Interfaith Dinner Fosters Dialogue

October 6, 2008

Author: Sam Cross

Source: The Cornell Daily Sun

Cornell students enjoyed a night of delicious food and stimulating discussion at a Jewish-Muslim Dialogue Dinner last night.

With Rosh Hashanah and the end of Ramadan coinciding together this year, Jewish and Muslim students on campus gathered in the One World Room at Annabel Taylor Hall in the hopes of bridging a dialogue between the two communities. Cornell Hillel, Muslim Education Cultural Association (MECA), Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Islamic Alliance for Justice were the four hosts of the dinner.

“The purpose of this dinner is to bring our two communities together because we believe that there needs to be a basis of mutual understanding of each other’s identity,” Amy Pearlman ’09, president of Hillel, said. “By meeting together, breaking bread together, we hope to learn about each other’s culture and religion.”

This initiative to engage these two communities started at the end of last year with smaller dinners that included the executive boards of each organization. This year, there are also larger dinners which are open to all Cornell students interested in learning about Jewish and Muslim religion and culture.

“What we have seen from the smaller dinners is that there is so much to talk about,” Pearlman said. “We spend over two hours there and we all have homework to do.”

The interest for such discussion, however, is not limited to the organization’s leaders. 72 Cornell students turned out for last night’s event, indicating that “People make this a priority,” Pearlman said.

See also: Interfaith, Campus