Joining Schneier and Abu Namous are imams and rabbis from 11 major cities around the US, including Dallas, Baltimore, Dearborn, Boston, and Los Angeles.
Participants will start out the day with a workshop entitled Discovering Commonalities in Rituals, Customs and Culture during which they will discuss their relationship as Americans, and as Jews and Muslims.
Other workshop sessions include How Can American Jews and Muslims Act as Allies in Times of Crisis?; and Creating a Common Agenda: Potential Areas of Cooperation between Synagogues and Mosques in Cities across America a session during which poverty effecting Jews and Muslims, as well as campus activism will be discussed.
“Whether Jewish or Muslim, we are all American. There is a value system and culture that we share – these must be embraced and nurtured,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the FFEU. “We must stop being distracted by political hotbed issues that divide us in the Middle East and learn to relate to each other within the context of being an American.”
Inspiring new ways of thinking
Experts from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the Muslim Consultative Network, and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, as well as many other organizations will lead workshops in their fields to form a cohesive platform that embraces understanding and respect. This radical approach to the conversation is meant to inspire a new way of thinking about peace for Jewish/Muslim leaders in the Middle East and in America.
“Now is the time to move forward and look beyond our difference,” said Imam Omar Abu Namous, co-host of the summit and spiritual leader of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York City. “Both Islam and Judaism are deeply rooted in peace. Inshallah, we shall live to see the day.”
The National Summit with conclude with a dinner featuring remarks by Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, an active member of the American Jewish Community. Both Congressmen are part of the Congressional anti-Semitism task force.