March 8, 2012
Reflections on our Jewish-Muslim Text Study on Immigration
“So many talk about it. JCUA and JMCBI DO it. Bringing the people together and learning about each other’s experiences and traditions is very moving and shows how much we have in common.”
–Ray Grossman, Text Study Participant, February, 2012
Being a stranger in a strange land is an experience that is familiar to Jews and Muslims in the United States. In the text study on Feb. 23, Jews and Muslims gathered at the beautiful Dollop Café to explore what our traditions tell us about immigration. The discussion was facilitated by Imam Abdul-Malik Ryan (the Muslim Chaplain at De Paul University) and Asaf Bar-Tura (Associate Director of Programs at the JCUA and Ph.D. Candidate at Loyola University Chicago).
We began by reflecting on our own connection to immigration in our personal lives and histories. One participant said that though her family had been in the U.S. for three generations, she still caught herself speaking in patterns similar to her grandmother from Europe. Another woman shared that she had grown up in the U.S. with her family’s memories of their homeland, and stepping into her parents’ home is like a trip to Pakistan. We learned that migration is tied to memories, to what was left behind, and passed on from generation to generation.
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December 29, 2011
We are seeking work that explores the theme “New Roots Chicago: Digging our past and branching into our future.” The experiences of nurturing a home, and tensions between uprooting and rerooting in the Chicagoland area will be the key issue for our 2012 annual Jewish/Muslim performing arts event.
Jewish and Muslim poets, singer-songwriters, storytellers, comedians, actors, dancers, bands, visual artists or filmmakers can apply today. We encourage both professional and non-professional artists to apply.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org NOW, but no later than Wednesday, Feb. 1. Include your name, contact information (phone and email), a description of your performance piece, samples of your art (mp3s, links, videos, photos) if possible, and the community (Jewish or Muslim) with which you identify.
CAFE FINJAN 2012
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Columbia College, Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash, Chicago
July 28, 2011
By Jillian Katz
Or Tzedek Participant
On July 17 I attended a Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative (JMCBI) text study on “Addiction, Dependency, and Autonomy.” The event was led by Abdul-Malik Ryan from the DePaul University Muslim Life Center and Rabbi Ruven Barkan from Chicagoland Jewish High School who presented, respectively, Muslim and Jewish texts focused primarily on alcohol consumption and gambling.
We began with Rabbi Barkan presenting a section of Talmud on who is not permitted to be a witness. According to the text, one who “plays the dice” (later explained to be one who has no career besides gambling) cannot be a witness. Next, Mr. Ryan read from the Qur’an about the Muslim prohibition from alcohol. Both leaders also told stories from their faiths and presented other texts and materials, including the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step plan to overcoming addiction.
Afterward we held a discussion based off of the religious texts, explanations, stories and other areas. We considered, among other topics, the effect addictive behaviors have on families and communities, Illinois’ controversial casino expansion bill, and one’s ability to prevent themselves from engaging in or cease participating in addictive behaviors.
JMCBI text studies, tied to current social or political issues, are always informative and engaging. The study environment is welcoming and respectful to people of all backgrounds. Perhaps most importantly, the sessions provide a unique opportunity to examine how two seemingly diverse religions actually have similar and complementary principles.
To learn more about JMCBI and to find out about upcoming events, visit www.jmcbi.org.
July 1, 2011
By Kayla Higgins
JMCBI Fellow, JCUA
Twelve Jews and Muslims gathered at the KnockBox Café in Humboldt Park on May 26 to take part in interfaith dialogue on the topic of “Rights and Obligations in Jewish and Muslim Traditions.”
The discussion was organized by JCUA’s Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative (JMCBI), and led by Rabbi Rachel Mikva, a professor at Chicago Theological Seminary, and Abbas Chinoy, a Muslim chaplain at Rush Hospital.
Rabbi Mikva began by guiding the group through a handout she wrote aligning passages from the Torah and Talmud side-by-side with passages from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on topics of equal protection, property, education, work, rest, and the standard of living.
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May 16, 2011
May 16, 2011– Progressive activists from Israel and the U.S. are speaking tonight at Hebrew Union College on issues of religious pluralism, environmental justice, women’s rights, housing and migrant worker rights. Among the speakers is Irene Lehrer Sandalow, JCUA director of strategy and Jewish affairs, who will be sharing the story of Rigo Padilla and leading a text study with Osnat Cohen-Lifshitz of Hotline for Migrant Workers on the rights of migrant workers. Conversation to follow will be focused on the impact immigrants have on the country.