hence its name) at the Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road Kilburn, London.   See MuJu Crew web site below for details: