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Judaism

Protecting the Earth Through Interfaith Education and Activism

Protecting the Earth Through Interfaith Education and Activism

by Yonatan Neril

The Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison tells the following story: A young girl with a bird in her hands went to a wise person. The child asked the wise person, “Is the bird in my hands alive or dead?”

Interfaith Holiday Books for Kids

Interfaith Holiday Books for Kids

by Vicki Garlock

There are plenty of kids’ books out there for most of these holidays, but as the number of interfaith and multicultural families rises, so does the need for books that explore multiple traditions. 

7 Myths About Raising Interfaith Kids

7 Myths About Raising Interfaith Kids

by Susan Katz Miller

This time of year, many interfaith families are preparing to feast on latkes, light Hanukkah candles at the Thanksgiving table, and then move on to making Christmas cookies. But beyond holiday celebrations, is it a good idea to raise kids in two religions?

True Grit: A Profile of Marium Mohuiddin

True Grit: A Profile of Marium Mohuiddin

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

You can understand the power of one individual to make a difference when you meet 39 year-old Marium Mohuiddin – feisty, independent, and articulate – proud to be a Muslim and not afraid to take on the big issues of our times.

Teaching the Divine Feminine

Teaching the Divine Feminine

by Vicki Garlock

The recent celebration of Purim – one of the most entertaining holy days in Jewish culture – provides an opportunity to reflect on the ever-present, but somewhat elusive nature of the divine feminine. Queen Esther, the heroine of Purim, is never described in terms of divinity, but her role in the miraculous deliverance of her people...

Interfaith Perspectives on Food and Fasting

Interfaith Perspectives on Food and Fasting

from the Center of Christian-Muslim Relations of Sydney

“Similar to fasting and abstinence, communal meals play an important seasonal role in the life of the Melkite, that is Greek-Catholic, Church. As a practicing Melkite, my church community often celebrates together with meals on the church grounds, particularly on feast days ... 

They Found Faith in Interfaith Lives

They Found Faith in Interfaith Lives

by Lucy Gellman

Sitting in a drafty, castle-like Presbyterian church on Easter Sunday with my partner’s family, I could feel anxiety bubbling up with each hymn I didn’t know. Around us, the white walls of his church stretched out toward the ceiling like long, sinister fingers. The organ struck a round note. A light wind pressed at the side door, rattling its heavy handles.

Burkini Bans, Muslim 'Hygiene,' and the History of the Holocaust

Burkini Bans, Muslim 'Hygiene,' and the History of the Holocaust

by Anya Cordell

There are a lot of issues associated with swimsuits; ask any woman. But the newest is hysteria over what some Muslim women are wearing; too much fabric, beyond that required to barely cover genitals, buttocks, and bits of breasts. Teeny bikinis on women, (and speedos for men), are fine. On some beaches in the world, nudity is fine.

The Remarkable Interfaith Significance of Alexander the Great

The Remarkable Interfaith Significance of Alexander the Great

by Henry Karlson

Interfaith dialogue is a constant element of any religious faith. Such dialogue, however, tends not to be on the level of the dogmatic teachings of the different faiths but on practical matters, such as questions concerning the morality or immorality of particular actions or on the way communities as a whole understand shared historical experiences.

What We Can Learn from the Same-Sex Seating Controversy

What We Can Learn from the Same-Sex Seating Controversy
A recent New York Times story on the tension caused when Orthodox Jewish men request same-sex seating on airlines for religious reasons generated over 3,000 reader responses. The scenario as described in the story generally unfolds something like this: the individual reaches his assigned seat and finds that the seat next to him is occupied by a woman. He shifts uncomfortably in the aisle until the flight attendant or an alert passenger recognizes what’s going on and asks the woman to switch seats with a male so the Orthodox Jew may have his religious views accommodated. Often the woman is offended; sometimes she refuses to move. This has made for many challenging situations and some flight delays.

Countering Islamophobia: A Jewish Testimony

In the summer of 2010, as the American midterm election season was heating up, one of the most controversial subjects of debate was the planned construction of an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan. Misleadingly dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” it became the focus of an ugly campaign to impugn the motives of those behind the Park 51 project, especially Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Islamophobic hysteria, playing on the pain of 9/11, was generated by the project’s critics as part of a calculated strategy to scare voters into voting for right-wing candidates in the November elections. This political aim was confirmed when the propaganda campaign was abruptly terminated following Election Day.

Finding Light in the Darkness

The best of music and theater transport us somewhere outside our own particular time and place, even beyond our own cultural and religious coordinates. By allowing us outside our own boundaries, they offer a chance for fresh insight and inspiration. Susan Stein’s one-woman play “Etty,” directed by Austin Pendleton, does just that. In this Amnesty International Award nominated play, actress Stein introduces us to a most remarkable and spiritually inquisitive young Dutch Jewish woman of the early 1940s. Drawn entirely from the dairies and letters of Etty Hillesum, we experience a remarkable kind of theater-as-time-travel.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Jerusalem

Thanksgiving comes to Jerusalem, and I am beside myself with preparations for the feast. Onions sizzle, garlic roasts, chickens brine, and cranberries boil. The windows steam with contented warmth, and aromas crowd around the doorframes. A pan sizzles with crisping chicken skin, a soup bubbles slowly as vegetables melt into the broth. I am in heaven.

Navigating Life as Second-Generation Americans

I’m the daughter of second-generation Americans (SGAs). My four grandparents immigrated to the United States in the early twentieth century to escape desperate economic conditions and the grinding anti-Semitism they faced as Jews in Eastern Europe. Each settled in the Midwest United States and eventually in Omaha, Nebraska, where there was and remains a small but vibrant Jewish community.

Peace in Middle East Will Come Only with Help from All of God’s People, says Yehezkel Landau

PULASKI, Tennessee – There will be peace in Israel and Palestine, Professor Yehezkel Landau – founder of a joint Jewish-Palestinian-Christian peace initiative in Israel – told a small group of Middle Tennessee religious leaders during the first evening of a three-day conference, Our Muslim Neighbor Initiative. But religious leaders must be part of building that peace.

Will We Become a Nation of Hybrids?

My traveling companions on the train from Rome to Milan were two extremely good-looking young couples in their late 20s and early 30s – two sisters and their husbands – on their way back home to New Jersey after a ten-day impulsive Italian vacation. They had stumbled on a travel deal too good to pass up: round trip tickets on the Emirates Airlines from New York to Milan for $480.

A Prayer in the Beginning

Last week I was in a Moroccan restaurant in Seattle and had a unique experience: The very nice Palestinian man who ran the restaurant started speaking to me in his Shammi (Eastern) Arabic, and I responded in my good Moroccan Darija over mint tea and cookies. He was shocked to hear a non-Arab speak Arabic in a proper dialect, and when I told him I was Russian he said “No, no it can’t be! Arab blood runs in your veins!”

Faith Voices Unite Against Gun Violence

August was a month full of social strife and tension: global conflicts seemed to reach an apex, while hope in the possibility for peace was at a new low. At moments like these, it can be difficult to find outlets that guide us through the crises. The tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri turned the public’s gaze toward the weighty conversation of gun violence and racial relations. Yet within these challenges there are voices of hope. Religious traditions can be reservoirs of inspiration. It is in these voices of faith that we hear values that help to bridge the deep divisions of the world.

All People Are Chosen, All Lands Are Holy

Instead of Splitting the World in Two

The Secret Power of Interfaith Encounters

Finding Yourself in the Other