A Dialogue Between Imams and Rabbis

JCUA's Rabbi-Imam Dialogue

Imam Ousmane Drame of Masjid Al-Farooq (from left), Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Anshe Sholom Bnai Israel Congregation and Karen Danielson of the Mosque Foundation.

By Asaf Bar-Tura
Associate Director of Programs, JCUA 

Over the past year JCUA has been partnering with the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and the Chicago Board of Rabbis to create a unique forum in which imams and rabbis in the Chicago area can break bread, exchange ideas and collaborate.

The first meeting took place in April, 2011, and the second meeting held on Dec. 13, 2011.

The group of participants is as diverse as one can imagine. Coming from all over the city and the suburbs, from a range of ethnic and racial backgrounds, men and women, from Orthodox to Reform, the group truly represents the diversity of our communities.

The main topic of discussion at the last meeting was “Challenges and Opportunities in Transmitting Religious and Communal Identity to the Next Generation in America.” The meeting was co-facilitated by Rabbi Michael Balinsky and Imam Senad Agic.

JCUA and our partners believe in the importance of building relationships among our spiritual leaders as part of a larger effort to foster collaborations between the Jewish and Muslim communities in Illinois. All partners are committed to continue to provide a platform where faith leaders are able to share ideas and engage in open-dialogue about issues pertaining to their respective communities.

Rabbis and imams interested in participating in the citywide Chicagoland Rabbi-Imam Dialogue Initiative should contact Asaf Bar-Tura at asaf@jcua.org. The next meeting is scheduled for late February 2012.

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