The recently launched interfaith institute of the Islamic Center of LI in collaboration with Temple Sinai of Roslyn, on April 5th evening hosted an event titled--" Unlikely Partners for Peace" with Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger a native from LI who migrated to Israel and is part of the growing settlements in the occupied West Bank. He shared his thoughts and beliefs as a Jew, Zionist and a Settler. He spoke about the passion he and other settlers have for living in Judea as 'promised' to them by the creator.
His presentation was followed by Ali Abu Awwad a Palestinian Peace Activist who shared his personal story as he rebelled against the Israeli occupation of his homeland, the daily humiliations resulting from this occupation leading to several years in an Israeli prison, and the murder of his brother Yusuf by the Israeli defense forces. Both speakers shared their initial 'denial' of the other and only after some soul searching realized that the future path for both will be best served by mutual recognition and a meaningful dialogue.
The overflow crowd comprised of members from all faiths was deeply appreciative of the honest and passionate presentation, there was a lively question and answer session and all attendees left with a better appreciation of the ground realities in the Holy Land.
Both Rabbi Michael White from Temple Sinai and Prof Faroque Khan from the Interfaith Institute thanked the speakers and the attendees for arranging this informative session at the ICLI in Westbury.
L-R-: Moderator Prof Faroque Khan, Ali Abu Awwad, Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and ICLI president Dr. Isma Chaudhry
Additional information about Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger http://friendsofroots.net/index.html and Ali A Awwad is available http://taghyeer-movement.ps/media/ including a ten minute TED talk by Ali delivered in Jerusalem.
“There are different gifts but the same Spirit. There are different ministries but the same Lord. There are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone---it is one and the same Spirit who produces all these gifts, distributing them to each as He will."
1 Corinthians 12:4-6,11
This event attracted a large gathering, received extensive TV and print media coverage in Newsday, Long Island Press and Islamic Horizon magazine.
Earlier this year when we heard about the visit of Pope Francis we extended an invite for him to formally launch the interfaith institute at ICLI which he was unable to accommodate.
The presentation was very well received. We were able to share a short video from the Oct 25th launch of the interfaith institute of ICLISee full story
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