A message from Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, JCUA Board Member, in response to a Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago news release concerning recent terrorist threats against Chicago Jewish organizations (Read More).
I have worked over the years with building Jewish-Muslim relations in Chicago by co-chairing the Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a social justice organization.
Our shul has hosted every year an Iftar meal for Muslims to break their Ramadan fast and to come together – after Jews davening Mincha and Ma’ariv and the Muslims praying their Salat (in the JCC) – in camaraderie and friendship.
We learn during the year, frequently with a rabbi and an imam presenting their own respective religion’s take on a biblical/Q’ur’anic story or an issue such as health care.
Peace has not broken out in the world, and Jews and Israel still have our enemies who wish to destroy us at any opportunity. But at least we have come to the point where the local Jewish and Muslim communities can work together as “faith partners.” Words do mean something, and the words are sweet.