In Boston, Young Muslims and Jews Gather in Service-Based Dialogue

July 23, 2006

Source: Muslim American Society/The Boston Globe

On July 23, 2006 The Boston Globe reported, "Images of missile strikes had been splayed across newspapers, Internet pages, and television at nearly any given hour for the previous three weeks, ever since the capture of an Israeli soldier by the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah in June. So organizers planning the discussion Sunday at the Moishe/Kavod Jewish social house in Brookline knew there was plenty of potential for tension. But as sunlight filtered through the windows and streamed across the house's wooden floors, Najiba Akbar, a Woburn resident and graduate student at Boston College, was engrossed in conversation with Joanna Goldenberg , a consulting agent from Somerville who sat across from her, nodding, eager to volley back her own thoughts. Akbar is Muslim and Goldenberg is Jewish. They chatted for 25 minutes about religious fasting, about sacrifice, about their interests in social justice. The women scarcely touched the conflict in the Middle East. 'We only discussed it peripherally,' Goldenberg said. 'I think we both understood that discussing or arguing about the war was not going to help us bridge our differences.' Akbar and Goldenberg were participants in a dialogue hosted by the Moishe/Kavod house, the Muslim American Society Boston, and the Center for Jewish-Muslim Relations in Newtonville. The meeting focused on the similarities between the Jewish and Muslim faiths and their commitments to social causes."