Marc Schneier

NYPD Cops Working The Interfaith Beat

Shomrim, Muslim Society officers in emerging relationship, despite obstacles.

06/16/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

When it comes to “Kumbaya” moments, as some critics have dubbed Jewish-Muslim dialogue, “Police officers are pretty much a harder sell [than other people],” says Det. Lawrence Wein, president of the New York Police Department’s Shomrim Society. “They are a bit more cynical than peace activists.”

Det. Ahmed Nasser, left, was detained in Israel for over two hours when he arrived with fellow NYPD members.Doug Chandler

Jersey Poet Laureate Unrepentant

09/27/2002
Staff Writer

Newark, N.J. — Controversial New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka, whose recent poem “Somebody Blew Up America” suggested that Israel knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terror attacks, blasted his Jewish critics Wednesday, calling the Anti-Defamation League “the voice of imperialism.”

Baraka is refusing to resign his post despite calls from New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey that he step down, adding Wednesday, “I will not apologize.”

The Dialogue Dilemma

11/16/2007

 Can Jews talk to Muslims who reject the very existence of a Jewish state? 

Rabbi Marc Schneier, founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, hopes they can. Last week Schneier convened the first National Summit of Imams and Rabbis, a risky venture that he hopes will plant the seeds of future cooperation and communication.

The Union for Reform Judaism is also working with the Islamic Society of North America to promote joint education and dialogue projects.

How Far Can Their Dialogue Go?

11/14/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

For several tense minutes last week, it seemed as if the first “National Summit of Imams and Rabbis” might fail even before it got off the ground.

Both participants and observers waited with bated breath as Sheik Omar Abu-Namous, one of the event’s organizers, called for an Israeli “apology” to the Palestinians, along with some form of compensation for families who lost their land in 1948, the year Israel was established.

High-Wire Act

The eruv — that ethereal yet physical boundary enabling observant Jews to push strollers and use wheelchairs on Shabbat — fosters community even as it sparks tensions.

03/06/2009
Before the Internet Age rendered geography irrelevant to community there was the eruv, the rabbinic response to spatial separation. A strategically placed wire here, a natural hedge border there, the inclusion of a fence or a highway, turns a neighborhood into an imaginary walled community of halachic intent, as such a deliberate remembrance of pre-diasporic Jerusalem.  

Liberalism Still Rules

11/18/2005
Staff Writer
If American Jews are tacking to the right, nobody told them. That is the finding of a national public opinion study released last week. According to the National Survey on Race Relations and Changing Ethnic Demographics in the United States of America, commissioned by the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Jews in this country align themselves more with African-Americans on attitudes toward race and poverty, and with Hispanic-Americans on attitudes about immigration, than do other whites.

Rabbis Question Report On Movements’ Harmony

10/09/1998
Staff Writer
Are relations among the leaders of Judaism’s branches as bad as they’ve been portrayed? A recent, well-publicized report on hundreds of examples of rabbinic cooperation nationwide emphasized that the situation may be improving. But even some of the rabbis involved in cooperative efforts questioned the report’s positive spin.

‘Jews And Muslims Are Kissing Cousins’

12/21/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

After three days in the media glare, the so-called "Subway Good Samaritan" retreated to upstate New York in the middle of last week. But the trip with a friend lasted just 24 hours, and when Hassan Askari returned to his life as a Berkeley College accounting student and a deliveryman for two East Village Indian restaurants, a fuller picture began to emerge of a thoughtful 20-year-old Bangladeshi with a multicultural cast to his life and strong views about the common ground he believes exists between Jews and Muslims.

High-Wire Act

03/06/2009

Before the Internet Age rendered geography irrelevant to community there was the eruv, the rabbinic response to spatial separation. A strategically placed wire here, a natural hedge border there, the inclusion of a fence or a highway, turns a neighborhood into an imaginary walled community of halachic intent, as such a deliberate remembrance of pre-diasporic Jerusalem.  

Jersey Poet Laureate Unrepentant

09/27/2002
Staff Writer
Newark, N.J. — Controversial New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka, whose recent poem “Somebody Blew Up America” suggested that Israel knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terror attacks, blasted his Jewish critics Wednesday, calling the Anti-Defamation League “the voice of imperialism.” Baraka is refusing to resign his post despite calls from New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey that he step down, adding Wednesday, “I will not apologize.”
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