Schools Interfaith Program Helps Eliminate Prejudice, Students Say

June 9, 2004

Source: Toronto Star

On June 9, 2004 the Toronto Star reported, "Courtney Kurysh experienced a spiritual rebirth after visiting an Islamic mosque, a Buddhist temple and a Jewish synagogue — all in one day, all within blocks in multicultural Toronto. 'I started to question what I'd believed in and followed in my life,' said the 16-year-old Catholic student from Toronto's Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, referring to the April field trip she and 80 classmates took to Jaf'fari Islamic Centre, Cham Shan Buddhist Temple and Adath Israel Synagogue. The trip was part of the Schools Interfaith program started by the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews two years ago to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding. To date, close to 10,000 Canadian students have participated. Yesterday, Kurysh shared her experience at the downtown launch of the council's Schools Interfaith in Action Award, in front of 60 guests representing major faith groups. The award will honour a student or school that promotes respect among religious faiths. The first such award will be presented next year. 'We got to ask a lot of questions, some personal questions about the history, customs and traditions of different religions. It really broadened my horizons,' Kurysh said. 'The program helps eliminate prejudice that brews at an early age.'"