President Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt led a delegation of senior rabbis to discuss interfaith in the Tunisian island of Djerba, following an invitation from the Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi and Tourism Minister Salma Elloumi.
The delegation also met with senior government officials, Tunisia’s Mufti Usman Battykh, and other Muslim leaders.
They also visited Jewish sites of interest in both Djerba and Tunisia, including synagogues and cemeteries.
Commenting on the importance of interfaith dialogue, Rabbi Goldschmidt said: “The internet destroys the walls between countries, religions, different layers of society. Much more needs to them be done to establish other channels of communication and bring together religious leaders internationally. We need to establish a dialogue between Muslims and Jews. And our visit to Tunisia is proof that the Muslim community is also prioritizing this.”
CAIRO – 7 May 2018: Al Azhar Fatwa Global Center in coordination with Al Azhar Translation Center will organize on Tuesday an expanded workshop for Egyptian university students to encourage interfaith dialogue.
The workshop, to be held under the theme “Youth and Religious Institutions .. Listen before you Talk” will take place at Al Azhar Center for Conferences under the aegis of Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el Tayyeb.
Among officials to attend the opening session are Abbas Shuman, Deputy of Al Azhar and Yousef Amer, Vice President of Al Azhar University and General Supervisor of Al Azhar Fatwa Global Center.
SPRINGFIELD – A scholar in Middle East politics will be featured speaker for a collaboratively presented program on Syria this month at Christ Church Cathedral.
David Mednicoff, director of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, will deliver the main talk for “Keeping Hope Alive: Seven Years of War in Syria” April 29 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, 35 Chestnut St.
The event, similar to one held earlier this month in Northampton, is being presented by the Interfaith Council of Greater Springfield, along with Christ Church Cathedral, the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the Valley Syrian Relief Committee, which is a Western Massachusetts partner of the Washington, D.C.-based Syrian Emergency Task Force.
An “extraordinary” discovery by an eagle-eyed scholar has identified the shadowy outlines of passages from the Bible behind an eighth-century manuscript of the Qur’an – the only recorded palimpsest in which a Christian text has been effaced to make way for the Islamic holy text.
French scholar Dr Eléonore Cellard was looking for images of a palimpsest page sold a decade earlier by Christie’s when she came across the auction house’s latest catalogue, which included fragments from a manuscript of the Qur’an which Christie’s had dated to the eighth century AD, or the second century of Islam. Scrutinising the image, she noticed that, appearing faintly behind the Arabic script, were Coptic letters. She contacted Christie’s, and they managed to identify the Coptic text as coming from the Old Testament’s Book of Deuteronomy – part of the Torah and the Christian Old Testament.
Under the terms of this, the two parties agreed to establish a standing work committee to be headed by the cardinal and Issa.
When it comes to building a diverse interfaith community at 7,000 feet, Rabbi Mindie Snyder of Congregation Lev Shalom in Flagstaff has a secret weapon: the power of friendship.
Snyder credits her friends with helping so many firsts come true for her community, especially last weekend, when Munir Shaikh, director of academic affairs and planning at Bayan Claremont, an Islamic graduate school in California, became the first speaker to be hosted by the synagogue and the recently opened Islamic Center of Flagstaff. The visit was also the first partnered event with the Murdoch Community Center, a hub for the local African-American community, and the first planned by Lev Shalom to compare aspects of Judaism and Islam in detail.
“Anything that has come to fruition in recent weeks and days has taken years of work and friendships behind it,” Snyder explained. “People have been thirsty for these kinds of conversations. I was trying to meet the needs of the greater Flagstaff community. Moving our programming around to different places where there were different interests, I thought, would be beneficial for our community, as well as our guests.”
In this season of Yizkor, on the 50th yahrtzeit of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination this month, the heart turns to one of the most iconic photos in American Jewish history. It was taken in Selma, Ala., on a Sunday in 1965, just prior to Martin Luther King’s march to the state capitol in Montgomery. There, at the front of the march, just to the left of King, is a white-bearded man, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who looks nothing less than a prophet, spiritually regal, but lonely, as prophets often were. Well, as regal as they could be after a Hawaiian supporter ran up to them and draped them in bright leis, bringing smiles on a day that was already too tense.
While the issue of economic justice was front and center in the coverage of the anniversary of King’s death, it’s easy to lose sight of the kind of interfaith embrace the photograph captures. Heschel and King, born in very different corners of the world, would eventually cross paths, two prophets who became friends and fellow marchers for justice.
Beloved IRFWP friend and life time associate, Irfan Ahmad Khan ascended to spiritual life on April 3, 2018
We, the family of IRFWP wish to express our great gratitude to Imam Khan for his invaluable contribution to our efforts and achievements, and offer loving prayers and condolences to the family and close friends of Imam.