Muslims and Jews Learning from Each Other in Rochester, NY

July 2, 2003

Source: Democrat and Chronicle

On July 2, 2003 the Democrat and Chronicle reported that "the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, drove divisions between Jews and Muslims in many cities, but in Rochester [NY], the dialogue between these two communities is growing deeper and deeper... In fact, because of a series of public programs seeking greater understanding, the Commission on Jewish/Muslim Understanding was given an award last month in recognition of its groundbreaking work... 'Rochester is one of so few communities that still has an ongoing and active dialogue between the Muslim and Jewish communities,' said Isobel Goldman, community relations director for the Jewish Community Federation of Greater Rochester and coordinator of the 12-member commission. 'We know through the work we do that a lot of these dialogues have disbanded over the past few years...' In June, the federation presented the commission with the 2003 Elmer Louis Award, a memorial award given to recognize outstanding programs involving the Jewish Community... Last spring the commission sponsored Judaism and Islam 101, a four-part lecture series, and is planning another series in the fall... Imam Muhammad Shafiq of the Islamic Center of Rochester said strong interfaith work in Rochester laid the foundation for discussions to take place among Muslims and Jews."