Empathy on the rise:

Mosque-synagogue "twinning" doubles in one year

25 November 2009


"The creative individual has the capacity to free himself

from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught.

He is capable of QUESTIONING the assumptions that the rest of us accept."

 --John W. Gardner

"If you expect to see the final results of your work,

you simply have not asked a big enough QUESTION."

-- I.F. Stone


     QUESTIONS with power for change result from Q-Storming -- http://www.qstorming.com/
     Q-Storming is a collaborative thinking method that generates new questions for breakthrough thinking, new possibilities, and extraordinary results.
     SEE the paths to questions with (1) little power and (2) great power illustrated at http://www.inquiryinstitute.com/CM.pdf

Synagogue-Mosque pairs double, cross the ocean

     In Fall 2008, a few questioning, creative Muslims and Jews explored how they might close the gap between their peoples.
     They invented the WEEKEND OF TWINNING, as 50 mosques and 50 synagogues and their congregations participated in a North American weekend of study, prayer, and sharing of stories and food.
     This 2009 year, November 13-15, 2009 participation more than doubled and crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
     Thousands of Muslims and Jews from across North America and Europe came together last weekend to break bread, pray, perform community service and pledge to nurture ties of friendship and trust between their communities.
     This worlds largest gathering of Muslims and Jews twinned congregations from seven European countries including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Netherlands.
     In France, with sometimes--tense Muslim-Jewish relations, 19 mosques and 19 synagogues twinned with one another, offering a powerful affirmation of the two faith communities.
     The WEEKEND OF TWINNING was organized by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and endorsed by the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the World Jewish Congress and the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims.
     "We have managed to summon into being a grass roots movement of Muslims and Jews committed to communication, reconciliation and cooperation," wrote the FFEU program director, Walter Ruby ( WalterRuby@gmail.com ) .
     VIEW the inspiring list of participating synagogues and mosques at:


     More diverse communities are seeking help to engage at the heart.
    Eight weeks in Fall, 2009, participants of a single 17-year-old Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue in California were asked to:


1.  Convene city-wide Dialogue for youth and adults from neighborhoods of San Mateo, California

        PHOTOS -- http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AbtmbJq0aMlEZE

2.  Facilitate a circle of 85 Women, men, and students of diverse Fresno, California

        DESCRIPTION -- http://traubman.igc.org/fresnonight.htm

3.  Broadcast two 1/2-hour KNXT-TV Fresno television programs of "Forum For A Better Understanding" about communication skills and the public peace process.

        VIEW 1st program -- http://www.blip.tv/file/2828811/

        VIEW 2nd program -- http://www.blip.tv/file/2829649/

4.  Guide campus Dialogue for students at the University of California, Berkeley in a class studying CONFLICT RESOLUTION, SOCIAL CHANGE, AND CULTURES OF PEACE.   

        PHOTOS -- http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AbtmbJq0aMlEdU

5.  Present at Seton Hill University a communication skills workshop "DIALOGUE AND STORY: Utilizing Communications Tools from the Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Movement in the Service of Intergroup/interfaith Understanding for the Holocaust Classroom" for the LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference 2009 of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education for "educating the educators in the hope of reaching the whole of humanity."   

        PHOTOS -- http://traubman.igc.org/zimmerman.pdf

6.  Initiate at the 4th Annual International Conference on Engaging The Other: The Power of Compassion" a workshop, "Story As Entry to Relationship and Change."  

        PHOTOS -- http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AbtmbJq0aMlEfc


      At the same time, social science is telling us that media technology enables us to increase our empathy to others ourside our own selves, families, communities and cultures.
      As the world grows smaller and more connected, transhuman technologies are becoming more important than ever.
      Practically, empathy is created through storytelling -- the most successful remote means of creating social empathy and the engine of social and cultural change.
      Today, storytelling is the key to empathy creation.


Empathy in the Time of Technology:

How Storytelling is the Key to Empathy

by PJ Manney

Journal of Evolution and Technology  -  Vol. 19  Issue 1 September 2008 - pages 51-61



     HEAR why Story is the new every-day Power.


Storyteller Noa Baum

Radio All For Peace interview (19 min)


A story of empathy
and responsibility


The Home Run (7 min video)


"The creative individual has the capacity to free himself

from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught.

He is capable of QUESTIONING the assumptions that the rest of us accept."

 --John W. Gardner