Rabbis and Imams Discuss the Different Denominations of Judaism

Rabbi-Imam Dialogue [1]

The dynamics within the Jewish community was the topic of a lively discussion among religious leaders in the most recent Rabbi-Imam Dialogue, on December 4th.

Nearly 20 rabbis and imams from across the Chicago area, from a wide range of denominations, communities and ethnic backgrounds, met at the Downtown Islamic Center. This was the sixth meeting of this city-wide group, convened by the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Council of Islamic Organization of Greater Chicago.

Rabbi Memis-Foler (middle) with Humaira Basith (left) and Lena Kasi Touleimat (right)

Rabbi Memis-Foler (middle) with Humaira Basith (left) and Lena Kasi Touleimat (right)

The conversation focused on the similarities and differences among the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform denominations within the Jewish community, and how each stream of Judaism interpreted questions ranging from “Who is a Jew” to Jewish law, and more.  Rabbi Michael Balinsky facilitated the discussion along with Rabbi Amy Memis-Foler, Rabbi Andrea London, and Rabbi Capers Funnye.

The discussion was engaging and the floor was open to questions and dialogue from both sides.  Muslim participants came out of the evening with a greater appreciation of the varied nature of the Jewish community, and a greater understanding of Judaism more broadly.

The next dialogue will be hosted by the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in February, and will explore the intra-faith dynamics of the Muslim community.

For more information please contact Asaf Bar-Tura at asaf@jcua.org

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