September, 2016


The Inter-Faith, cross-cultural Working Group initiated by the Hochberg Holocaust and Human Rights Committee has met twice during the summer.  The group is composed of about 20 enthusiastic people from a broad spectrum of the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities in the region.  We have adopted the following guiding mission:

Opening Hearts, Opening Minds–Promote understanding and knowledge about the cultures and beliefs of our diverse communities, recognizing our shared values and respecting our differences. 

 The Working Group is focusing on the following priorities which will build on initiatives already underway as well as initiate some new undertakings.  Stay tuned for more details and dates as we begin to structure these events.  All will be heavily promoted to the public.

  • KICK-OFF EVENT—To be held later this year at ECSU, likely with a film and panel.
  • World Food Week—In October with an ethnic food festival.
  • Walk for Warmth and THANKSGIVING SERVICE—We are working with WAIM to expand and renew this longstanding tradition.
  • “Honest Conversations with your Muslim neighbors.”  Shaheer Hassan, with the UConn Muslim Student Association, is organizing this with Muslim Coalition of CT.  It will likely be held in late October on UConn campus, open to all.

If you are interested in working on any of these initiatives, please get in touch with Sheila Amdur, sheilabamdur@gmail.com.

July, 2016

Dear Friends, Temple Bnai Israel has worked with area congregations and other community members over several years to promote inter-faith understanding and knowledge about the traditions of our diverse communities.

We are very interested in working with people from our faith communities on an inter-faith, cross-cultural working group to plan and implement events over the next 12 months, highlighting the richness of the religious and cultural groups of our region and of our nation.  By learning about our neighbors, sharing food, music, art and prayer, we believe we can become a stronger and more open community.  Some suggestions for shared events:

  • Ethnic food festival with folk dancing
  • Community music event, featuring diverse spiritual and cultural music
  • “Honest Conversations with our Muslim Neighbors”, an undertaking of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
  • Inter-faith observances with readings and discussion from our respective religious texts

We have tentatively called this undertaking “Opening Doors, Opening Minds”, but believe that this initiative should be one we plan and undertake together. We also want to work closely with the Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement Co-Sponsorship Program group.

We look forwarding to working with you, and be sure to read about our Daughters of Abraham Interfaith Book Club.

Best wishes, Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz, Sheila B. Amdur, Hochberg Human Rights Committee