In this op-ed for Religion News Service, Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin talks about attending the recent “Jews and Muslims in America” conference which was sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute and featured the Muslim Leadership Initiative. According to the rabbi, there were 62 speakers and about 500 attendees of all ages (including high-school students) – comprising Jews, Muslims, and “at least one Christian;)”
Here’s what the rabbi says he learned from the conference:
“It’s not only how Jews and Muslims can learn each other’s traditions and theology, which is always the first step in an interfaith dialogue (the Kumbaya moments). It’s not only how Jews and Muslims can talk about Israel and Palestine together, and understand each other’s narratives – which is beyond Kumbaya. And it is not only how both American Muslims and American Jews feel threatened as a result of the waves of hatred that are now passing across America – and make no mistake about it: Muslims are feeling very vulnerable now. Especially now.
The next stage of Jewish-Muslim dialogue: American Jews and American Muslims learn from each other, and teach each other: how do we stand up for our cultures in America? That is the biggest question.”