On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary and with Jewish-Muslim tensions running high over the opening of the nation’s first Arab-language public school in Brooklyn, the head of the Reform movement is proposing a far-reaching dialogue with a major Muslim group.
The suggestion by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism, is believed to be the first such outreach by a major American Jewish religious denomination. The group is the largest synagogue body in the U.S. with 1.5 million members.
Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor of Islamic law at UCLA, estimates that two years ago he received between 30 and 40 requests from around the country to participate in interfaith dialogues between Jews and Muslims.
Last year he received one.
“They just vanished,” he said during an interview last week. “Such invitations are a barometer of the level of dialogue, though my experience may not be representative because of my own idiosyncrasies.”
Did you observe Passover? The Huffington Post (April 9) headlined a piece by Rabbi Michael Lerner, “Pharaohs Can’t Celebrate Passover.” If you supported Israel’s Gaza war, the pharaoh is you. According to several recent political cartoons, if you support Israel, Hitler is you, too.
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