Spring celebrations are ahead,
bringing children of Abraham together to celebrate new life, freedom, birth for
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:
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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
Muslim religious leaders included imams from
Palestinians came from from
Christian clergy, and others including a delegation of teenage Muslim girls from
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
Rabbi Naftali Brawer from the office of the Chief Rabbi of the
On the final day, participants together visited
See and read more on the Hommes de Parole site, at http://www.hommesdeparole.org/ .
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
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
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:
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
"The Celebration of Abraham was incredible!" she e-mailed from her new home in
"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."
* * * More stories like these are at http://traubman.igc.org/messages.htm * * *