Rabbi Presses Jews, Muslims to Ease Strife

September 1, 2007

Author: Manya A. Brachear

Source: Chicago Tribune


In an unusual goodwill gesture, the top rabbi of the nation's largest Jewish movement pleaded with American Muslims on Friday to transcend the differences that have divided their people for decades and join Jews to confront the extremist factions and prejudice that plague both religious traditions.

"It is ... our collective task to strengthen and inspire one another as we fight the fanatics and work to promote the values of justice and love that are common to both our faiths," Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, told members of the Islamic Society of North America at their annual meeting in Rosemont. "We know nothing of Islam -- nothing. The time has come to listen to our Muslim neighbors speak in their own words about the spiritual power of Islam and their love for their religion."

Frequently interrupted by ovations, Yoffie introduced a joint initiative to launch conversations between Muslims and Jews across the country. In a separate interview, Yoffie envisions mosques and synagogues initially forging partnerships in 10 cities.

See also: Interfaith, Civic