Muslims and Jews around the world commit to Stand Up For Each Other and declare: We Refuse To Be Enemies

Join Thousands around the Globe during the 2015 Season of Twinning:

Please send your Twinning event detailed programs at ffeu@ffeu.org so that we can post them on this blog. Once your event has been organized, feel free also to send your pictures, testimonies and videos to ffeu@ffeu.org. We will share that information on our social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs…). Thank for you joining the Season of Twinning movement, and let’s show the world that Muslims and Jews Refuse to Be Enemies!

SHNH

In the face of escalating sectarian violence and increasing expressions of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry across North America, Europe and around the world, thousands of Muslims and Jews will be coming together in scores of cities around the globe to declare: We Refuse to Be Enemies.

We Refuse to be Enemies is the theme of the 8th Annual Season of Twinning, which every November and December brings together Muslims and Jews – and people of other faiths as well – to hold joint events focused on educating communities about one other, working together on behalf of people in need and standing together against bigotry.

The Season of Twinning officially kicks-off on Sunday, November 1 with an Interfaith rally in Trenton, NJ, to be followed by events in Washington, New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Brussels, Tel Aviv Rabat, Morocco, and scores of other cities in nearly 20 countries around the world.  There have already been several events associated with the Season of Twinning over the past several weeks, including an inspiring Interfaith Peace Walk in Melbourne, Australia and a Surfers for Peace aquatic manifestation by Jewish and Muslim surfers off the beach in Biarritz, France.

The Season of Twinning was initiated in 2008 by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) – a New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to building a global movement of Muslims and Jews focused on strengthening ties between our communities.

“In the face of multiple crises now roiling Muslims and Jews in the Middle East and around the world and of increasing efforts by demagogues and extremists to incite our communities against each other, it is more critical than ever that Muslims and Jews come out in public to say ‘We Refuse to Be Enemies,’” said FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier. “We can agree to disagree respectfully on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while resolving to build ties of communication and cooperation for the betterment of both communities and the larger communities in which we live side by side.”

Notable activities taking place around the world during the Season of Twinning include:

  • Trenton, NJ, November 1: Standing up for Each Other rally sponsored by FFEU’s New Jersey Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee. Members of synagogues, mosques and Muslim and Jewish student groups will join together with New Jersey political leaders.
  • Washington, DC, November 5: Spread Hummus Not Hate. Twelve Muslim and Jewish activists will travel through Greater Washington, with stops including the University of Maryland, mosques, synagogues and Farragut Square Park, to share the message “We Refuse to be Enemies” with all the people they meet along the way.
  • Winnipeg, Canada, November 5: Muslim-Jewish Conversation Café screening of BESA: The Promise for Muslim and Jewish university students.
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 8: We Refuse to be Enemies. A gathering to advocate  dialogue and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians and Jews and Arabs in Brazil.
  • Queens, New York, November 11: A conference at Queens College entitled Muslims, Jews and Catholics Confront Climate Change to praise Pope Francis’ moral leadership on the climate change and strategize how faith communities can work together to express a voice of conscience on one of the overriding moral issues of our time.
  • Amsterdam, November 15: A Friendship Walk from the Al-Kabir Mosque to the Gerard Dou Street Synagogue
  • Manchester, UK, November 15: We Refuse to Be Enemies event organized by Muslim-Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester to be held at Bury Town Hall with support of Bury Council. A separate twinning event is planned for Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • Paris, November 15: We Refuse to Be Enemies event with the Neuilly Synagogue, the Jewish Community Center and Puteaux Mosque.
  • London, November 17: The Barnet Multi-Faith Forum will sponsor Welcome the Stranger, to express solidarity with newly arrived refugees from Syria and other war-torn lands.
  • Detroit, November 19: The Greater Detroit Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee will host a We Refuse to be Enemies event at Wayne State University with prizes for Muslim and Jewish teens who took part in a literary contest focused on reaching out to each other.
  • New York, November 22: We Refuse to Be Enemies event at the Brotherhood Synagogue in Manhattan featuring FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier, Imam Shamsi Ali and other key NYC Muslim and Jewish leaders.
  • Washington, DC, November 22: Summit of Washington Area Rabbis and Imams at the IMAAM Center in Silver Spring to develop a common agenda for relationship building and social action by mosques and synagogues.
  • Malmo, Sweden, November 22: In a city racked by anti-Semitic violence and tensions between our two communities, Malmo’s Muslim-Jewish Partnership will sponsor an event focused on peace and reconciliation.
  • Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel November 23: Interfaith Zikur (Sufi-based) ceremony and celebration of Muslim-Jewish-Christian unity for Israelis and Palestinians at the Neve Schechter Legacy Heritage Center for Jewish Culture. Sponsored by Orchard of Abraham’s Children.
  • Toronto November 27: A major We Refuse to Be Enemies celebration bringing together Muslims and Jews at the Holy Blossom Temple.
  • Calais, France, November 27:  Rally and fund-raising in support of migrants by Muslim and Jewish activists and the Tzedakah/Sedaka Project for Migrants.
  • Copenhagen, December 3-5: A conference of Salaam-Shalom groups from Denmark, Sweden, and Germany to discuss strategies for strengthening Muslim-Jewish cooperation in Europe amidst ongoing violence in the Middle East.
  • Chicago, December 6: Feeding the Hungry event organized with Muslims Against Hunger, Chicago Chapter and Beth Shalom Synagogue in Naperville to bring food to residents of a homeless shelter in nearby Aurora.
  • Los Angeles, December 6: We Refuse to be Enemies celebration at the Iman Cultural Center sponsored by the SoCal Muslim-Jewish Forum. Featuring Muslim and Jewish music, a pre-Chanukah candle lighting, and a joint prayer event led by Two Faiths, One Prayer.
  • Princeton NJ, December 6: 2nd Annual Conference of Sisterhood of Salaam-Shalom (SOSS). Several hundred Jewish and Muslim women from 16 SOSS chapters across the U.S. will come together at Princeton University for all-day conference on the role of women in affecting reconciliation between our two communities.
  • Brussels, Belgium, December 8: We Refuse to be Enemies Rally outside the European Parliament followed by press conference and reception. Partners and participants include A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe (CEJI), European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Member of the European Parliament Afzal Khan, among others.

Additional We Refuse to Be Enemies events with dates soon to be announced include Atlanta, Houston, Montreal, Berlin, Vienna, Krakow and Warsaw,  Florence and Wellington, New Zealand. In mid-December, FFEU and the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, a national coalition of faith groups against Islamophobia, will co-sponsor a major Interfaith We Refuse to Be Enemies event at the Islamic Center of Irving, TX, a place where the mayor has falsely claimed local Muslims are trying to establish Sharia law. Also in mid-December, FFEU will co-sponsor a Muslim and Jewish Women’s Interfaith lunch in Rabat, Morocco under the patronage of King Mohammed VI.

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding is encouraging participants in this year’s Season of Twinning to join the movement against bigotry by forming local Muslim-Jewish Solidarity committees and by signing a pledge: “While interacting with members of my own faith or ethnic community, or with others, if I hear hateful comments from anyone about members of any other community, I pledge to stand up for the other and challenge bigotry in any form.”

To find out more about events happening throughout this year’s Season of Twinning, visit: (www.ffeu.org and http://www.ffeu.wordpress.com). Follow the conversation on Twitter at #WeRefuseToBeEnemies and #Tw15nning.

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The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting racial harmony and strengthening inter-group relations. It was formed to promote understanding and cooperation between and among ethnic groups and to reduce the existing tensions among diverse racial and ethnic communities.

 

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