WASHINGTON (RNS) A small band of Jews and Muslims marched through one of the city’s busiest squares Tuesday (Oct. 14) shouting “Spread Hummus! Not Hate!” and trying to draw the attention of an otherwise blase group of workers lined up at food trucks.
Many in the lunchtime crowd kept their earbuds firmly in their ears or continued chatting with their co-workers. But a few people joined in to sing “Salaam, Shalom,” a tune with the words for peace in Arabic and Hebrew, or to pen a comment on the side of the “#SpreadHummusNotHate” bus.
An interfaith initiative that bordered on the quixotic when it began five years ago — pairing synagogues and mosques for weekend-long programs that feature theological dialogue and cultural exchanges — has already grown into a symbol of how it is possible to cross religious barriers.
Focused on feeding the hungry, Jews, Muslims continue dialogue despite conflict in the Mideast.
Jewish Week Correspondent
As Jews and Muslims battled each other in the Mideast, some of their co-religionists in the United States came together Sunday to prepare food for hungry Americans, salvage the homes of hurricane victims and discuss how both faiths command members to help the needy.
Some differed, though, on whether events in the Mideast had hampered turnout for those activities and, more fundamentally, on whether any link can be drawn between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and dialogue efforts in this country.