Spring celebrations are ahead, bringing children of Abraham together to celebrate new life, freedom, birth for all.
     Most of us meet in our own families, clans, and tribes.
     Increasingly, Muslims, Jews, and Christians are meeting with one another to celebrate both our oneness and colorful diversity.
     Here are three stories of people who are crossing old boundaries toward each other and into the future, in:
                1.  Brussels, Belgium
  Chico, California

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     The colorful publishing-first cookbook gives you many dozens of family favorites recipes for the table and for building relationships, described at:

1.  Brussels, Belgium Historical event !  100 Imams and Rabbis united against violence

     January 3-6 2005 in Brussels, Belgium was the First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace.
     The180 participants included 100 Jewish and Muslim religious leaders and 80 experts in the field of Jewish-Muslim cooperation from all over the world.
     Jewish religious leaders included rabbis from Europe and North America.  Thirty rabbis from Israel included chief rabbis of different cities and heads of prominent yeshivas.
     Muslim religious leaders included imams from Europe, the U.S., Africa and Asia, including Indonesia and Uzbekistan.
     Palestinians came from from Jerusalem, the Galilee, and the West Bank, with others from Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Iran.
     Christian clergy, and others including a delegation of teenage Muslim girls from France, traveled as observers of every session.
     Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi Doron, the former Chief Sefardic Rabbi of Israel, said, "when I see all of the imams and rabbis coming together, this is a message to the Creator that we are here to do your will, that is to bring peace."
     Sheikh Talal Sider from Hebron said that for Jews, Muslims and Christians, the Holy Land is beloved and blessed and that this meeting together in this Congress was a blessing from God.
     Rabbi Naftali Brawer from the office of the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom said, "Learn how to smile at those different from us and to see in the reflective smile of the other, a reflection of the Divine."
     On the final day, participants together visited Brussels' central synagogue then sat on the carpet together in the central mosque. 
     See and read more on the Hommes de Parole site, at http://www.hommesdeparole.org/ .

2.  Jerusalem Jewish and Arab children learn in the image of Abraham

     February 27, 2005 that was the banner of the Internet's Israel21c news source about young Palestinian and Jewish 4th graders at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.
     Their innovative initiative -- The Image of Abraham -- encourages young people to appreciate their shared heritage and humanity.
     In its seventh year, The Image of Abraham unites children from two Jerusalem schools - the Paula Ben-Gurion School in Rehavia, and the Ramat Moriah School in East Talpiot - with children from the Al-Ukhwah School in Jabel Mukaber, a Palestinian village in east Jerusalem.
     This program has been the first opportunity for most of these children to meet their counterparts. Until now their images of one another has been as strangers, causes of fear and repression, or perpetrators  of violence.
     There are just four meetings per group, but it's a beginning more than most Jews and Palestinians experience in a lifetime.
     The hardest barrier is patience  with one another's language.  Good listening to the other is learned first.
     The parents first met casually last year.  They were excited and requested a more organized framework."
     This year the group for parents exclusively meets once a month.
      Ben, 10, from West Jerusalem:  "They are children the same as us.  I think there will be peace in our country if there is peace between people.  It is still early, but maybe one day we will visit each other in our homes."
     Hamad, 10, an Arab, adds that he has no other Jewish friends, but hopes to in the future.
     The Image of Abraham project is doing its part to insure that one day 'everybody will know everyone.'
     You can read more at:

 3.  Chico, California Big crowd gathers for Celebration of Abraham event

     Rabbi Julie Danan ( JHDanan@aol.com ). is remembered for teaming with a Palestinian imam Nadir Faris to begin the Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue when she lived in San Antonio, Texas.
     "The Celebration of Abraham was incredible!" she e-mailed from her new home in Chico, California, where she championed another "first."
     "Our crew set up for 100.  I think there were about 250 people there. People were standing in the back, sitting on the floor, in the hall. . .and they were enthusiastic. . .singing along, clapping, laughing."
     Julie continued:  "And somehow we had enough food for everyone who stayed for dinner (a lot). The Muslim community members all came in native garments from their many countries of origin. Ali Sarsour, a Palestinian Muslim, joked that one of the children thought he was Abraham."
     She concluded:  "Anyway, it was a very beautiful, powerful and gratifying event."
     The Sunday, February 20, 2005 gathering is described in the Chico Enterprise-Record, headlined

*  *  *  More stories like these are at http://traubman.igc.org/messages.htm *  * *