Christian-Muslim Summit at the National Cathedral
Posted by rabbibrian on February 25, 2010
I apologize for not writing any posts over the past few weeks. It has been a challenging time and I hope now to resume posting once a week.
Next week I will be in Washington D.C. to participate as a Jewish observer to an exciting Christian – Muslim Summit at the National Cathedral. The goal of the Summit – the first of four such meetings – is to bring together religious and political leaders from Christianity and Islam as well as Eastern and Western nations to promote understanding and reconciliation between Islam and the West, and to encourage religious leaders to continue using their influence within governments to promote—and positively impact—peace and reconciliation efforts worldwide. Most of the meetings will not be public, but the Summit ends with a public dialogue on Wednesday night. You can participate in the dialogue by watching it online via a live web cast from the National Cathedral’s web site.
Rabbi David Saperstein, of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and I, will be the two Jewish observers to this Summit. I am honored to be granted this opportunity to witness a critical dialogue between Christian and Muslim leaders and to be part of this initiative to build joint interfaith efforts to promote peace and justice. Over the past year, since I left Rabbis for Human Rights -North America, I have devoted much of my energy to doing justice and human rights work in an interfaith context. I participated in a meeting of Christian leaders last year at the Carter Center, spoke at the national convention of the Islamic Society of North America, travelled in an interfaith delegation to Egypt and Qatar, and participated in the launching of the Palestine Kairos Document in Bethlehem in December. Although Taanit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza is initiated by rabbis, it is an interfaith effort. The goal of my work is to build relationships with Christians and Muslims in America so that we can work together as American citizens on issues of peace and human rights in Israel/Palestine.
Participants in the Summit were asked to submit a speech or article they have written on issues related to the goals of the Summit. I edited a short talk I presented at the meeting of Christian leaders at the Carter Center last year related to the possibility of Christians, Muslims and Jews joining together as advocates for peace. You can read the article entitled, “Jews, Christians and Muslims: Allies for Peace” here and I will also post it separately in my next blog post. I would love your feedback.