Jews and Muslims
BY IRA RIFKIN for myjewishlearning.com
Sept. 11 and the Second Intifada in Israel interrupted years of improvement in Muslim-Jewish relations.
Jews and Muslims have had a close but tense relationship since Islam’s earliest days, when Jewish tribes in seventh-century Arabia, principally in the city of Medina, rejected the Prophet Muhammad’s claims to religious and political leadership. In the modern era, the Zionist movement and establishment of the State of Israel have exacerbated this longstanding tension, with fallout from events of the recent past–the Palestinian uprising known as the intifada and the wave of anti-Western Islamic terrorism culminating in the attacks of September 11, 2001–bringing the relationship to a low point.
In Omaha, Three Faiths Share One Big Idea
By Jonathan Zalman for Tablet Magazine
The Tri-Faith Initiative brings together a synagogue, a church, and a mosque, with a promise to build bridges between them
A new kind of “neighborhood” is nearing completion in West Omaha, Nebraska—a place where Jews, Muslims, and Christians will share spaces, food, ideas, joy, and pain.
Over 10 years ago, a group of Omaha’s religious and lay leaders hatched an idea: Build three, brand-new houses of worship—a temple, a mosque, and a church—located close together on the same plot of land; ensure that the design scheme feels borderless, flowing, and inviting of interaction; encourage communication between communities—promoting, among other things, cross-religious education and, well, understanding; put into place the right leaders to foster these activities; have plentiful parking; coexist; shock the world.