Members of New Jersey State Senate and House Sign Pledge Vowing to Stand Up for Each Other

In an unprecedented action, scores of members of the New Jersey State Senate and State Assembly took the Stand Up for the Other Pledge on December 20. The Pledge, sponsored by the New Jersey Interfaith Coalition (NJIC), and developed by NJIC founder Dr. Ali Chaudry, also president of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge and co-chair of the New Jersey Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, reads: “While interacting with members of my own faith, ethnic or gender 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.”

The New Jersey Interfaith Coalition developed the Stand Up for the Other pledge in response to efforts by FFEU to bring Jews, Muslims and members of other faith groups together during Season of Twinning events in 2015 and 2016. On November 1, Muslim, Jewish and other students–as well as faith leaders from around thre state–came together at Rutgers University to vow to stand up for each other if any community is unfairly attacked–regardless of the results of the Presidential election.
According to State Senator Raymond Lesniak, who took part in the two twinning events and took the lead in pressing members of the Senate and the Assembly to come together to sign the pledge in unison “We are proud that the State Legislature of New Jersey is the first in the world that has stepped forward to say that each of us is responsible to speak out against bigotry wherever we find it. Added State Sen. Linda Greenstein, who also took part in the twinning events; “This is about standing up and doing the right thing, in order to make the world a better place.”
According to Walter Ruby, “Kudos to our dear friend Ali Chaudry for initiatng this Pledge and congratulations to all of members of the New Jersey Senate and Legislature–both Republicans and Democrats–who chose to stand up against bigotry at a crucial moment. We will now work to get legislators from states across the country to follow New Jersey’s enlightened example.”

Dec 19 4th Edition of SOT in Tunisia


On the 19th of December FFEU and L’Association Tunisienne de Soutien des Minorités, Tunisian organization supporting minorities hosted the 4th edition of the Season of Twinning in Tunis. The theme of the event was Jewish memory with the screening of the documentary on Muslims and Jews and the presentation of the book of Professor Allagui on Jews and Muslims in Tunisia. This event was organized for the commemoration of the deportation of Tunisian Jews from Tunisia on 1942, 9th of December.

The president of the Jewish community René Trabelsi and His Excellency the french ambassador in Tunisia Mr. Poivre d’Arvor were present. More than 100 people were present throughout the afternoon.


Dec 17 Mosque Al Khalil’s Interfaith Dinner in Brussels

FFEU European Director Samia Hathroubi attended the Mosque Al Khalil’s interfaith dinner which hosted more than 200 people from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities. The Mosque Al Khalil gathered a very unique range of interfaith movements for a popular and friendly moment.

FFEU is very pleased to be part of this network of change makers in Molenbeek in Brussels and is much looking forward to continuing its efforts.


JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY “In the Trump era, imams and rabbis seek a common strategy to counter anti-Muslim hostility”


JTA covers the 3rd Summit of Greater Washington Imams and Rabbis and mentions FFEU Muslim-Jewish Programs Director Walter Ruby:

“Walter Ruby, FFEU Muslim-Jewish program director for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding was a keynote speaker of the 3rd Summit of Greater Washington Imams and Rabbis. He said that a 10-person steering committee would be chosen from those attending the meeting.”

Read more on JTA


FFEU European Director Samia Hathroubi Participates in Side Event During OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg

HAMBURG, Germany, 8 December 2016 – Youth participation and youth mainstreaming in security were in focus at a side event co-organized today on the margins of the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Spain and the OSCE Chairmanship’s three Special Representatives on Youth and Security. Taking part were many youth activists from civil society and OSCE youth focal points.

FFEU European Director Samia Hathroubi reflected on the need to empower young people in order to make them agents of change for today’s challenges. She called for a change of paradigm and advocated for regarding youth as part of the solution rather than a threat.

Please see OSCE article for more information!


More than 100 imams, rabbis and Muslim and Jewish leaders came together on Sunday December 11 to vow to stand up for each other of either community is demonized or discriminated against by either private citizens or by governmental action.

The occasion for this outpouring of mutual support was the 3rd Annual Summit of Washington Area Imams and Rabbis at Congregation Tifereth Israel in northwest Washington. The event was organized by FFEU, Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum, Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society of Washington and Interfaith Action for Human Rights.

During the discussion, many Muslim participants said that they or their loved ones have experienced harassment or threats of violence in the weeks since the November 8 election. A Summit Steering Committee was set up under the aegis of the Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum to implement ideas discussed at the Summit for strengthening Muslim-Jewish relations in the threatening environment that now exists. These ideas include encouraging Jews to gather outside area mosques during Friday prayers to hold up signs and shout slogans declaring their solidarity with Muslim worshippers, and for Muslims to do the same outside synagogues during Shabbat worship services. In addition the Summit will encourage more area mosques and synagogues to implement one-on-one twinning relationships and seek to strengthen youth involvement in Muslim-Jewish relations.

According to FFEU Muslim-Jewish Program Director, Walter Ruby, who addressed the Summit; “It is so important that during this time of fear and uncertainity that we redouble and accelerate our ongoing efforts to build ties of communication and cooperation between Muslims and Jews.. People in both communities need to know that we will stand united against any efforts to hurt either of our communities—or any other faith or ethnic community.


Walter Ruby addresses the Summit. Seated behind him are (l-r) Ari Roth, Artistic Director of the Mosaic Theater and Ahmad Kamal, an actor in the theater. The Mosaic Theater performed a scene from a play entitled Mosque Alert at the Summit.


Participants in the Summit


(l-r) Sabir Rahman, executive director of Muslim Community Center, Bahijah Abdus-Salaam, Masjid Muhammad, Rabbi Ethan Seidel, Tifereth Israel Congregation lead a discussion at the Summit as to how to strengthen Muslim-Jewish relations in the wake of the election.


Robert Marro (center), a Member of the Board of the ADAMS Cente (All-Dulles Area Muslim Society) makes a point during the discussion as Muslim and Jewish participants listen

Muslim and Jewish Women Come Together for Twinning Event in London

Sunday December 11th our European Director, Samia Hathroubi, was among 30 Jewish and Muslim women and leaders from different parts of the country who came together in London. They discussed, shared, laughed, ate awesome food food together. Afterwards they walked around the Westminster area with a superb tour guide who highlighted women throughout London history.

Co-chaired by Laura Marks and Julie Siddiqi from the Nisa-Nashim Network, superb example of Muslim-Jewish cooperation and friendship.


‘COEXISTER’ Conference with FFEU European Director Samia Hathroubi

Our European director, Samia Hathroubi, held a public conference on December 8th co-hosted by the Parisian chapter of ‘Coexister’ the youth lead movement for the season of Twinning in Paris.

In front of a full packed venue, she presented a personal and professional view of Muslim-Jewish dialogue and cooperation in France and around the world.
She presented at length the projects and efforts of organizations struggling for better understanding, cooperation and inclusive societies.




FFEU Muslim-Jewish Program Director Walter Ruby took part in two Season of Twinning events in the Chicago area on December 3. The first event was the fifth annual ‘Preparing Food for Hungry and Homeless People Temple Beth Shalom in Naperville, IL, a suburb west of Chicago, featuring volunteers from Temple Beth Shalom,the  Islamic Center of Naperville and Muslims Against Hunger, a national ‘feeding the hungry’ campaign headed by FFEU’s longtime friend and partner Zamir Hassan.
Later, Zamir Hassan and Walter Ruby travelled to The Mosque Cares in East Hazel Crest, just south of Chicago to take part in a public discussion on Muslim-Jewish relations with Imam Wallace Muhammad, the head of The Mosque Cares movement, with which scores of African-American mosques across the the U.S. are affiliated. Also taking part in the discussion at the Mosque Cares  was Brian Zakem a board member of Temple B’nai Yehuda Beth Shalom in Homewood, IL and the Southwest Interfaith Team (SWIFT), a network of mosques, synagogues and churches in Chicago’s southwest suburbs.

Memebers of Temple Beth Shalom, Islamic Center of Naperville and Muslims Against Hunger gather for 5th Annual Preparing Food for the Hungry Twinning event in Napperville, IL near Chicago. (l-r) Rabbi Mark Rudolph, Temple Beth Shalom, Walter Ruby, FFEU Muslim-Jewish Program Director, Julie Glenn, member Temple Beth Shalom, Zamir Hassan, founder and director of Muslims Against Hunger


Members of the audience listen to presentation by Walter Ruby, Zamir Hassan, Imam Wallace Muhammad and Brian Zakem