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Meeting the Neighbors

January 29, 2016

Photo by DAVID MAIALETTI /  Inquirer Staff Photographer

Check out this well-crafted story in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Kristen E. Holmes about a visit by RRC rabbinical students to a mosque in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. The mosque had once been a church, and before that a synagogue. The piece touches on the history of the neighborhood, the dynamics of African-American Muslims, and the rewards and challenges of interfaith dialogue.

The visit epitomized the philosophy behind RRC's Multifaith Studies Program: When we get to know our neighbors, Jewish and Muslim communities have the potential to be allies.

The mosque visit took place as part of a course at RRC, “Religious Leadership for a Multifaith Society,” which is paying special attention to questions of racism and Islamophobia. Part of the course will bring together Jewish and Christian seminarians. RRC has a vibrant and groundbreaking Department of Multifaith Studies, founded and led by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Ph.D., '82, a leading figure regionally and nationally in interreligious dialogue.

“We are not training rabbis to just sit around and read sacred texts and only interact with Jews,” said Rabbi Fuchs Kreimer. “Our rabbis will be working in a complicated multi-faith society. They want to know their Muslim neighbors: What are their problems? How can they be allies?”

>>Read the article.

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