Muslims and Jews in cities around the world will hold scores of public events during the upcoming Season of Twinning, October 30 – December 18, 2015 in order to express a shared commitment to building ties of friendship and trust and to being there for each other if and when either community is attacked.
These public manifestations of Muslim-Jewish solidarity at a time of increased Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and of growing efforts, sometimes marked by violence and terrorism, to drive our two faith communities apart, will be held under the rubrics Spread Hummus, Not Hate and Ring Around the Synagogue and Mosque. The Season of Twinning, formerly known as the Weekend of Twinning, is an annual event during which mosques and synagogues and Muslim and Jewish student, young leadership and women’s organizations hold joint events together; with the participation of thousands of Muslims and Jews in more than 30 countries around the world.
The Season of Twinning is sponsored by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), a nonprofit that has been working since 2008 to build a global movement of Muslims and Jews committed to communication, reconciliation and cooperation. FFEU’s partners in this year’s Season of Twinning include The Greater Washington Muslim Jewish Forum, The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, Muslims Against Hunger, ISNA, NYCJMSC, Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, NJMJSC, the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims, The Denver and Detroit Muslim Jewish Solidarity committees
“We have decided to encourage participants in the Season of Twinning to hold events emphasizing Muslim-Jewish solidarity so as to directly combat the false narrative that Muslims and Jews are doomed to be adversaries,” said FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier. “The best response to acts of hatred and terrorist violence calculated to drive our two communities apart is to hold public manifestations of the joint commitment of Muslims and Jews to stand together and support each other, as we saw by the FFEU initiated Muslim-Jewish delegation in the Paris Unity march and the Rings Around Synagogues in Copenhagen and Oslo. Indeed, the fates of our two communities are inextricably linked, and it is crucially important that we publicly express that truth as vividly and emphatically as possible.”
Spread Hummus, Not Hate is modeled after a program of the same name held last fall in Washington by the FFEU-affiliated Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum in which 20 Muslim and Jewish activists rode a minibus together to a series of public appearances across Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to express their friendship and solidarity and to share hummus and pita with people of all backgrounds who came out to hear them. Communities that choose to participate in Spread Hummus, Not Hate during the upcoming Season of Twinning, can decide either to travel together by minivan or public transportation to a variety of locations or to hold their events in public settings to which they can march together. It is anticipated that Christian groups in some cities may join with their Jewish and Muslim counterparts in Spread Hummus, Not Hate actions focused on advocating interfaith solidarity and opposing bigotry.
One form of publicly manifesting Muslim-Jewish solidarity is for members of both communities to feed homeless and hungry people together as an expression of the common moral imperative in both Islam and Judaism to help people in need. FFEU will be organizing Muslim-Jewish ‘Feeding the Hungry’ events together with our longtime partner organization, Muslims Against Hunger.
People wishing to take part in Ring Around the Synagogue and Mosque are encouraged to emulate the actions of the inspiring activists in Oslo and Copenhagen, and to offer symbolic protection to a mosque in their community as well as to a synagogue.
As in past years, twinned mosques and synagogues and Muslim and Jewish organizations that take part in the Season of Twinning, are free to choose for themselves the program they wish to hold, which may be a festive, educational or social service event. While many will hold Spread Hummus Not Hate or Ring Around the Mosque/Synagogue events, others may decide to hold other kinds of activities. FFEU will assist organizers with technical needs for your Twinning events and will use its Facebook and social media platforms, as well as print and electronic media outlets to get out the word about Season of Twinning events around the world and to inform participants in the Season of Twinning as to what is taking place in other cities and countries. So please join the Movement in and fill out the FFEU 2015 coordinator form so that we at FFEU can assist you best!